Neonatal reflexes

  1. Babinski
    • Method of testing:
    • stroke lateal sole of foot from heel to across base of toes

    • Expected response:
    • toes flare with dorsiflexion of the big toe

    • abnormal response/possable cause:
    • no response (bilateral CNS deficit)
    • (unilateral local nerve damage)

    Time reflexes dissappear: 12 mo's
  2. Gallant (trunk incurvation)
    lightly stroke the back lateral to the vertebral column

    • Expected response:
    • entire trunk flexes tward side stimulated

    • abnormal response/possible cause:
    • No response CNS deficit

    Time reflex disappears: 1 mo
  3. Grasp reflex (palmer and plantar)
    press finger against base of fingers or toes

    • Expected response:
    • fingers curl slightly; toes curl forward

    • Abnormal response/possible cause:
    • weak or absent; neurologic deficit or muscle damage

    • Time reflex disappears:
    • Palmer grasp lessens 3-4 mo, disappears by 5-6 mo.
    • Plantar grasp disappears by 8-9 mo's
  4. Moro
    lets infant's head drop back approximately 30 degrees

    • Expected response:
    • sharp extension and abduction of arms with thumbs and forefingers in "C" position, followed by flexion and abduction to "embrace" position. Legs follow similar pattern

    • Abnormal response/possible cause:
    • absent: CNS dysfunction. Asymmetry:brachial plexus injury, paralysis, or fractured clavicle or bone of extremity. Exaggerated: manternal drug use

    Time reflex disappears: 6 mo
  5. Rooting
    touch or stroke side of cheek near mouth

    Expected response: infant turns to side touched (difficult to elicit if infant sleeping or just fed)

    • Abnormal response/possible cause:
    • weak or absent; prematutity, neurologic deficit, depression from maternal drug use

    Time reflex disappears: 3-4 mo's
  6. Startle
    make a loud noise

    • Expected response:
    • similar to moro, but hands remain clenched

    • Abnormal response/possible cause:
    • weak or absent neurologic damage, deafness

    Time reflex disappears: 4mo
  7. Stepping
    hold infant so feet touch solid surface

    • Expected response:
    • infant lifts alternate feet as if walking

    • Abnormal response/possible cause:
    • asymmerty fracture of extremity, neurologic deficit

    Time reflex disappears: 4-7 mo's
  8. Sucking
    Place nipple or finger in mouth, rub against palate

    • Expected response:
    • infant begins to suck may be weak if recently fed

    • Abnormal response/possible cause:
    • weak or absent: prematurity, neuro-logic deficit, maternal drug use
    • Time reflex disappears: well coordinated with swallow by 34-36 wk of gestation, disappears by 1 yr.
  9. Swalowing
    Place fluid on the back of the tongue

    • Expected response:
    • infant swallows fluid should be coordinated with sucking

    • Abnormal response/possible cause:
    • coughing, gagging, choking, cyanosis: tracheoesophageal fistuls, esophageal atresia, neurologic deficit

    Time reflex disappears: present throughout life
  10. Tonic neck reflex
    gently turn head to one side while infant is supine position

    • Expected response:
    • exension of extremities on side to which head turned, with flexion on opposite side

    • Abnormal response/possible cause:
    • prolonged period in position, neurologic deficit

    Time reflex disappears: may be weak at birth and increase to 1 mo, then disappears by 4 mo's
Card Set
Neonatal reflexes
Neonatal reflexes