The Moro Reflex

The Moro Reflex

Otherwise called the startle reflex, the Moro reflex is one of the reflexes that you will observe in your newborn. This reflex is present at birth, peaks around one month, and disappears around three to four months. When your little one is startled by a loud noise, movement, or other stimulus they will react with a sudden movement or startled response: head throws back, back arches, arms and legs are extended, and hands are flexed. Then they pull their arms and legs back in towards their body mimicking a fetal-like position. The Moro reflex can be distressing to your baby and disruptive when it occurs during sleep. Swaddling your baby during sleep is often beneficial for this reason.

The Rooting and Sucking Reflex

When you stroke the corner of your newborn’s cheek, your baby will turn their head in that direction and open their mouth. This rooting reflex is designed to help a breast or bottle nipple. Once the roof of baby’s mouth is stimulated, they will start to suck. This reflex is present from birth until about four months of age.

The Gripping Reflex

Babies have gripping reflexes in both their hands and feet. When you place your finger in their palm, they will curl their fingers around it. Similarly, if you push on the ball of baby’s foot, their toes will curl. The gripping reflex in the hands is present until four to five months, whereas the gripping of the toes will can last until a baby is a year.

The Walking Reflex

Maybe we were all born to run? Until around two months, when you hold your baby upright with their feet on a flat surface, their legs will instinctively move in a walking motion. This reflex is present until around two months.

The Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex

The Asymmetrical Tonic Neck reflex is also known as the ‘fencing reflex’. Turn your baby’s head to one side and you will notice that the arm and leg of that same side extend, while the opposite side arm and leg flex. Hence your baby is in a position that resembles a fencing posture.

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