Landau Reflex – As a baby was born, he was gifted with many primitive newborn reflexes that will develop during years of his body’s growth.
They occur in any part of the infant’s body since it is still a fetus that lives in the womb until it grows and becomes toddler.
When the baby was born, the very first reflexes he has actually are natural movements for survival reason.
These natural movements are instinctive deed of the body with its function keeps develop during life while decrease as a human goes old.
These primitive newborn reflexes are unique survival movements that ever happen in the neonatal period.
They are the next step of Central Nervous System (CNS) development after birth.
There are many important primitive newborn reflexes. There are Moro, Grasp, Rooting, Landau and much more.
You can see the development stages of Landau Reflex such as follows:
In the beginning of 4 weeks or a month after birth, the infant normally is able to raise his head when he is lying on the stomach.
The infant keeps develop his Central Nervous System (CNS) during his growth.
Then, when he is lying on the stomach and the head is raised, the infant can start to lift his torso. This happens when he is two months old.
Next, when he is already 4 months old, he is able to raise his limbs while lifting his torso and head.
These stages are all integrating development for Landau Reflex. It will keep develop during the baby’s growth.
Commonly, Landau Reflex will fully integrate with all Central Nervous System (CNS) when a toddler, or a child, is around the age of three years old.
Characteristic of the Landau Reflex
These are some characteristics that you can notice:
Landau Reflex shows integration of visual reflexes, tonic-labyrinth, and neck tonic
- It will decrease or lesser perceivable as the baby grows and develop conscious and voluntary movements. Therefore, many researchers consider this primitive reflex will only last until the first year of life
- Despite you can do simple examination of your baby’s primitive reflex, but many professionals suggest that the examination is done by a specialist, at least for the very first time. There are about two main reasons about this suggestion. First, the specialist will be more able to examine the infant’s responses in a better way. Second, for those who never have any experience in holding baby on their arm, they may face some difficulties to control the movement of the infant. By following this suggestion, it will avoid the risk of baby being fall or experience any suffer by inopportune or inappropriate movement.
- You can start to check and evaluate your infant’s Landau Reflex, during the fourth month of life. Then to make sure about whether your baby has an issue with it or not, you better continues to evaluate it until the baby is around the age of one until two. Or, you better evaluate your baby’s primitive reflex until it disappears as it will integrate with other part of the body.
How to Evaluate Landau Reflex
The existence of Landau Reflex is very important for the baby’s growth. It has a role to develop the integration of gross motor of the body.
Else, this ability plays role to develop integration in the back and front. It also has a role to develop integration between the bottom and top of the body system.
It will induce movement of the muscle in the higher-level and develop mature reflexes.
Thus, to know that your baby has normal Landau Reflex in the proper age, you have to evaluate it by do these simple things.
First, you have to hold the baby horizontally up in the air on your arm. Positioned baby’s tummy and head in a position of ventral (face down).
Make the baby’s position on a right angle with your forearm. You will see the baby’s legs will automatically arch up when the baby’s head is lifting, while the legs will drop down when the head is lowered.
This sign is normal for baby at the age of 3 months until up to about 1 year. Sometimes, bending the elbows and knees will also accompany this movement when the baby’s head is lifting.
This happens instinctively as a struggle form to counteract the gravity’s effect. This position also has a function for the baby to discover visual reference point.
Symptoms of a Nonintegrated Landau Reflex
It will keep develop during life and will disappear or coordinate fully at the proper time. Many toddlers will lose their Landau Reflex at the age of two or three.
Integrated Landau Reflex is very important. If nonintegrated occurs in your baby’s body, it will cause some major issues in the child’s body. This condition is like a flight delay.
It is able to cause learning issues and attention problems in the class. Therefore, children with these issues have difficulties in understanding material learning in a class while they cannot give full attention to their teacher.
Nonintegrated Landau Reflex also can induce sensorimotor problems. Children with this issue will face disorganization of their body parts.
Actually, Landau Reflex is not the only primitive survival movement that has a probability to stay or doesn’t integrate when it comes to proper time.
Children at the age of five or six who have issue with bedwetting, may have a nonintegrated Spinal Galant Reflex.
This symptom is an example at how a retained primitive newborn reflex will cause delay in body coordination development or even learning issues.
A retained Landau Reflex will bring problem such as lack of concentration and focus in the classroom. Not only that, it may also contribute to some disorganization and coordination issue.
These common signs are the easiest symptoms you can see when your child has a nonintegrated Landau Reflex:
- Weak organization skills
- Difficult to stay focus and give full attention
- Lack of concentration
- Knees extend backward slightly
- Problems to coordinate upper and lower body muscles
- Retained Spinal Galant
- Tenseness in the back of the leg.
