The Association Between Sleep Position and Early Motor Development

The researchers found that infants sleeping supine and exposed to less prone wake positions were less likely to achieve specific milestones at 4 and 6 months of age, and gross and fine motor scores were lower than normative standards at 6 months. At 15 months of age, these infants were re-evaluated and overall development was similar between the prone and supine groups, however the prone group was more likely to walk up stairs and begin walking independently.

It is important to note that “the results of this study should not be taken to suggest that there should be a change in the recommendation to promote supine position for sleep in young infants. However, health professionals need to be cognizant how positioning affect early motor development…awake prone positioning should be encouraged early in life to minimise these effects”.

Written by Carla Vescio, Chiropractor

Majnemer, A., & Barr, R.G. (2006). Association between sleep position and early motor development. The Journal of Pediatrics. 149(5),623-629. Doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2006.05.009*|END:IF|*