Movements and reflexesMMovements and reflexesMovements and reflexesEnglishNeonatologyNewborn (0-28 days)BodyNANAAdult (19+)NA2009-10-18T04:00:00ZAndrew James, MBChB, MBI, FRACP, FRCPC9.0000000000000064.0000000000000655.000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Read about your newborn baby's first movements and reflexes after birth. The grasping reflex, crawling reflex, and startle reflex are discussed.</p><p>We tend to think of newborn babies as helpless. However, newborn babies are able to search for their mother’s breast and suckle when they do find it. Most newborn babies can breathe without assistance and cry surprisingly loudly.</p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul><li>A newborn baby’s first movements may appear jerky and random. However, usually the newborn baby moves in a pattern or rhythm, sometimes in rhythm to their mother's voice.</li> <li>Newborn babies have a wide repertoire of reflex and voluntary movements at birth including rooting, crawling, grasping, startle, placing and stepping reflexes.</li><ul></ul></ul>
Mouvements et réflexesMMouvements et réflexesMovements and reflexesFrenchNeonatologyNewborn (0-28 days)BodyNANAAdult (19+)NA2009-10-18T04:00:00ZAndrew James, MBChB, MBI, FRACP, FRCPC9.0000000000000064.0000000000000655.000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Apprenez-en davantage sur les premiers mouvements et réflexes de votre nouveau-né après la naissance. Les réflexes d'agrippement, le réflexe de ramper et le réflexe de sursaut y sont abordés.</p><p>Nous avons tendance à croire que les nouveau-nés sont sans défense. Cependant, les nouveau-nés sont capables de rechercher le sein de leur mère et de téter lorsqu’ils l’ont trouvé. La plupart des nouveau-nés peuvent respirer sans aide et pleurent étonnamment fort.</p><h2>À retenir</h2> <ul><li>Les premiers mouvements d’un nouveau-né peuvent sembler saccadés et aléatoires. Cependant, un nouveau-né se déplace habituellement selon un patron ou un rythme, parfois au rythme de la voix de sa mère.</li> <li>Les nouveau-nés ont un large répertoire de réflexes et de mouvements volontaires à la naissance, dont des réflexes d’enracinement, de rampement, d’empoignement, de sursaut et de marche.</li><ul>

 

 

Movements and reflexes423.000000000000Movements and reflexesMovements and reflexesMEnglishNeonatologyNewborn (0-28 days)BodyNANAAdult (19+)NA2009-10-18T04:00:00ZAndrew James, MBChB, MBI, FRACP, FRCPC9.0000000000000064.0000000000000655.000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Read about your newborn baby's first movements and reflexes after birth. The grasping reflex, crawling reflex, and startle reflex are discussed.</p><p>We tend to think of newborn babies as helpless. However, newborn babies are able to search for their mother’s breast and suckle when they do find it. Most newborn babies can breathe without assistance and cry surprisingly loudly.</p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul><li>A newborn baby’s first movements may appear jerky and random. However, usually the newborn baby moves in a pattern or rhythm, sometimes in rhythm to their mother's voice.</li> <li>Newborn babies have a wide repertoire of reflex and voluntary movements at birth including rooting, crawling, grasping, startle, placing and stepping reflexes.</li><ul></ul></ul><figure> <img alt="dark haired mom and baby" src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/dark-haired-mom-and-baby_EN.jpg" /> </figure> <h2>First movements</h2><p>In the few minutes after birth, if a newborn baby is placed in skin-to-skin contact with their mother’s chest, and their arms and legs are free to move, they will maneuver towards their mother’s nipple. To get to their mother’s breast, the newborn baby will move their legs in a stepping motion, or do small push-ups with their arms to push themselves along. They may take a few rest stops along the way. When they have navigated themselves to their mother’s breast, they may decide to suck right away or, more likely, they may be interested in gazing at their mother’s eyes. This is a very moving time for most parents, if they are presented with this opportunity. However, some hospitals still prefer to wrap newborn babies tightly in swaddling cloth, which can help babies to feel safe and secure, but obviously restricts their movements. If you feel strongly about having the opportunity to experience skin-to-skin contact right after birth, be sure to discuss this with your health-care providers beforehand.</p><p>A newborn baby’s first movements may appear jerky and random. However, usually the newborn baby moves in a pattern or rhythm. For example, if the newborn baby is active and alert, they will tend to start moving their arms and legs, then slow down and stop, and repeat the process after a minute or two. Some newborn babies move more or less frequently than others. They may move in rhythm with their mother’s voice. They are able to reach for their mother’s face, although this ability disappears around three to four weeks of life, and does not resurface until a few months later. By the end of the first month of life, most babies are able to lift their head briefly while lying on their stomach.</p><h2>Reflexes</h2><p>Newborn babies have a wide repertoire of reflex and voluntary movements at birth. These reflexes may begin before birth, sometimes as early as 20 weeks gestation. Most newborn reflexes disappear during the first few months.</p><h3>The rooting reflex</h3><p>Stroke your baby’s mouth or cheek, and you will notice them turning in that direction and opening their mouth in search of a nipple. This reflex lasts into the fourth month.</p><h3>The crawling reflex</h3><p>If your baby is placed on their stomach, they will pull their legs under their body and kick them out in a crawling motion. In fact, when newborn babies are placed on their mother’s stomachs, they are able to crawl up to their mother’s breast and start suckling. The crawling reflex disappears after just a few weeks.</p> <figure> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/baby-holding-finger_EN.jpg" alt="" /> </figure> <h3>The grasping reflex</h3><p>At birth, a newborn baby has such a strong grip that it is possible to lift them up entirely by their grasp. Most new parents are amazed at how strong their newborn baby’s grip really is. The grasping reflex is strongest at about two months, and gradually decreases from there. By five to six months, this reflex disappears entirely.</p><h3>The startle reflex</h3><p>Loud noises or sudden movements may cause your newborn baby to arch their back, throw out their arms and legs, and cry. This is called the startle, or Moro, reflex, and it will last about four months.</p><h3>The placing reflex</h3><p>Hold your newborn baby in an upright position in front of a table or other object. They will raise their foot to try to step onto the object, or they will raise their arm automatically.</p> <figure> <img alt="Newborn step reflex" src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/newborn_stepreflex_BRAND-PH_EN.jpg" /> </figure> <h3>The stepping reflex</h3><p>Hold your newborn baby in a standing position on a flat surface, and watch as they try to take little steps. This is a very cute reflex, but unfortunately it is short-lived. The stepping reflex usually subsides by about two months.</p>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/dark-haired-mom-and-baby_EN.jpgMovements and reflexes

Thank you to our sponsors

AboutKidsHealth is proud to partner with the following sponsors as they support our mission to improve the health and wellbeing of children in Canada and around the world by making accessible health care information available via the internet.