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Rolling over in infants: age, ethnicity, and cultural differences

  • EAS Nelson (a1), LM Yu (a2), D Wong (a1), HYE Wong (a1) and L Yim (a1)...


A preliminary cross-sectional study of 72 Hong Kong Chinese infants suggested that these infants learn to roll from supine-to-prone before rolling from prone-to-supine i.e. the opposite to teaching in most western texts. Three-hundred and sixty mothers were recruited postpartum and asked to record, on a chart, information related to the developmental milestone of rolling over for their infants (49% male) during the next 9 months. Telephone reminders were given at 4 and 8 months and, by the end of the study, information had been obtained from 240 mothers (67% of original sample, 51% male infants). Mean ages of rolling over were 5.1 months (SD1.5) for supine-to-prone and 5.7 months (SD1.3) for prone-to-supine. Age of rolling over from supine-to-prone was not influenced by usual sleep position, infant's sex, mother's intention to breastfeed infant, number of siblings, marital status, main daytime caregiver, or feeding method over 9 months. Hong Kong Chinese infants roll from supine-to-prone before they roll from prone-to-supine.


Corresponding author

Department of Paediatrics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 6/F Clinical Science Building, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, People's Republic of China. E-mail:


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