zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Normal Reflexes and Development of an Infant

by
author image Marie Bell
Marie Bell has earned a Bachelor of Science in sports medicine and is currently working toward a Doctor of Medicine. She has a passion for health and wellness and shares her knowledge in her writing.
Normal Reflexes and Development of an Infant
Mom flying her infant in her arms above her head. Photo Credit Choreograph/iStock/Getty Images

The infant period is generally defined as birth to 1 year of age. During this time, discernible physiologic changes occur in all organ systems. In addition, your infant develops the ability to respond to external stimulation. At birth, he has certain primitive reflexes that gradually disappear with time. As the infant grows older, his development is assessed in these major categories: gross motor, fine motor, language and social/cognitive development.

Infantile Reflexes

According to “Current Diagnosis and Treatment: Pediatrics,” your baby is born with several reflexes.

The sucking reflex occurs in response to the stimulation of a nipple or finger in the mouth. The rooting reflex occurs when the infant’s head turns to the side of a facial stimulus. The traction response occurs when the infant is pulled to a sitting position by the arms. At first, the head lags, actively flexes, then falls forward. The palmar grasp reflex occurs when a finger is placed in the infant’s hand. A similar grasp type response can be elicited at the toes. The Moro or startle reflex occurs when the infant is held on her back with the head supported. Suddenly allow the head to drop slightly. In response, her arms and fingers will spread and then flex back toward her body. Lastly, the tonic neck reflex occurs when the head is turned to one side, the arm and leg on that side will extend and the arm and leg on the opposite side will flex.

Gross Motor Milestones

According to "Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics," the gross motor milestones for an infant include:

As a newborn, the infant should be able to move his head from side to side. At 1 month, he should be able to lift the head slightly. At 2 months, he can hold his head still while sitting. At 3 months, he should have the ability to pull up to sit and bring his hands together at the midline of his body. At 6 months, he should sit without support and roll from the back to the stomach. By 1 year, he should be developing the ability to walk.

Fine Motor Milestones

The fine motor milestones, according to “Nelson’s Textbook of Pediatrics,” are grasping an object by 3 to 4 months, reaching for objects at 4 months, transferring objects between hands by 5 to 6 months, use of pincer grasp by 8 months and the ability to turn pages in a book by 1 year.

Language/Communication Milestones

The milestones for language development include smiling in response to voice or faces at 1 month, immature babbling at 6 months, response to the command “no” and other one-step commands at 7 to 10 months, saying “mama” or “dada” at 10 months, pointing to objects at 10 months and speaking a real word by 1 year.

Social/Cognitive Milestones

The social/cognitive milestones that should be observed in infants include:

Staring at objects and maintaining the stare once the object has disappeared at 2 months, staring at her hand at 4 months, uncovering a hidden toy by 8 months and self-centered play by 1 year.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Demand Media

Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please take a moment and read it here.