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Baby Moves: 7 Normal Newborn Reflexes

Feb 21 2013 - 6:43am

Each child is different in his or her own little way, but there are a few reflexes that every infant has. All the reflexes are usually tested during a baby's first visit to the pediatrician, but many don't require a doctor to point out and can be seen from the very first time you meet your bundle of joy. Here are seven newborn reflexes found naturally in all children.

Step Reflex

Proud parents may be excited because their newborn is already showing signs of wanting to walk, but that's just a natural occurrence. Babies are born with a Step reflex [1], which means when a baby is held upright with his/her feet touching a solid surface he or she may appear to take steps.

Root Reflex

Babies are born searching for the nipple to feed from. When anything touches the corner of its mouth, baby will turn his head, mouth open, and "root" in the direction of the stroking.

Tonic Neck Reflex

Brand new babies are natural born fencers due in part to the Tonic Neck reflex [2]. This occurs when a babe's head is turned to one side and his arm on that side straightens, while the opposite arm bends up – kind of like he's holding a sword.

Suck Reflex

Sucking is second nature to little ones. Notice how she'll suck on anything? That's because when the roof of a baby's mouth is touched, a baby automatically sucks. The Suck reflex [3] is in part why most babies take to bottle feeding and nursing instantly.

Grasp Reflex

Baby eager to hold mama's hand? Simple stroking a baby's palm causes him to grasp his fingers around yours [4].

Babinski Reflex

Those who love playing with newborn toes may notice the Babinski reflex [5] more than others. This is when his or her sole is stroked, the big toe will bend towards the top of the foot while the other toes fan out.

Moro Reflex

Bundled babies often sleep sounder than those left in the open air because it helps calm the Moro reflex [6]. This reflex is also known as the startle reflex, and it gives infants the sense of falling from movement or by hearing a loud noise.


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