Reflexes

Reflexes

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Reflexes


Reflexes are the newborns most obvious organized patterns of behavior. A reflex is an unlearned, inborn, automatic response to a particular form of stimulation. A wide variety of reflexes are seen in the normal newborn. Here are a few examples of some common reflexes observed in the newborn.

Babinski- When the soles of the newborns foot is stroked the toes fan out.
Moro- When the crib is jared or the infant is startled the arms flare out and inward in response.
Rooting- When a babies heel is stroked it turns its head toward the cheek that was stroked and opens its mouth.
Stepping- A baby who is held in an upright position and moved forward begins to step rhythmically.
Sucking- A baby sucks when a object is placed in its mouth.
Some reflexes seem to have survival value such as breathing, swallowing, rooting, and sucking. The tonic neck reflex also called fencing reflex is seen when the child lies on his back, with his head turned to one side and the arm and leg on the other side extended, the opposite arm is flexed as if in a fencing position. This reflex may prepare the infant for voluntary control over behavior as the brain matures. Reflexes are also important in that they provide a means of assessing the integrity of an infants nervous system.
Physical Development varies from child to child. Growth is more rapid in infancy than during any other period after birth. Typically, infants should double their weight by 3-4 months of age. By the infants first birthday he/she should have tripled their weight and be between 28-32 inches tall.
Motor skills begin developing immediately after birth. Success demands that each movement be done in a particular order however the ages may vary slightly. Within a few weeks of birth the newborn should be able to lift head off the floor while on his tummy. Around 2-3 months the child will push his chest off the floor while laying on his tummy. The infant will also reach for objects and shake a rattle. By the end of six months he may even sit alone without support. Around 9-10 months the child will begin to stand with support holding onto furniture, and around 12 months will begin to take first steps. By the end of 14 months the child may be able to stand alone and walk without assist.
The first social and emotional relationships the baby experience occurs during the first two years of life in which a strong bond is formed to the person who cares for him/her.

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Reflexes Essay example

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Babies show the majority of their emotions through crying. At 0-4 months the infant has at least 3 different cries, the basic cry, hungry cry, and the other signal pain and anger. Social smiling begins in this time frame. The infant who is 4-8 months now can express wider range of emotions such a s pleasure, happiness, fear by way of cooing, babbling , gurgling, kicking and waving arms about, rocking and smiling. Around 18 months self awareness arises. During this period the child will spend much time looking at pictures of himself. They will also refer to themselves as "I" or "me".
Between 7-8 months the child can realize that objects and events exist when they can not be physically seen. Th infant learns from what he/she experiences around him/her.
When new information is seen ,heard, felt, smelled or tasted the child takes in that new sensation and compiles it into things he has already experienced. For example when my brother first experienced seeing a dog for the first time he called it a cat and my parents corrected him saying " No Casey that is a dog" and a few days later Casey saw a cat calling it a dog and again my parents corrected him saying " No Casey that is a dog". So from that point on when he saw a dog or a cat he simply said look at the "kitty-dog" The moral of this little story is children learn of new animals and they mentally compare similarities, in this case "cat and dog" ie: 4 legs, color and differences ie: sounds and size.


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Christen, Barbra and Elaine Kockrow. Fondation of Nursing. Massatuchets:Mosby, 1995.
Didona, Nancy A and Margarret G Marks. Introductory to Maternal Nursing. Pennsilvania:lippincott, 1996.
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Kail, Robert V and John C Cavenaugh.Hhuman Development. Waddswaoth, 1999.
Schipani, Denise. "Grow Baby Grow." American Baby Feb 1998: 36-38.
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