Baby Reflexes

Do you ever wonder about the funny movements newborn babies make?  Here are several of the most common:

1. Moro Reflex:
This one is fairly dramatic so you probably noticed it.  When baby is startled by a loud noise or her/his head moves abruptly, she will automatically throw out her arms and legs and extend her  neck.  Then she brings her arms back together rapidly.
When:  First few weeks of life. Disappears by 3 to 4 months of age.


2.  Tonic Neck Reflex: 
Sometimes called The Fencing Posture.  When baby’s head turns to the right or to the left, his arm on that side straightens and the other arm bends as if he were getting into fencing position.
When: First few weeks of life. Disappears by 5 to 7 months of age.


3.  Stepping Reflex:
When baby is held under arms and her feet touch a flat surface, she will put one foot in front of the other as if she is trying to take steps.
When: First few weeks of life. Disappears by 2 months and then returns around 12 months.


4. Palmar and Plantar Grasp Reflexes:
Palmar Grasp: Stroke the palm of baby’s hand and she might grip your finger.
Plantar Grasp: Stroke the sole of baby’s foot and he might tightly curl his toes.
When First few weeks of life. Palmar Grasp disappears around 5 to 6 months.  Plantar Grasp disappears around 9 to 12 months.


Until next time,
Warmly, Linda, the Babies Can’t Wait Lady 

Friday Musings on Infant/Toddler Experiences

Parents want to provide wonderful experiences for their babies – that’s great!  They want to expose them to all kinds of new things to see, touch, listen to, taste – that’s great!   They want their children to be prepared for school as they grow – that’s great!  They want to have fun with their babies – And that’s great too!

But if I could teach new parents one thing that would help them relax, it would be this:

Babies don’t care about fancy, they don’t care about cost, they don’t care about big. Babies like small experiences with you.

For example, when I see a young family taking their one-year-old to the fancy (and expensive) aquarium, I want to say “hey, take her to the beach instead and let her play in the sand and watch the seagulls!”

It’s not that she won’t enjoy the aquarium at some level – she will enjoy the movement of the fish and jelly fish.  She will enjoy touching the animals in the Touch Pool ( but she isn’t old enough to be careful with them so Mom and Dad better watch her closely)  She WILL enjoy it but she would enjoy the beach just as much – and she would enjoy playing in her own back yard just as much.  Babies aren’t critical – they love it all.  They find new things to explore no matter where they are.

So my advice is leave the fancy, expensive, BIG, Disneyland-like experiences till later when your child will be able to cognitively appreciate the where and why of the experience.  There will be plenty of years where your children will not be satisfied with anything but the fancy, expensive, BIG experiences, believe me! In the 0-3 years, concentrate on the plain, inexpensive, little experiences that babies love.

In the worlds of J. Ron Lally, EdD, “Babies learn through imitation and exploration in the context of close, caring relationships.”   That means they learn from their parents and other close caregivers.  Take advantage of that and have a wonderful Friday and weekend with your little one.

Warmly, Linda, the Babies Can’t Wait Lady 






















The BCW Lady says:  We SING in all our Workshops, accompanied by my on my trusty Ukulele.  I love to take traditional songs and put new words to them – words that celebrate what home visitors and teachers do – Here’s a sample:

That’s What Home Visitors Do!
Lyrics: ©2002 Linda Kimura; Melody: from Disney’s Cinderella (the Bibbidy Bobbidy Bo Song)

Driving the distance to make home visits
Helping the families set goals
Always remembering to follow through
That’s what home visitors do!

 Planning with parents for children’s learning
Health and nutrition for you
Parent-child groups teach expectations
That’s what home visitors do!

Now, making home visit means keeping a smile on your face
But the thing-a-ma-bob that does the job
Is building up trust every day

Teach cues and signals while you talk story
Constantly learning what’s new
Make up home visits the end of the week
That’s what home visitors do!
That’s what home visitors
Those great home visitors
That’s what home visitors do!


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Relationship-based Training for Early Head Start Home Visitors

Providing child development & family services in the home can have a life-changing impact on children and families.  The Administration for Children & Families reports mothers who participate in Early Head Start and other home visiting programs are more sensitive and supportive with their children and report less stress than those who do not receive home visits.  Research by David Olds shows teaching parents to stimulate children’s early learning builds critical pre-literacy skills and supports higher cognitive and vocabulary scores than control groups. Staff responsible for home visiting need a variety of skills to ensure they support these outcomes by using responsive and ethical, evidence-based strategies that mirror the Head Start Program Performance Standards.

Our Babies Can’t Wait intensive home visitor training provides a comprehensive view of the highest quality home visit practices through 3 days of bridging theory into practice.  Emphasis is placed upon providing a nurturing, supportive environment for workers to encourage them to think creatively about ways to begin or enhance practice. Training is based on adult learning theory and current research.   Training is practical and concrete, designed to reduce fears and increase support and excitement about program philosophy and practice.  Participants leave the training excited about home visiting and eager to try new techniques.

This 3-day workshop is based on Linda’s book “Babies Can’t Wait: Relationship-based home visiting”.  It provides a concrete, practical base for beginning and enhancing Early Head Start Home-Based and Combination Models, incorporating Early Head Performance Standards, Information Memos and best practices as developed by the Program for Infant Toddler Care (PITC) at WestEd.

For more information or to schedule a training, contact Linda, the Babies Can’t Wait Lady, at or through the BCW Facebook Page