Motor development curve from 0 to 12 months in infants born preterm

Acta Paediatr. 2011 Mar;100(3):379-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2010.02002.x. Epub 2010 Sep 29.


Aim: To trace a reference curve for motor development from birth up to 12 months of corrected chronological age in infants born preterm and low birth weight.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional study with a sample of 308 preterm infants (53% boys) weighing < 2500 g at birth. The Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS) was used for motor development assessment.

Results: Comparing the motor performance of preterm infants with infants from a standardized sample on the AIMS, it was found that, except for the age group of the newborn, preterm infants showed lower motor development scores in comparison with the AIMS normative sample in all age groups between 1 and 12 months. The curve of motor development showed a continuous increase in the number of motor skills of preterm infants during their first 12 months of age. However, the average of motor acquisitions of preterm infants showed a nonlinear pattern with a standard indicator of stabilization between 8 and 10 months of age.

Conclusion: Preterm infants, 1-12 months of age, showed motor development AIMS scores lower than the standards established in the normative sample. The findings may contribute as norm-reference for assessing the motor development of preterm infants in follow-up programmes in developing countries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Developmental Disabilities / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight / physiology*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / physiology*
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Motor Skills Disorders / diagnosis
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Reference Values