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Pregnancy and Parenting

Baby's Reflex Actions

At your baby's two month check-up, when the doctor holds your baby sitting up and then lets him FALL BACKWARDS... don't panic, he'll be checking for the Moro Reflex!

Moro Reflex
birth - 6 months
If the baby has a sense of falling or not being supported, the arms stretch out to the sides, and the legs stretch out full length.  The arms and legs then return to a normal position beside the body.

Startle Reflex
6 months - 12 months
This is like the Moro Reflex, but occurs later in the baby's development.

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Palmer Reflex
birth - 4 months
If you touch the palm of his hand, he will hold onto your finger.

Babinski Reflex
birth - 4 months
If you touch the sole of her foot, she will spread her toes.

Tonic Neck Reflexes
birth - 4 months
These reflexes happen only about 50% of the time that the baby is in that position.
*When a baby is lying down and the head is turned to one side, the arm on that side stretches out, and the other arm bends upwards.
*When the baby is placed in a sitting position...
--the head lifts up and the arm stretches out, or the chin --drops, the arms bend and the legs stretch out.

Crawling Reflex
birth - 4 months
When an infant is on his tummy and the sole of his feet are touched, he will move his legs in a crawling position.  Voluntary crawling begins around 7 months.

Primary Stepping Reflex
6 weeks - 5 months
If a baby is held upright on a flat surface, she will walk forward while held.

Swimming Reflex
2 weeks - 5 months
If an infant is placed in water on his tummy, his legs and arms will move in a swimming motion.

Neck and Body Righting Reflexes
2 - 6 months
This is the beginning of the rolling movement.  When she is lying down with her head turned to one side, the rest of the body will move in that direction.  When placed on her side, she will turn her body to a lying  position.

Righting Reflex
2 months - 12 months
If he is held in an upright position and is tilted forward, backward or to the side, the head will move in the opposite direction to the body tilt.  This is an attempt to keep the head upright.

Planter Reflex
4 - 12 months
This is like the palmer reflex, but it is in the foot.  If you touch the sole of her foot, her toes will grasp the object.

Pull Up Reflex
3 or 4 - 12 months
If an infant is placed in a sitting position and held by the hands so that his arms are stretched out, he will bend his arms if tipped forwards or backwards.  This helps to maintain balance.

Parachute Reflex
4 - 12 months
If an infant is held vertically in the air and then tilted towards the ground, her legs extend outward.

Propping Reflex
6 - 12 months
If the infant is in a sitting position and becomes off balance, he will move forward with arms extended. The side propping reflex occurs around 6 months. The backward propping reflex occurs between 10 and 12 months.

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