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Normal reflexes

  • Your baby has many reflexes, or movements, she makes without realizing it.

    • Moro (startle) reflex: when your baby is startled, she will fling her arms and legs to the sides and arch her back
    • rooting reflex: baby turns her head toward the cheek that is stroked
    • Babinski toe reflex: baby fans her toes when the heel is stroked toward the ball of the foot
    • plantar toe reflex: baby curls toes when the ball of the foot is pressed
    • grasp reflex: baby will grasp your finger when the palm of the hand is stroked
    • tonic neck reflex: when your baby's head is turned to one side, the arm on that side stretches out while the opposite arm bends up at the elbow
    • walking reflex: baby will mimic walking when held under her arms
  • Reflexes

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    Rooting reflex. Walking reflex. Grasp reflex. Plantar toe reflex.

  • Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition. To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."
    Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic
    First published: 02/01/2010
    Last reviewed: 01/01/2016