How can you not fall in love with a baby’s tiny toes? You can never keep yourself from touching them whenever you get a chance. We’ve all been known to toy with infants’ feet merely because they’re so adorable. However, you might have seen your baby’s toes randomly curl and spread while doing this. They don’t appear to realize they are doing it. Those little toes nearly give the impression that they function freely like your infant. However, it’s a rather typical phase of newborn growth. If you’re interested in learning why and how it occurs, this article is for you! So, let’s find out about this cute yet attractive baby’s reflex.
1. Why Do Babies Have These Reflexes
The body’s most natural method of communicating with the outside world is through reflexes. They are spontaneous and a great example of how long evolution has taken. Moreover, many of these reflexes are signs of a healthy neurological system.
The brain and nerve systems are still in their infancy in newborn babies. You must survive and adjust to your environment in the meantime. Babies have innate reflexes to care for themselves automatically before the brain takes over. Since the brain is not fully mature for active mental processes and judgment, everything must occur through reflexes.
2. Reflexes Found In Babies
Newborns are born with several reflexes. These are automatic responses to particular stimuli, each resulting in an action. So let’s find out a little more about each one of them.
- Babinski Reflex
Your doctor or nurse will look for this primary reaction during the newborn assessment. Its presence is typical until your child begins walking at around 1. If your child has poor muscle control or hand-eye coordination in addition to this reaction or others, it may indicate that their brain development is impeded.
- Rooting Reflex
One of the feeding-related reflexes is the rooting reflex. A baby will turn their head toward the stimulation and start to root when their cheek or the edge of their lips is stroked or touched. Your infant usually outgrows the rooting reflex by the time they are four months old. However, it aids in latching onto the nipple or bottle.
- Moro Reflex
The startle reflex is another name for the Moro reflex. Any abrupt or loud sound might trigger this reaction in your newborn. When your baby is startled, they will jerk their head back, raise their arms and legs, scream, and then fold their legs and arms back in. By four months, the moro reflex is often overcome.
- Stepping Reflex
Your infant may start taking steps if you hold them upright on a firm surface. It’s a reflex. Some professionals think it helps your child prepare for future walking adventures. Unfortunately, at two months, this reflex typically outgrows itself.
- Tonic Neck Reflex
The tonic neck reflex, often known as the fencing reflex, is triggered when a baby moves its head one way. For example, when someone turns their head to one side, the arm on that side stretches out, and the arm on the other side bends up at the elbow. Usually, this response disappears after 5 to 7 months.
- Sucking Reflex
The sucking reflex, another reaction that helps with feeding, is triggered whenever you put something in your baby’s mouth. Your infant will start sucking on something, whether a nipple, bottle, toy, or even your thumb. Anything they get their mouths on is excellent for babies. Babies are also known to chew on their fingers or toes. At around 32 weeks gestation, the suck reflex starts to develop, which explains why babies frequently suckle on their fingers while still inside the womb.
- Palmar Grasp Reflex
Your infant’s foot isn’t the only limb that reacts reflexively to stimuli. The hands of your infant do too. For example, if you brush the palm of your child’s hand, you’ll immediately find their fingers grabbing your hand. This reaction is known as the grasping reflex. Usually, this reflex outgrows by 5 or 6 months.
3. Why Do They Curl Their Toes
Now that we are familiar with reflexes let’s move on to the current issue. A variety of reflexes causes your baby’s toes to curl. What area of the baby was stimulated determines the sort of reflex. From the heels to the toe, rub them along the edge of the sole. The toes fan out, as you can see. The Babinski reflex that we previously described is this. Now, press your baby’s foot along the sole, behind the toes. You’ll experience a reflex known as the plantar grip. The toes hold your finger. Because of this reaction, your infant can grip onto you while feeding and feel safe.
4. Baby Toe Curling In Different Positions
- While Standing
Reflexes are not the same as curly toes. It typically affects the third and fourth toes on both feet and occurs from birth. The moment your child begins to stand, it becomes more apparent. The toes curl inward toward the sole because the muscles that bend them are overly tight. It is believed that curly toes run in families. Therefore, it is likely that your baby will have curled toes if you or the other parent of the child does.
- While Sitting
Your newborn begins to discover aspects of their bodies that they are unaware of as they grow and develop. There is a tonne of intriguing textures and emotions to explore as well. For example, as they do when you touch their feet, most newborns will curl their toes when they are sitting in reaction to a surface.
Some infants clench their toes because they don’t like the novel sensations or feel like they are being ticked. Unfortunately, this response doesn’t become evident in kids until they are around 9 months old, which is both adorable and natural.
- While Walking
When your infant begins to walk, curly toes become more noticeable. It’s not an actual issue, although it can result in:
- blisters or sores from pressure
- thickening and flattening of the toenails
- sore feet from particular activities
It is vital to refrain from giving your kids hard shoes when they first learn to walk. It can be uncomfortable but also limits your baby’s ability to move their feet naturally. In addition, curly toes frequently straighten out independently over the first five years as your child develops.
5. When Do They Stop Curling Their Toes
Most of the reflexes that produce this should ideally stop pretty early. For example, the toe-curling may end when your infant is around nine months old. However, you will see that their toes curl in various situations. This is not a problem unless it interferes with their ability to move physically. Around 9 to 12 months of age, you’ll observe that the plantar grip and Babinski reflex are gone. Around 8 weeks, the stepping reflex that causes a baby’s toes to curl vanishes. But when the child begins to walk, it reappears. Aside from reflexes, toe-curling occurs when a baby is sitting and encountering a new surface, or if it is a genetic disorder, at a later age.
Tell us about your baby’s funny reflexes in the comment section below so that other parents can feel relaxed while seeing it for the first time.