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Is My Infant Wired For Struggle?

Early signs and symptoms of Central Nervous System Immaturity


What is the Central Nervous System?

The central nervous system (CNS) is the neurological system in our bodies that is responsible for basic life functions of motor control, thoughts, emotions, hormone release, breathing, heart rate, body temperature etc. It is the foundation for all learning / development. Its maturity is the single most important factor in the ability for us as humans to learn. If there is any hiccup in the wiring of the nervous system; motor delays, behavior difficulties, and cognitive delays are common.

What Causes CNS Immaturity?

• Traumatic / Prolonged Birthing Process

• Premature Birth

• C-Sections

• Illnesses (RSV, Croup, Frequent Ear infections, Severe Constipation)

• Surgeries

• Skipped Motor Milestones

• Containment at inappropriate times and for inappropriate durations (Car seats, Jumpers, Exersaucers, Bumbo Seats, Infant Walkers/Activity Centers)

• In utero exposure to drugs / alcohol

• Maternal illness / stress during pregnancy

What are the signs and symptoms of CNS Immaturity?

• Difficulty latching for breastfeeding

• Holding head up before a month old

• Resistant to being held

• Need for constant movement or contact to soothe (swing, bouncing, car ride, breastfeeding)

• Skipped motor milestones ie: sitting before rolling, four point crawling before tummy crawling

• Asymmetrical crawling (using just arms on tummy or using just one foot, scooting, bear walk without use of 4-point crawl)

• Walking between 8-10 months

• Difficulty transitioning to bottle/sippy cup or solid foods

• Long bouts of screaming / crying

• Poor sleep routines (poor sleep through the night, skipping nap times)

• Reactions to vaccinations

• Resistant to bathing

• Difficulty with diaper changes

• Resistant towards tummy time


My child is demonstrating some of these symptoms, what can I do?

If your child is demonstrating any of the signs / symptoms above OR if you feel your child’s development may be off track, please contact Whitney Tostenson, MOT, OTR/L to discuss a FREE consult for neurodevelopmental services.