Here is an outline of the neonatal neurologic examination followed by a listing of some reflexes that might be of value in demonstrating intact neurologic function.
CN II – responds to light
CN III/IV/VI – vestibulo-ocular reflexes intact to cardinal directions of gaze
CN V – rooting reflex intact
CN VII – facial symmetry during crying
CN VIII – responds to sound
CN IX/X/XII – normal sucking
CN XI – sternocleidomastoid movement noted
Tone normal in all 4 extremities, no hypotonia, no hypertonia. Spontaneously moves all extremities.
Symmetrical reflexes knee, ankle, biceps, triceps
Responds to touch in all 4 limbs
Primitive reflexes can be used to evaluate motor function in the neonate. These are listed below:
Fetal position – After 36 weeks the fetus assumes a flexed position. If the neonate is moved to extension, it will pull back to flexion. This lessons with time and is most present the first 48 hours after birth
Pull to sitting -the child will spontaneously open the eyes when pulled to a sitting position (fpnotebook.com)
Walking reflex – stand the baby up and he or she will exhibit a walking reflex
Rooting reflex – scratch the cheek and the baby will root for a nipple
Suckling reflex – front of tongue latches on finger/nipple, back of tingue massages it, pharynx/esophagus pulls on the finger.
Fencing reflex – turn head to the side, that arm extends and the opposite arm flexes above the head
Moro startle reflex – an abrupt drop causes the arms to outstretch and flex forward.
Swimmer’s (Gallant)- hold baby prone, stroke spine on one side, that side will flex
Crawling reflex – place baby prone, will try to crawl briefly.
Rotation test – hold baby up, rotate to one side, baby will turn head to that side