The brain of preterm infants is the most vulnerable organ and can be severely injured by cerebral ischemia. We are working on a near-infrared imager to early detect cerebral ischemia. During imaging of the brain, movements of the newborn infants are inevitable and the near-infrared sensor has to be able to function on irregular geometries. Our aim is to determine the robustness of the near-infrared image reconstruction to small variations of the source and detector locations. In analytical and numerical simulations, the error estimations for a homogeneous medium agree well. The worst case estimates of errors in reduced scattering and absorption coefficient for distances of r=40 mm are acceptable for a single source-detector pair. The optical properties of an inhomogeneity representing an ischemia are reconstructed correctly within a homogeneous medium, if the error in placement is random.