Head control: development, assessment and training

A basic requisite for function and developmental progress

The ability to hold the head steady and  to turn in different directions allows infants to connect with their surroundings. Over the first months typically developing infants also learn to hold the head steady and erects as they are lifted and moved and when they are carried and held erect when sitting on a caregivers lap. 

Learning these abilities is an essential prerequisite for learning to sit, creep and crawl and pull up to standing and walk. They are also needed for using the hands to explore, grasp and manipulate objects and use the hands for communication. 

Earlier maturational theories of development ascribed the emergence of  head control to maturation of  righting rand other postural responses. Modern developmental systems thinking about postural control emphasize the role of experience and infants' strong motivation to interact with the social environment and physical environment as drivers of infants' emerging control of head position and movements. 

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Development   For subscribers 


Head control supine 

Infants with restricted neck flexion 

Intervention strategies for training head control.