Reflexes are involuntary movements aka unintentional. Infant reflexes are usually spontaneous movements and occur in everyday baby activities. In addition, there is also a reflex that is a response from the stimulus provided.
Good naive reflexes indicate normal neural and brain activity of the baby. Some reflexes are found only within a certain time in infant development. The reflex can eventually disappear by itself when the baby reaches a certain age.
What are the reflexes of a newborn baby?
Reflexes that occur in newborns are called primitive reflexes. What are the reflexes that occur in newborns? Let’s discuss them one by one.
1. Rooting reflex
This reflex occurs when you touch the edge of your baby’s mouth. The baby will follow the direction of the touch while opening his mouth. This helps the baby when he/she wants to breastfeed. This reflex arises from birth and lasts until the age of 3-4 months.
2. Sucking reflex (sucking reflex)
When the top or the baby’s palate is touched, the baby will start sucking. Sucking reflexes begin to appear at 32 weeks of pregnancy and become perfect at 36 weeks of pregnancy. Therefore, premature babies usually can not suck properly.
3. Moro reflex
Moro reflexes usually appear when the baby is shocked. When your baby is surprised for example because of a noisy noise or sudden movement, the baby will release this reflex. The baby will make a movement by lengthening his arms and bending his legs. This reflex arises from birth and lasts until the age of 4 months.
4. Asymmetric tonic neck reflex
When the baby’s head looks to one side, it will lengthen the arms on the same side. Instead, the arms on the opposite side will be bent. This reflex appears at birth and lasts until the age of 2 months.
5. Grip reflex (palmar grasp reflex)
The gripping reflex in the baby appears when you touch the palm of his hand. The baby will close his fingers like a gripping motion. This reflex arises from birth and lasts until the age of 3-4 months.
6. Babinski reflex
Babinski reflex appears when you scratch your baby’s feet. The baby’s thumb will point upwards and the other toes will open. This reflex persists until the age of 2 years.
7. Stepping reflex
This reflex is also known as walking/dance reflex because the baby looks like stepping or dancing as it is positioned in an upright position with the feet touching the ground. These reflexes appear from birth and are seen most clearly after the age of 4 days.
What happens if the baby can not perform the reflex?
If the baby reflex does not occur, it can be caused by trauma during childbirth, medication, or a disease. If you do not see any of these reflexes in your baby, take your baby to a pediatrician for a further examination.