A mega-viral video circulating on Facebook appears to show a baby “walking” just after birth.
On May 25, Facebook user Arlete Arantes posted a video of a newborn baby girl in Brazil moving her legs forward as if to take steps while a medical professional holds her up.
In the video, you can hear exclamations of “Oh my gosh, the girl is walking. Good gracious!” according to The Sun’s translation. “Merciful father. I was trying to wash her here and she keeps getting up to walk.”
The video has been viewed over 90 million times.
Though many have hailed the “walking” baby as “miraculous,” scientists were quick to point out that this behavior is actually somewhat normal. It’s part of a set of involuntary movements called “newborn reflexes.”
According to Stanford Children’s Health, “Some movements are spontaneous, occurring as part of the baby’s usual activity,” while others come in response to specific actions. The healthcare network’s website explains, “Reflexes help identify normal brain and nerve activity. Some reflexes occur only in specific periods of development.”
The “step reflex” is one type of newborn reflex. As the Stanford Children’s Health website notes, “This reflex is also called the walking or dance reflex because a baby appears to take steps or dance when held upright with his or her feet touching a solid surface.”
Other reflexes include the suck reflex, grasp reflex and tonic neck reflex.
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