Behavior & Development • Aug 17, 2023

Newborn Behavior: What’s Normal?

Newborn behavior can be confusing. They are just getting accustomed to the world, and their reflexes, reactions, and behaviors can seem strange sometimes. These behaviors may worry new parents, but many are normal and harmless.

One of the behaviors that seem concerning is the Moro or startle reflex. This is when the baby flails their limbs after being surprised. They may even twitch a bit, which is completely normal as long as it is just when they are reacting to being startled. Another is the sucking reflex. Newborns will suck on nearly anything, including blankets and their own hands, which is also completely normal. They also have some other reflexes when they’re born, like the stepping reflex. This is when the newborn looks as though they are stepping on their own, but usually goes away fairly quickly.

Newborn babies often get hiccups, which is very common. They can even have hiccups in utero. Sneezing is also common but is not a cause for concern without other symptoms of illness. If you are ever wondering if any newborn behavior is normal or if their behavior seems to be causing them a lot of discomfort, never hesitate to call your pediatrician for the best information.