The Babinski reflex is a foot reaction found in all normal babies which disappears as the infant gets older.
The Bainski reflex happens when the sole of a baby’s foot is stroked. The baby’s big toe will move up and the other toes will fan out. Adults have the opposite reaction whereby their toes will curl downward.
We wanted to test our baby’s Babinski reflex because an abnormal reflex can be a sign of a developmental disorder.
Most babies lose their Babinski reflex by the age of two while some will lose it before they turn one. If a child has a Babinski reflex after the age of two it is a sign of damage to the corticospinal tract.
Adults may regain a Babinski reflex in the presence of debilitating disorders. Multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and spinal cord injuries may reintroduce the Babinski reflex to formerly healthy adults.
The Babinski reflex is named after a 19th century French neurologist named Joseph Babinski. In addition to volumes of articles on neurological disorders, Babinski is also remembered for an unfortunate incident.
It took the effort of both Mommy and Daddy to test our baby’s Babinski reflex. Since our daughter likes to squirm around whenever she feels body contact, we had to coordinate our efforts. The video below shows our baby Arya’s normal Babinski reflex.