Your new bundle of joy has been born with so many primitive instincts. Here are a few baby reflexes you probably didn’t hear about.
We all have instincts: a behavior that just happens automatically in response to something. Like our gag reflex for instance, or yawning. But there are certain instincts that are specific to babies.
In fact, all our baby is doing in the first few weeks is reflexing; reacting to things around him automatically.
There are a lot of neonatal reflexes we know a lot about like rooting and grasping our finger, but here are a few baby reflexes you may not have heard of yet.
3 Baby Reflexes You Probably Haven’t Heard Of
+Tongue-Thrust Reflex. If a baby’s lips are touched it will automatically stick his tongue out. This is to help aid them in feeding to try and reach for a nipple.
This reflex usually goes away before solid food is introduced but sometimes it doesn’t. Parents that introduce solid food like cereal early will often confuse this with a dislike of food and that they are spitting it out.
+Moro Reflex. It took me a long time to hear about this one and I’m still surprised at how many people don’t know about this. Also known as the startle reflex, this is when a baby (until about 2-4 months old) feels a loss of support, it feels like it’s falling and will suddenly throw its arms out and usually cry.
This is the reason your baby freaks out when you’ve carefully rocked him to sleep and then lay him down. His instincts tell him he’s falling.
One mom created a new wearable blanket to combat this reflex called the Zippadee Zip. It helps soothe the startle reflex but doesn’t lock them in like a swaddle does.
+Crying Reflex. This is the one you most likely didn’t realize. Obviously, you know babies cry. If there’s one thing about a new baby you did know, it was certainly that. But did you realize it is a reflex?
Crying is a reflex to anything uncomfortable: hunger, pain, cold, hot, uncomfortableness, gas. In the same way that when a bright light shines in your eyes you shut them, when a baby is really cold it cries. It is automatically responding.
The good thing about understanding that crying is a reflex is that we know babies aren’t simply inconsolable and crying for no reason (even though sometimes it seems that way). There is something bothering them and they are telling you that in the only way they can.
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Your baby was born with reflexes to help them survive this new world with absolutely no skills. It’s really pretty impressive!
Liz is a just a mom trying to keep it real about how little she sleeps, how often she gets puked on and how much she loves them. You can find her here every day writing about real-mom moments.