WATCH: The stepping reflex in newborns

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article

The stepping reflex in newborns is also known as the "walking" or "dancing reflex". This reflex can be seen when a baby is held upright or when the baby's feet are touching the ground. It is prevalent from birth but gradually disappears by the time the baby has reached 2 to 3 months. This reflex occurs as a means to help develop proper development of the leg muscles and movement.

If this reflex does not occur in a newborn, it may indicate a motor nerve defect or a neurological malformation. Sometimes, this reflex will appear when the baby's lower half is submerged in water.

A newborn baby in Brazil had midwives convinced she could walk after her stepping reflex took effect just minutes after she was born. 

More newborn reflexes:

Sources: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and PregMed

Share your experience with your babies and their new reflexes by emailing chatback@parent24.com.

Sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive Parent24 stories directly to your inbox. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24