Head control is essential because all of the following motor milestones depend on it. Your baby can not roll, sit, crawl or stand without head control. Babies who have difficulties with head control will either need professional help, or they will learn to hold their head with compensation. This compensation could affect the whole body, the developing movements, and skills.
MILESTONES OF HEAD CONTROL: STAGE ONE
DAY ONE TILL THREE MONTHS OF AGE
YOUR FULL-TERM NEWBORN BABy
Your full-term newborn baby’s whole body is in a “flexion pattern” which means that the head, shoulders, arms, back; legs are all in the bent/forward position. When you place your baby on her belly, she will not be able to straighten her arms, legs or back. This makes it a bit challenging to lift her head up. Learning of motor skills and being out of the womb will help your baby’s flexion pattern disappear by the age of ~two months.
Full-term newborns have a reflex that helps when learning head control. If you place your full-term baby on her belly, – face forward onto the mattress – your baby will turn her head to one side to assist herself breathing easier. This reflex will help your baby learn to lift her head up.