Newborn reflexes are involuntary movements that babies make when a
part of their body is stimulated. The main newborn reflexes include:
Sucking reflex. A newborn sucks when a nipple or
finger is placed in his or her mouth.
Rooting reflex. When the side
of a baby's cheek is touched, the head turns and his or her mouth "reaches"
Traction response. When a newborn is pulled by the arms
from a lying to a sitting position, the head lags at first. The baby then
flexes, lifting the head to the midline of the rest of the body before it falls
Palmar grasp. A newborn grasps a finger that is placed on
his or her palm.
Placing. A newborn flexes the knee and brings the
foot up when the sole of his or her foot is rubbed.
reflex. A startled newborn throws out his or her arms and spreads the
Galant response. A newborn stroked on one side of the
spinal column from the neck down to the bottom will flip his or her bottom to
the same side (when held on the belly so the back is facing
Tonic neck reflex. When you turn a newborn's head to one side,
the corresponding arm and leg extend. The opposite arm and leg flex. This is
sometimes called the "fencing position."
Newborn reflexes fade between 2 months and 1 year of age as the brain
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