When Do Babies Develop Suckling Reflex?

When Do Babies Develop Suckling ReflexSource: bing.com

As a new mom, you may have heard about the suckling reflex, but you may not know when exactly this reflex develops in babies. The suckling reflex is a natural reflex that helps babies to feed from their mother’s breasts or from a bottle. It is an essential reflex for survival, as without it, newborns would not be able to feed and grow properly. In this article, we will discuss when babies develop the suckling reflex and what you can expect during the first few weeks of your baby’s life.

What is the Suckling Reflex?

The suckling reflex is an automatic response that newborns have to any object that touches their lips. This reflex is essential for feeding and is developed in the womb. When a baby’s lips are touched, they will automatically begin to suck and swallow. This reflex is vital for newborns because it ensures that they can feed and get the nourishment they need to grow and develop properly.

When Do Babies Develop the Suckling Reflex?

Babies develop the suckling reflex in the womb, around the 32nd week of pregnancy. At this stage, the reflex is not fully developed, but it is strong enough to allow the baby to begin to practice sucking and swallowing. By the time the baby is born, the suckling reflex is fully developed and ready for feeding.

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What to Expect During the First Few Weeks

During the first few weeks of life, you can expect your baby to be feeding frequently, as they need to establish a good feeding routine. It’s important to note that newborns have very small stomachs and can’t hold much milk, so they will need to feed often. Also, it’s normal for babies to take breaks during feeding and fall asleep, so don’t worry if your baby does this. Just make sure to burp your baby after feeding to help prevent gas and discomfort.

If you’re breastfeeding, you may experience some discomfort or soreness in your nipples during the first few days. This is very common and usually goes away within a week or two. Just make sure to keep the area clean and dry, and use a good nipple cream to help soothe any discomfort.


In conclusion, the suckling reflex is an essential reflex that babies develop in the womb, around the 32nd week of pregnancy. It allows newborns to feed and get the nourishment they need to grow and develop properly. During the first few weeks of life, you can expect your baby to feed frequently and take breaks during feeding. If you’re experiencing any discomfort or soreness while breastfeeding, don’t hesitate to reach out to a lactation consultant or your healthcare provider for advice and support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I tell if my baby is latching on properly?

A: A good latch is essential for successful breastfeeding. You’ll know your baby is latching on properly if they have a wide, open mouth, and their lips are flanged out. You should also feel a strong sucking sensation, but not any pain or discomfort.

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Q: How often should I burp my baby?

A: You should burp your baby after every feeding, even if they don’t seem to have any gas. This can help prevent discomfort and reduce the risk of reflux.

Q: How long should I breastfeed my baby?

A: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, and continuing to breastfeed while introducing solid foods until at least 12 months of age.

Q: Can I breastfeed if I have inverted nipples?

A: Yes, it is possible to breastfeed with inverted nipples. You may need some extra support and guidance, but many women with inverted nipples are able to successfully breastfeed their babies.

Q: How can I tell if my baby is getting enough milk?

A: You can tell if your baby is getting enough milk if they are gaining weight, have six to eight wet diapers a day, and have regular bowel movements. If you’re concerned about your baby’s feeding, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant for support and advice.

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I am a child development specialist with a strong passion for helping parents navigate the exciting and sometimes challenging journey of raising a child. Through my website, I aim to provide parents with practical advice and reliable information on topics such as infant sleep, feeding, cognitive and physical development, and much more. As a mother of two young children myself, I understand the joys and struggles of parenting and am committed to supporting other parents on their journey.

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