Perhaps you have already asked yourself why your baby reacts to external stimuli such as for example, reacting the same way over and over again to certain touches. This is due to early childhood reflexes. They occur in certain months of life and then regress again. They are usually involuntary that your baby is born with that are there to help survive its first few months of life. The paediatrician can check whether your child is developing as normal during the preventive examinations. You can find out which early childhood reflexes you can discover in your baby in this blog post.

baby reflexes

Your baby has these reflexes

The movements, which are initially triggered automatically, will later enable your baby to develop and train other skills. This includes being able to keep its balance, see three-dimensionally and deal with unfamiliar situations. Initially, however, it will have the following early childhood reflexes.

Search reflex: When your baby touches their cheek, they will turn their head and open their mouth. It’s also known as "breast search" and is used for food intake.

Suck-swallow reflex: As soon as something touches the roof of your baby’s mouth, they will start to suck. When this causes food to get into the mouth, the swallowing reflex starts automatically. This will remain with them for the rest of their life.

Moro reflex: This is also known as the clasping reflex. This is when your child first stretches when making sudden movements or loud noises and then immediately executes a clasping movement with their arms and legs. Its purpose is to prevent your baby from falling if something changes in their lying position.

Placing reflex: As soon as the sole of your baby's foot touches an edge while standing upright, their leg bends and the foot is lifted over the edge as if they were climbing a step.

Screaming reflex: If the underside of the foot touches a surface in an upright posture, it bends the affected leg and extends the other.

Magnetic reflex: If you put pressure on the sole of your baby’s foot while their knee is bent, they will stretch out their leg as soon as you want to remove your finger. So their foot automatically stays in contact with your finger.

Glabellar reflex: When you touch the centre of their forehead, more precisely the bony bulge above the bridge of the nose, your baby automatically closes their eyes.

Grasping reflex: Here you can differentiate between the hand-grasping reflex and the foot-grasping reflex. When pressure is applied to the palm of the hand or the soles of the feet, your child reacts by grasping your finger or bending their toes.

Suprapubic extensor reflex: When pressure is applied to the pubic bone, your child's legs move and stretch outwards.

Gallant reflex: If your baby lies on their stomach and you stroke them next to their spine, they will curve their torso on the stimulated side, which is why this reflex is also known as the backbone reflex.

Asymmetrical-tonic neck reflex: This is triggered when you turn your baby's head to the side. It will then straighten the limb on one side of the line of sight and bend it on the other.

Symmetrical-tonic neck reflex: Your child will stretch their arms and bend their legs when they are lying on their back and their head is tilted backwards. On the other hand, if baby’s head leans forward in the supine position, it will bend its arms and straighten its legs.

Swimming reflex: If you hold your child horizontally in the water, they will make movements that are very similar to swimming movements.

Landau reflex: As soon as you hold your baby floating in the prone position, they will lift their head and straighten their legs and spine.

Respiratory protection reflex: As soon as water gets into their external airways, the blockage of the airways is activated reflexively. This can also be the case in strong winds.

Babinski reflex: This shows up when you rub the sole of your child's foot. It will then straighten its big toe and pull in the rest of the toes.

Labyrinth reflex: If your child's head and body posture should change by bending forwards or backwards, it will bring its head back into the normal position, so that its crown points upwards and its mouth and eye line are horizontal.

Babkin reflex: If you press both sides of your thumbs into your child's palms, they will automatically open their mouths. Because of this, you shouldn't touch their palms while feeding.

Vestibulo-ocular reflex: If an object moves in the opposite direction to your baby's head movement, it can still fixate it with a compensatory eye movement.

The disappearance of these reflexes is the basic requirement for your little one to learn other movement sequences. Don't be too impatient with your baby here. You will always enjoy exploring the world together.