The suck reflex

Early Childhood Development

The suck reflex

While rooting helps Your Child get ready, the suck reflex is responsible for finishing the job.

The suck reflex occurs whenever the roof of the baby’s mouth is touched. This reflex begins in the 32nd week of pregnancy and is not fully developed until about 36 weeks. This is one reason, premature babies tend to have weak or immature sucking ability. 

There’s also a hand-to-mouth reflex that goes with rooting and sucking, so babies may suck on fingers or hands. Normally this reflex lasts until Your Child is 2 to 4 months old.

What are reflexes?
Newborn reflexes are involuntary reactions that babies are born with. These reflexes indicate that Your Child’s senses and brain are working properly. All reflexes occur at a specific age and will disappear naturally as the baby grows.


Dr. Piyawut Kreetapirom, MD. (27 February 2019)


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