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What Are Newborn Reflexes?

May 14, 2018

In:General Articles


The term ‘newborn reflexes’, refer to your baby’s innate responses when certain parts of her body are stimulated. Though they may seem to occur for no reason at all, newborn reflexes are actually indicators that your baby’s brain and nervous system are working well. Some of the most common newborn reflexes include:

Rooting reflex

If you stroke the corner of your baby’s mouth, she will turn her head, open her mouth and ‘reach’ in the direction of your stroke. This is an instinctive response that helps her to find the breast or bottle to begin feeding.

Moro reflex

Also known as the startle reflex, your baby would throw out her arms and legs when she is startled by loud noises, or feels like she’s falling.

Palmar grasp

Probably one of the most depicted reflexes, this is when your baby grasps your finger when you touch or stroke her palm.

Stepping reflex

This is also called the walking or dance reflex. If you try holding your baby upright whilst supporting her under the arms, baby will instinctively place one foot in front of the other when she feels the floor beneath her.

Tonic neck, or fencing reflex

When you turn your baby’s head to the right as she’s lying down, her right arm will extend whilst the other will be raised above her head. The opposite happens when you turn her head to the left.

In general, newborn reflexes will disappear by the time she reaches her first birthday.