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ROOTING REFLEX IN THE NEWBORN INFANT: INCIDENCE AND EFFECT ON IT OF SLEFP

ELIZABETH F. GENTRY, M.D.; C. ANDERSON ALDRICH, M.D.
Am J Dis Child. 1948;75(4):528-539. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1948.02030020543003.
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THE HEALTH of the newborn infant depends on an adequate intake of nourishment shortly after he becomes independent of his mother. Therefore, it is of importance to study the various activities which constitute suckling behavior. At the touch of the nipple (1) the infant's lips open; his lower jaw drops so that the nipple can enter his mouth; his lips close about the nipple, and (2) he begins to suck. If this results in the flow of milk or water, he swallows. In addition to the activities just described, there are other specific types of behavior which are said to be related to suckling. One of these types, which is called the "rooting reflex," has been selected for study in addition to the first two acts of suckling: (1) the behavior of the infant's lips when brought into contact with the nipple and (2) actual sucking.

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