Babies As Young as 3-5 Months Taught To Stand Interview with:
Professor Hermundur Sigmundsson

Department of Psychology
Norwegian University of Science and Technology What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There are around 23 baby-swimming instructors in Iceland who are offering baby swimming-courses. However, Snorris way to do this is unice after my knowledge.

He has been doing baby swimming from 1990 – and has had around 7.000.- babies

He heard about this from Norway and discovered that very young babies can stand in this way. He discovered this through practical experience.

It works like this:  When holding children in the water – He put his hand under the feet of the children – and lift little bit under i.e gives some pressure (tactile stimuli) the children are gradually able to stand in the feet – so stimuli and experience is important. When they are able to stand once they are able to stand again.

How long time it takes for each baby to be able to stand varies a lot – as in our study – the youngest was 3.6 months old. One of the participants was standing in 15 sec in the hands of Snorri in the first week of baby swimming course.

I did see babies stand first soon after Snorri started baby swimming instruction around 1990-1991.

I was very surprised – and was thinking how is it possible? This is not supported by the literature. My colleagues an I thought about this as a window to study development of balance and coordination in infants. The issue about reflexes versus voluntary movement through experience was central. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: From a scientific point of view, this activity and context gives us a unique possibility to study development and learning processes in general. Hopefully this could give us more knowledge that could be used to develop early interventions in children with developmental Disorders and special needs. Also the area of attention/concentration is of great interest in relation to this topic.

From the children and parents point of view, Snorris program gives the infants stimuli and experience in different domains in close relation to their parents including motor development, attention and social interaction. The water in the pool is about 36 degrees warm so the environment is nice.​ With this activity, Snorri is creating a good time for the children and their parents. He listen to the children and never push them into something they don’t want to do.  The children are happy, proud and joyful, in other words, they are having a good time. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: It is clear that the baby swimming routine give babies lot of stimuli, contact with their parents, other children and Snorri.This might be very interesting regarding development of executive functions and attention. Still there is a lot we do not know and understand about human development. In the future we would like to do more studies in this area. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Take a look on the videos on:

and see the dynamical interraction between Snorri and the babies. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Hermundur Sigmundsson, Håvard W Lorås, Monika Haga. Exploring Task-Specific Independent Standing in 3- to 5-Month-Old Infants. Frontiers in Psychology, 2017; 8 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00657

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

More Medical Research Interviews on

[wysija_form id=”5″]




Last Updated on May 27, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD