The Landau Reflex is a natural developmental reflex seen in infants, usually appearing around 3 months of age and fading by 12-24 months. It is observed when a baby, held in a horizontal, face-down position, lifts its head and arches its back, making a swimming movement. This reflex helps to develop the baby’s posture control and muscle tone, particularly in the neck and back.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Landau Reflex is a primitive reflex that is seen in infants from 3 months of age and and ideally disappears by 12-24 months. It plays a crucial role in the process of developing a child’s motor skills such as crawling and walking.
  2. When the Landau Reflex is initiated, the baby’s head is raised causing a relative arching of the spine and extension of the legs. The reflex helps in the development of postural control and muscle tone, contributing to further growth and mobility.
  3. If the Landau Reflex is retained beyond the age of 24 months, it might indicate neurological issues or developmental delays. It could interfere with a child’s learning skills, balance, and coordination. Hence, it’s critical to monitor its presence and consult a healthcare professional if concerns arise.


The Landau Reflex is a significant milestone in maternal observations as it indicates the correct development progress of a child’s motor skills.

This reflex, which appears around 3-4 months of age and remains until approximately 12-24 months, is observed when a child is held horizontally on their stomach and they respond by lifting their head and arching the back.

In essence, it assists the infant in developing the body posture required for crawling and walking.

If the reflex is absent or persists beyond the expected timeframe, it might indicate development issues or potential neurological problems, which is why knowing this term is of great importance in motherhood.


The Landau Reflex is an automatic response exhibited by infants that plays a vital role in their motor development and coordination. It emerges around three months of age and typically lasts until 12-24 months. This reflex plays a pivotal role in preparing the child for voluntary movements like sitting, standing, and eventually walking.

Essentially, it assists in developing full body posture control necessary for later voluntary movements and discourages primitive reflexes. When the Landau Reflex is stimulated, usually as the infant is held in a horizontal position facing downwards, the child’s body straightens and the head lifts, appearing as if they are making a “superman” flying gesture. This reflex helps reinforce the muscle tone along the full length of the body, particularly the head, neck, and trunk control.

It serves as one of the ways caregivers and physicians can gauge whether a child’s motor development is on track. If the Landau Reflex does not appear or dissipates prematurely, it may suggest potential neurological or developmental issues.

Examples of Landau Reflex

I’m sorry for any confusion but there seems to be a misunderstanding. The Landau reflex is a term related to child development, not specifically motherhood. It’s a motor response that babies display when held in a prone or horizontal position where they extend their head, arms, and legs.Here are three real-world examples of the Landau reflex:

During a regular visit to the pediatrician’s office, the doctor may check for the Landau reflex in infants. She would hold the baby in a horizontal, face-down position to see if the baby spontaneously lifts its head and extends its arms and legs.

In a baby’s daily routine, when a parent lays their infant on their stomach for “tummy time,” they may observe the Landau reflex as the baby attempts to lift its head and extend its legs.

Parents or caregivers might see the Landau reflex when playing with a baby. They may hold the infant with their stomach resting on their palm, and observe if the baby lifts their head and extends their legs, appearing to be in a ‘flying’ position. The presence of the Landau reflex is generally seen as a positive sign of motor control development.

FAQ Section: Landau Reflex

What is the Landau reflex?

The Landau reflex is a reflex seen in infants when they are held in a horizontal prone position. If properly developed, the baby should attempt to raise its head and arch its back, extending the arms and legs. It usually emerges around 3 months of age and its absence could be an indicator of developmental issues.

When does the Landau reflex appear in babies?

The Landau reflex typically appears around the 3rd month after birth. However, it might vary slightly from one baby to another.

When does the Landau reflex disappear?

The Landau reflex usually disappears between the 12th and 24th month. Beyond this, it is generally incorporated into more complex movements and is considered an integral part of normal motor control.

What is the importance of the Landau reflex in a child’s development?

The Landau reflex plays a critical role in a child’s development as it aids in the promotion of muscle tone, and even more importantly, it helps the development of a baby’s ability to crawl and later walk.

What does it mean if the Landau reflex is absent or persists after 24 months?

If the Landau reflex is absent or persists beyond the normal age, it could be a sign of potential neurological problems, such as cerebral palsy or other motor disorders. If you have concerns about your child’s development, it is best to consult your healthcare provider.

Related Motherhood Terms

  • Primitive Reflexes
  • Infant Development
  • Neonatal Reflexes
  • Motor Skills in Babies
  • Neurological Assessment

Sources for More Information

  • Healthline: This health-related platform offers easily understandable information about a variety of medical topics, including the Landau Reflex.
  • WebMD: A trusted source of medical information, WebMD describes health topics in detail, including information on the Landau Reflex.
  • Verywell Family: This site is dedicated to providing reliable information on family health and wellness, which covers topics related to childhood development such as the Landau Reflex.
  • Mayo Clinic: As a prestigious medical institution, the Mayo Clinic’s website offers extensive resources on various medical topics, including in-depth exploration of topics such as the Landau Reflex.