Primitive reflexes start to develop in utero and they actually help the baby get down the birth canal during labor. (Who knew!?) A reflex is an automatic motor response that is triggered by a stimulus.
These primitive reflexes assist the baby in their developmental milestones, helping them with things like breastfeeding, rolling, and crawling. But if the reflexes don’t integrate (go away), they can hinder a child’s development. Retained reflexes can cause:
- Sensitivity to touch, sound, smell, and taste
- Balance issues, clumsiness, struggles with sports, runnning into furniture
- Freezing or staying in constant fight or flight mode
- Poor impulse control, being easily distracted, severe mood swings
- Inability to cross the midline, trouble with hand-eye coordination, struggles with fine motor
- Difficulty tracking when reading and writing
- Poor posture, attention issues, wrapping legs around chairs, wetting the bed after age 5
- W-sitting, poor muscle control, toe walking
Texting the Moro Reflex
The Moro Reflex is usually present in infants, 3 to 4 months. The child responds to a sudden loss of support by spreading their arms, then bringing them in, and crying. This reflex should be integrated by the age of 6 months. If the reflex does NOT integrate, the child may exhibit signs of distractibility, poor balance, and coordination, emotional outbursts, food sensitivities, withdrawn behavior, or frequent car sickness.
A child attempting to pigeon walk, as part of the testing for a retained Moro Reflex. The child’s awkward arm position indicates that the reflex IS NOT yet integrated.