Theoretical context for a wakeful prone and vestibular infant movement program to support early infancy motor development

Lovell, Bren, Watt, Anthony P ORCID: 0000-0002-1084-750X and Spittle, Michael ORCID: 0000-0002-6094-5087 (2023) Theoretical context for a wakeful prone and vestibular infant movement program to support early infancy motor development. Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, and Early Intervention. pp. 1-20. ISSN 1941-1243


A growing awareness and encouragement of the need for infants to spend more awake time in the prone position suggests that the provision of information about infant movement activities that encourage and reassure parents and carers in undertaking daily tummy time incorporating vestibular actions with young infants, is important and timely. There are indications that lack of daily infant tummy play time may be associated with low infant rudimentary skills and with the potential of positional plagiocephaly. This paper presents information on infant motor development in relation to the factors that may be shaping infants’ movement maturity and outlines the relationship of the infant’s developing sensory system (vestibular, tactile, proprioceptive) to attaining typical motor development. This acts as a detailed theoretical basis for a neurological designed infant movement program to contribute to overall infant motor development. The paper provides background information for the creation, format, and design of an infant development movement program (the ‘Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play program) that may be suitable and appropriate for families and early years therapists such as maternal and early childhood nurses, occupational therapists, and physical therapists, to interact with in supporting and developing both infant tummy and vestibular time.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1080/19411243.2023.2215758
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4207 Sports science and exercise
Current > Division/Research > College of Arts and Education
Keywords infant motor development, infant movement program, awake time, prone position
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