Natural Born Reflexes That All New Moms Should Know

Some people think that babies are born as a clean slate, and everything that they know is somehow learned from their environment. While this might hold some truth, there are some natural born reflexes that all babies are typically born with. I’m so excited to tell you about them, and I hope you recognized or will recognize these reflexes in your newborn.

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Root Reflex

The rooting reflex is ignited when you touch the babies’ cheek. Whichever side, right or left, that is slightly stroked the baby will turn their head in that direction. This reflex is really useful when it comes to feeding.

Sucking Reflex

You probably already know about this one. The sucking reflex is vital to a child’s survival. In order to eat, they must be able to suck at the breast or bottle nipple. This reflex doesn’t begin to form until around week 32 of pregnancy. If a baby is born before that, their sucking reflex may be weaker. To see this reflex, simply touch the roof of the babies’ mouth with the nipple of a bottle or your breast, and they will begin to suck/feed.

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Step Reflex

This one is really neat and surprising to many people.  I actually saw a viral video of a newborn “walking”, and people were stunned! Little did they know, it’s a reflex. When your infants’ feet are touching a solid surface while being held upright, they will begin to move or step their feet in a way that mimics walking. This reflex usually disappears around 2 months.

Moro Reflex

This reflex occurs when your baby is startled and does result in crying. Because of these two factors, I’d encourage you to not purposely ignite this reflex. If your baby does become startled here is what you can expect to see. Your baby’s head will immediately go back, and they will throw out their arms and legs, begin to cry and quickly pull them back in.

Grasp Reflex

If you’re anything like me, you really enjoy when babies hold on to your finger. I think it is the cutest thing in the world, and it happens to be reflex. Rubbing the inside of a baby’s hand will result in them wrapping their fingers around yours.

Tonic Neck Reflex

You’ll notice this reflex pictured in the photo above. When a baby’s head is turned toward one direction, the arm will extend out, and the opposite arm will curl in. If the babies head turns in the other direction the arms will switch, so whichever side the baby is looking the corresponding arm will extend outward.

Have you seen these reflexes in your newborn?

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