The Babkin is one of the mouth reflexes. The others are the Rooting and Juvenile Suck Thrust.
What can you observe in the new born?
This reflex is associated with feeding in the new born. The action of sucking makes the baby’s hands knead. Palming movements in the hands will make the baby’s lips purse. Suddenly stimulating the hands or forcing both of them open will make baby’s mouth open.
When should it integrate?
It usually decreases after 2 months of age and completely integrates by 5months of age.
What happens if it doesn’t integrate when it’s supposed to?
- Ever heard a teacher say “you’re not writing with your tongue!”? That’s a Babkin that hasn’t integrated completely.
- When a child with a retained Babkin first learns to write or draw, they will lick their lips or twist their mouth in some other way until the skills have been learned sufficiently and come easily.
- Because the muscles at the front of the mouth are not working independently, the child or adult with a retained Babkin can have speech difficulties or dental issues.