Neck righting is a term used in child development to describe the reflex movement where a baby or young child turns their head to lead their body during a rolling motion. This instinctive behavior, typically observed around 4-6 months of age, is an important step in the child’s physical and motor development. It can be seen during activities like changing a diaper or during play when the baby rolls over from back to stomach or vice versa.

Key Takeaways

  1. The term “Neck Righting” actually refers to a reflex observed in infants that plays a key role in the development of voluntary motor skills. This reflex helps babies adjust their body in response to the movement of their head or neck.
  2. The presence, quality or absence of the Neck Righting reflex can tell a lot about the development of infants. This reflex usually emerges around 2 months after birth and disappears by the 6th month. If the reflex is absent or if it persists longer than normal, then it may indicate a neurodevelopmental delay.
  3. Neck Righting reflex is a part of a group of reflexes referred to as “Primitive Reflexes”. This reflex, along with other primitive reflexes, serves an important purpose in the early stages of an infant’s life and these reflexes gradually disappear as the child grows, getting replaced by more complex voluntary movements.


Neck righting is a crucial term in motherhood as it pertains to an essential developmental milestone experienced by infants.

It is a motor reflex that helps the baby to align their body’s orientation with the direction of their head.

When a baby’s head is turned to one side, the neck righting reflex causes the body to follow in the same direction.

This reflex plays a significant role in the overall physical development of the child, it aids the child in learning how to roll over, crawl, and eventually walk.

Therefore, understanding and observing the neck righting reflex is important to ensure the healthy and proper development of a child.


The term “Neck Righting” refers to a developmental milestone that infants typically master as a part of their motor skill development. This righting reflex helps to control and coordinate the movement of an infant’s head with respect to the rest of their body. This proves to be essential in helping the baby discover and react better to their surrounding environment.

In complex terms, Neck Righting acts as a mechanism that allows the baby’s body to follow the direction of their head, a function which is crucial for movement activities like rolling over. The purpose of Neck Righting reflex is manifold. It plays a key role in helping infants explore their surroundings more proficiently as well as supports in developing further advanced motor skills.

Additionally, it lays the foundation for more complex physical actions to take place, like crawling, sitting up, and eventually walking. Therefore, these reflexes are instrumental in triggering the baby’s movement and spatial awareness. Through Neck Righting, they learn to maintain balance and manage their body in relation to the space around them.

Examples of Neck Righting

The term “neck righting” refers to a motor development process in infants, specifically a kind of reflex. This reflex helps infants to coordinate their body in response to the movement of their head and neck. Here are three real-world examples that could be seen as demonstrations of this concept:

During Tummy Time: When an infant is positioned on their stomach during playtime, they often use the neck righting reflex to lift their head, look around and eventually roll over. This exercises the neck muscles and aids in developing gross motor skills like crawling and walking.

In a Baby Carrier: When a baby is being carried around, they constantly adjust their head position according to the posture of the person carrying them. This neck righting reflex allows them to stabilise their gaze and observe their surroundings.

During Feeding: When a mother positions her baby for breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, the baby uses neck righting reflex to adjust and find the milk source. This is essential for the baby’s survival and growth. Remember, each baby develops at their own pace, and it’s crucial not to force these movements before they’re developmentally ready. Always consult with a pediatrician if you have concerns about your baby’s motor development.

FAQs on Neck Righting

What is Neck Righting?

Neck Righting is a significant motor reflex seen in infants, which helps them achieve milestones like rolling over. It gets activated when the baby’s head turns to the side, causing the body to rotate in the same direction.

When does Neck Righting develop in infants?

Neck Righting typically emerges around 4 to 6 months of age. It varies depending on individual growth and development.

Why is Neck Righting important?

Neck Righting is essential for the development of reflex and motor skills. It helps develop coordination between the upper and lower body, facilitating milestones like crawling and walking.

What if my baby doesn’t show neck righting?

If your baby doesn’t show signs of neck righting by 6 months, it may indicate developmental delay. But, each baby develops at their own pace. If you are worried, you should consult your healthcare provider or a child development specialist.

How can we encourage the development of Neck Righting?

You can encourage neck righting by providing regular tummy time when your baby is awake and supervised. This helps to strengthen their neck muscles. Move a toy in front of their face to encourage them to turn their head.

Related Motherhood Terms

  • Moro Reflex
  • Babkin Response
  • Grasp Reflex
  • Stepping Reflex
  • Rooting Reflex

Sources for More Information

Sure, Here are four helpful sources:

  • Verywell Family – An extensive resource on parenting and family health, including topics related to child development.
  • Children’s Health – The website offers health advice specifically related to children’s wellbeing and development.
  • BabyCenter – A comprehensive website on baby care and motherhood.
  • What to Expect – This site devotes a lot of content to every stage of pregnancy and baby development.