Newborn Photography Hitchin

Help – I’m falling!

Does your baby do that thing where when you go to lay them down, they throw their arms up as if they are falling?  I’d imagine the answer is yes – almost every baby we have ever had has done this and it is super common – it’s called the moro (or startle) reflex.

What is a reflex?

A reflex is a type of involuntary response to a situation.  In babies, we see this with sucking and rooting.  These are actions that a baby usually does not need to be taught – they are born with the natural reflex to root, and to suck.

What is the moro reflex?

The moro reflex is a startle reflex that sees a baby throwing their arms up in the air with a startled look upon their faces as if they think they are falling.

The moro reflex develops around 28-32 weeks gestation and usually disappears at 3-6 months of age.

What is the point of the moro reflex?

It is thought that the moro reflex is there to stop babies from being separated from their parents and to prevent them falling when being carried.

What other reflexes are babies born with?

  • Rooting
  • Sucking
  • Tonis neck
  • Grasping
  • Stepping

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