- Low muscle tone, particularly in the back and the neck
- Some people have problems with vision. Especially close and three-dimensional visions
- Hard to keep head upright, lack of ability to sit upright and support body posture to stay straight
The Connection between Lack of Concentration and Nonintegrated Landau Reflex
When Landau reflex keeps retain in the baby’s body within common time frame, this will induce poor development of muscle tone along the back of the body.
The condition causes prefrontal cortex in the brain doesn’t get adequate stimulation.
Prefrontal cortex has responsibility in social decision-making, organization and concentration.
The retained Landau Reflex often closely related to the Spinal Galant Reflex since both can lead to similar problems within the child.
Despite the similarity of the symptoms, these two have to be handled separately.
You should consider this possibility if your child struggles with concentration in the classroom.
If he difficult to retain details and lesson he is taught, or he commonly forgets about the numbers and letter, this may be the results of nonintegrated Landau Reflex and Spinal Galant Reflex.
Not only facing difficulties in concentration or focus to the lesson being taught, it may lead to lack of balancing.
Children with this condition may have tension in the calf or back of his legs. This could lead extension of the knees to the backward and trigger the child walking on his toe even after he is already in the age of five.
Moreover, retained Landau Reflex will also lead to a problem with the body between lower and upper parts which these parts cannot integrate normally.
This will cause the child struggle with balancing so he has trouble with running, sports, and other basic activities.
Actually, this retained reflex could be integrated and develop with some exercises.
This exercise objectives are to improve weak areas of the body so it will improve the body performance.
Absence of a Primitive Reflex
While we have a retained Landau Reflex that doesn’t disappear when the child has already at certain age, we also have absence of a primitive reflex.
The absence of it will cause motor weakness on some part of the body.
To gain motor strength, it will be necessary for the parents to bring their infant to a pediatrician or professional.
Pediatrician will examine the existence of the primitive reflex on the baby and then will suggest some exercise needed to get the infant’s motor development.
When examination and evaluation result from the pediatrician or professional shows that the primitive reflex doesn’t appear, it may indicate that the baby experience some kind of deficiency.
The pediatrician and professional will also conduct examination to check whether it is weak or normal.
Despite the primitive reflex appears in infant’s body, but the anomaly still has possibility to happen such as symptom of muscle weakness.
You need to know that pediatrician doesn’t only evaluate quantitative condition of your baby.
He will also check the qualitative condition such as how the survival movements are functioned in the infant’s body.
There are also some syndrome that correlated with deficiency of the body movement.
Clavicular lesson will cause asymmetrical symptom for the movement, while other various possibilities are still have a chance to occur.
When the condition is extreme, the baby may experience withdrawal syndrome.
If this condition happen, the baby will need some treatment such as motor exercise from the professional to gain his motor ability.
Other Newborn Reflexes
There are numerous of primitive newborn reflexes that will present at birth. The condition of the primitive newborn reflexes in the baby assess the functional integrity of the basal ganglia and brainstem.
Out of the landau reflex, there are approximately 8 more primitive newborn reflexes that will disappear when the baby grow.
1. Moro Reflex
It is signed by sudden head extension which induces flexion of the limbs such as legs and arm following the extension. Moro reflex will appear at the baby’s first day of life.
It will disappear at four to six months of age which indicating the maturation of descending inhibitory cerebral influences normally.
2. Grasp Reflex
It appears at the baby’s first day of life, accompanying the appearance of Moro Reflex.
Grasp reflex is reflex from the infant’s finger by flexing the finger when you place a finger or something in baby’s palm.
The flexing of the infant’s finger will then followed by flexion at the shoulder and infant’s elbow.
Grasp Reflex will disappear at four to six months of age which indicating the maturation of descending inhibitory cerebral influences normally.
3. Rooting Reflex
This appears since a baby was born. You can examine the Rooting Reflex by tactile a stimulus near infant’s mouth induces in the infant’s mouth try to catch or pursue the stimulus.
It will disappear at four to six months of age. Its origin in Central Nervous System (CNS) is in brainstem trigeminal system.
4. Galant Reflex
It appears since a baby was born, therefore you can notice the existence directly. Galant reflex will disappear at four to six months of age.
Its origin in Central Nervous System (CNS) is in spinal cord. Galant reflex is showed by stroking the baby’s skin throughout the edge of the backbone.
This causes curvature of the backbone with the apex opposite to stroke’s direction.
5. Placing Reflex
This appears at the baby’s first day of life, therefore you can examine it directly as the baby was born.
Placing reflex will disappear at four to six months of age. You can notice it by contacting the edge of the examining surface onto the foot dorsal where the baby will place the foot on examining surface. Its origin in Central Nervous System (CNS) is in cerebral cortex.
There are also Crossed Extension, Tonic Neck and Parachute Reflex where also appear at the baby’s first day of life.
Crossed Extension and Tonic Neck will disappear at four to six months of life while Parachute Reflex will never disappear.