Rooting Reflex

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  • In the first weeks and months after birth, infants engage in involuntary, instinctual reactions called reflexes. One such reflex is referred to as the rooting reflex, whereby a newborn turns its mouth toward a finger or nipple that makes contact with its cheek. The rooting reflex is an important innate reaction for babies as it helps ensure breastfeeding. Two additional involuntary reflexes infants are equipped with are the grasping and sucking reflexes. For more information, see Byrd, Nelson, and Manthey (2006).


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