Infant Reflexes

Topics: Reflexes, Pediatrics, Primitive reflexes Pages: 2 (341 words) Published: May 1, 2010
Infant Reflexes

Rooting Reflex
Rooting reflex is present at birth and assists in breastfeeding. However, this reflex will disappear at around four months. An infant will turn his head toward anything that touches his cheeks or mouth. He will search for the objects by turning his head and opening his mouth to follow the ‘root’. This reflex helps the infant search for the breast or bottle to start feeding.

Moro Reflex
The Moro reflex is present at birth and disappears in about two months of age. It is also referred to as the ‘startle reflex’. It occurs when an infant is startled by a loud sound or movement. The infant throws his head back, extends his arms and legs and cries, then pulls his arms and legs back in as a response to the sound. The purpose of the Moro reflex is to observe if the infant has a brain damage, or possibilities of a broken shoulder bone or injury of a group of nerves from the lower neck and upper shoulder area.

Tonic Neck Reflex
The Tonic Neck reflex is present at one month of age and disappears in four months of age. When the infant’s head is turned to the side, the arm on that side will straighten and the other will bend. If the reflex continues to be triggered past six months of age, the infant might have an ‘upper motor neurons’ disorder. The Tonic Neck reflex helps the infant for voluntary reaching.

Palmar Grasp Reflex
The Palmar Grasp reflex appears at birth and is present until five or six months of age. Stroking the infant’s hand causes him to close his fingers and grasp it.

Babkin Reflex
The Babkin reflex is present at birth and lasts for about two years. It describes different responses when you put pressure to the infant’s palms. Infants may show head flexion, head rotation, or opening of the mouth. The purpose of the Babkin reflex is to observe if the infant has any signs of spastic motor maldevelopment.
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