The Neonatal Reflectors

Many movements are controlled by reflexes in newborn children. The reflectors are available to protect the child. As the child gets older, the reflexes disappear.

In this text you can read about the reflexes that are found in newborn babies.

Clinging reflex

The clinging reflex means that the child makes an embracing motion with his arms in sudden sounds and movements. It disappears when the child is about four months.

Grip Reflectors

The hands and feet have grip reflexes. When you put your finger in the child’s hand and press lightly against the child’s palm, you can get the child to grip with a firm grip.

The reflex in the hand disappears as the child learns to grasp on his own will. It usually is when the child is about four months.

The grip reflex with the toes is similar to the grip reflex of the hand. If you press your finger against the front of the soles of the foot, the baby will snap to the toes.

The reflex in the foot disappears as the child begins to stand on the foot.

Search reflexes, suction reflexes and swallowing reflexes

If you caress the child’s cheek turn their face towards that side. It is the so-called search reflex. It helps the baby find the nipple or bottle. The search reflex disappears when the child is about five months.

The sucking reflex already has the baby when it is in the stomach. At ultrasound it is not uncommon for you to see your baby suck on the thumb. When you insert a nipple, baby bottle or finger into a newborn child’s mouth, it starts to make movements with tongue and mouth. The suction reflex is stimulated by touch at the front of the palate.

Children also have a swallowing reflex. When the child is swallowed, the respiratory tract is closed.

Walking reflex

If you hold a newborn baby so that the soles of the feet touch the ground, the baby will immediately start taking steps.

It’s the walking reflex.

The walking movement is almost completely developed at birth, the difference is that the infant is walking more on the toe than an older child does.

This means that the child later in life, at about ten to twelve months of age, does not really learn to walk, but only begins to hone his innate talent.

Babinski Reflex

The Babinski ​​reflex means that the child will spread with his toes if you pull your finger from the child’s heels up towards the toes. The reflex disappears as the child begins to stand on the foot.

Babkin Reflex

If you press a finger lightly against the baby’s palm, the baby will open his mouth. You can stimulate sucking during breastfeeding by massaging the baby’s palm. This reflex is called the Babkin reflex.


The dive reflex allows the child to hold their breath if it falls underwater. It prevents fluid from penetrating into the child’s airways. It also causes the heart to start beating a little slower and redistributing blood to save energy and oxygen.

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