Font Size
A
A
A
2
...

Infant Milestones (cont.)

The First Month

During the first month of life, most of a baby's behavior is reflexive, meaning that his/her reactions are automatic. Later, as the nervous system develops, a baby will put more thought into his actions. Some of the newborn reflexes are described below.

  • Mouthing reflexes: These reflexes are important for baby's survival, helping them find the source of food. The sucking and swallowing reflexes are most important. A baby will automatically begin to suck when their mouth or lips are touched. The rooting reflex is when the baby turns his head toward your hand if their cheek is touched. This helps baby find the nipple for feeding. The rooting reflex begins to fade around 4 months.
  • Startle (Moro) reflex: The startle reflex occurs when a baby hears a loud noise or when he falls backward, his arms and legs extend away from his body. This reflex is most noticeable during the first month and usually fades by 2 or 3 months.
  • Grasp reflex: A baby will grasp a finger or object when it is placed in the palm of her hand. This reflex is strongest during the first 2 months and usually fades by 5-6 months.
  • Stepping reflex: Even though baby cannot support his own weight, if his feet are placed on a flat surface, he will begin to step one foot in front of the other. The stepping reflex usually disappears by 2 months.

By the end of the first month of life, most babies may display the following:

  • Raises head when on stomach
  • Keeps hands in tight fists
  • Focuses 8-12 inches away, looks at objects and faces, and prefers the human face over other patterns
  • Shows a behavioral response when hearing a noise (such as eye blinking, acting startled, change in movements or breathing rate)
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/18/2014

Must Read Articles Related to Infant Milestones

Anxiety
Anxiety Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension, fear, or worry. Some fears and worries are justified, such as worry about a loved one. Anxiety may occur without a cause, ...learn more >>
Separation Anxiety
Separation Anxiety Separation anxiety is a normal characteristic in infants and toddlers. Symptoms include reluctance to fall asleep, homesickness, nightmares, tantrums if separat...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Infant Milestones:

Infant Milestones - Tracking

What infant milestone has your child reached recently?





Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Lipid Storage Disorders »

Lipid storage disorders are a family of diverse diseases related by their molecular pathology.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary