Extrusion reflex: what it is and how to recognize it

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Philippe Gloaguen
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Among the signs to tell when a newborn is ready for weaning, one of the clearest is the loss of extrusion reflex, a curious reaction that leads very young children to "reject" anything that is introduced into the mouth by a baby movement of the tongue. But what exactly is this reflex for? And why does it disappear over time?



In this article

  • Extrusion reflex: what is it?
  • When does the extusion reflex disappear?
  • How to recognize the extrusion reflection

Extrusion reflex: what is it?

The extrusion reflex is one of the many instinctive movements that characterize the first months of life of every newborn. This reaction - dictated by a central nervous system that still needs time to enter its full functionality - consists of push away with any language foreign body introduced in the little mouth and represents a clear indicator of the fact that the little is not ready to eat solid food yet.



This reflex, in fact, on the one hand serves to promote the sucking of breast milk (it helps to feed better from the mother's nipple), on the other hand it serves to prevent possible suffocation, rejecting the hypothetical morsel that the baby is not yet ready to ingest.

Read also: Weaning: the answers to the most common questions

When does the extusion reflex disappear?

This archaic and completely natural reflex is only temporary: in fact, when the newborn is ready for weaning - and therefore will be able to ingest other foods besides breast milk - will disappear.



However, there is no precise timing, as each baby has their own development times. Usually the time to start preparing some baby food is around six months of life, but it is not a categorical threshold: before weaning it is in fact essential that the baby is able to sit alone, which is not underweight and that, in fact, it has lost the reflection of extrusion.

Read also: Moro's reflection

How to recognize the extrusion reflection

Checking the extrusion reflex in a newborn is very simple: just introduce it gently a finger or, even better, a teaspoon in the little mouth of the child and you will notice a slight push of the tongue on the "foreign" object, as if to prevent him from accessing it.



Source: heathline.com

TAG:
  • self-weaning
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