Babies are pretty amazing little creatures. They are born with reflexes that help them cope with the world into which they are so rudely thrust. They are all primal reflexes to help a baby survive, and they disappear as the newborn emerges from ‘babyhood’.
Here are five reflexes a baby has at birth:
1. The Rooting Reflex: if you brush your newborn’s cheek with a nipple or bottle teat, or even your finger, her head with automatically turn to face the stimulus and she will try to latch on to it.
2. The Gag Reflex: if a newborn swallows too much milk, she’ll close off her throat and her tongue to push out the extra milk.
3. The Sucking Reflex: a newborn’s sucking reflex is crazy strong! –it’s almost a chomping sort of motion, as it simulates eating. If you put a nipple, bottle teat or dummy in her mouth, the suck will be stimulated.
4. The Palmar Grasp Reflex: a newborn isn’t able to clasp and unclasp their hands at will but if you put an object in her palm, she’ll grasp it as an automated reaction.
5. The ‘Startle’ or Moro Reflex: if something startles your newborn, she’ll fling her arms out (usually up) with palms out and thumbs flexed, and she’ll extend her legs. And almost as if in delayed reaction, the newborn will cry loudly.
A baby’s ability to adapt to its environment is awesome! Newborns are such clever little dears and it’s beautiful to watch them grow and develop into little personalities. Treasure each and every moment!