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Newborn’s reflexes and natural instincts

If your little one is crying there are only so many things she could be crying about. She is either hungry, tired, has a dirty diaper, or a combination of all three. Once you spend more time with her you will start to recognize each cry or whimper that will tell you exactly what it is she needs. Although, your little one is born with a number of natural instincts and reflexes that help get them through each precious day of life and helps you know what they need.

Babies like Vivian are born with survival instincts. The most important instincts is the mouthing reflex. It is automatically pre-programmed into their brains at birth. It is an unconscious way that babies seek out food in order to survive. Vivian will instinctively open her mouth with minimal stimulation. If you touch her lips or cheeks gently she will automatically turn her face in the direction that she thinks the food is in and open as wide as she can. This reflex will go away when she turns 4 months old, because by then she’ll have learned where her food comes from exactly (bottle or breast). Vivian started to develop her sucking reflex at 36 weeks and she practiced using it in the womb by sucking on her fingers and toes. 

One reflex that might seem like a negative thing that is actually a positive thing is their startle reflex. When Vivian gets startled she throws her head back and swings her arms and legs forward like she is trying to grab onto something or do a little baby sit up. It is a natural reflex to help babies cling to their mother. 

Walking is a few months away, but believe it or not Vivian is already preparing for it. If you hold her up with her feet touching the floor she will move her feet in walking motion. When she moves her feet like that she is strengthening her little leg muscles so she can support her own body weight in the future so she can take her first few steps towards you! I don’t know about you but those first few steps are a magical and I think it’s one that all parents can’t wait for. 

Vivian has a natural instinct to keep her airway clear so she can breathe. If you lay Vivian  on her tummy she will turn her head to the side so she can breath. If you were to put a lightweight blanket over her head she will move her little arms around until her face is uncovers so she can breathe clearly. This one always makes me nervous, and I wouldn’t recommend trying it without a professional nearby, but some infants have a natural ability to float in the water, face up.

The last reflex that I think is very important is Vivian’s ability to grasp things. If you put your finger in the palm of Vivian’s tiny little hand she will hold on for dear life. This reflex is the strongest in the first 2 months of life and normally fades by 6 months. It is a way to prepare babies for future muscle development so they can grab onto objects when they need to. 

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