Standing Babies Stay Steady When Focused

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Laura Claxton, a Purdue assistant professor of health and kinesiology, interacts with 1-year-old Kenzie Korchnak, after participating in a Purdue motor development study. Claxton’s recent findings show that babies learning to stand may look wobbly, but they are really in more control than they appear, especially when they focus and hold on to an object like a toy. Her work is published in  the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. (Purdue University photo/Andrew Hancock)

"Babies learning to stand often sway and appear out of control, but in this study, once we handed them a toy their standing posture improved and they were more stable," said Laura Claxton, an assistant professor of health and kinesiology who studies motor development in children. "Even though babies are top heavy and their neuromuscular systems are immature, this shows infants have more control when standing than many believe. Without the toy to hold, they go right back to being unstable."

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