Psychological Development Across the Lifespan


What reflexes are infants born with?

Below is a list of primitive reflexes that infants are born with. Most of these disappear within the first year of life. It is likely that these reflect vestiges from our evolutionary past.

Reflex Description
Babkin The mouth opens in response to pressure on the palms.
Rooting The baby turns toward the stimulus if the cheek is stroked. This prepares the child for nursing.
Grasping The fingers curl around and grasp onto any object that touches the palm.
Moro When the infant is put down suddenly or startled, the arms and legs extend outward.
Stepping The feet make stepping movements when the infant is held upright with the feet touching a flat surface below.
Swimming Babies wave their arms and legs and hold their breath when underwater.
Babinski When the bottom of the foot is stroked, the foot jerks upward and opens up.


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