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Baby Grip 1
Mother Wearing Baby
Baby Grip 2
Baby Swims Underwater
| Reflexes & Babies
A reflex is an involuntary and almost immediate movement in response to a stimulus. This innate reflex is automatic and does not require conscious thought.
In the context of babies, the purpose of this instinctual reflex is often both survival and bonding/attachment.
This is a basic collection [to be expanded] of such reflexes.
Its purpose is to show how instinctual we are and to reinforce how we must surely honour these intelligent and compassionate survival skills.
We can do this by keeping them alive, such as with natural home birth, breastfeeding and attachment parenting.
Breast Crawl, Rooting Reflex and Sucking Reflex
Most babies will instinctively breastfeed within 30-60 minutes of birth.
Breast Crawl: A newborn lain on the mother's chest will crawl to the breast.
Rooting Reflex: A newborn will instinctively turn its head towards anything that strokes its cheek or mouth, searching for the object by moving its head in steadily decreasing arcs until the object is found.
Sucking Reflex: This causes the baby to instinctively suckle anything that touches the roof of their mouth.
Excerpt from video showing breast crawl after birth.
Baby also shows instinctive use of smell, nipple stimulation and suckling.
Moro Reflex and Palmar Grasp Reflex
Both these help the infant cling to the mother while being carried around or 'worn'.
Moro Reflex: This is also called the Startle Reflex or possibly best called the Embrace Reflex. It is present at birth, peaks around one month, disappearing around two months. A sudden movement will cause the baby to extend head and legs and jerk the arms up and out, and then the arms come together, the hands clench and the baby cries loudly.
Palmar Grasp Reflex: This is a Grip Reflex that exists from before-birth to five-or-six months of age. An object that is placed within their hand and strokes their palm will be strongly grasped. However, baby may release the grip suddenly and without warning.
Mammalian Diving Reflex
Most human babies instinctively hold their breath when immersed in water.
This innate swimming or diving reflex lasts until about six months of age.
Sources and Resources
Natural Family Living