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why does my baby startle in his sleep

You may notice your babys startle reflex when youre trying to put them down to sleep. Leaning over to lay them down may give your baby the sensation of falling. It can wake your baby even if theyre sleeping soundly. If your babys Moro reflex is keeping them from sleeping properly, try these tips:
Keep your baby close to your body when laying them down. Keep them close for as long as possible as you lay them down. Gently release your baby only after their back is touching the mattress. This support should be enough to prevent them from experiencing a falling sensation, which can trigger the startle reflex. Swaddle your baby. This will make them feel safe and secure. Swaddling is a technique that mimics the close, cozy quarters of the womb. It can also help your baby sleep longer. To swaddle your baby, follow these steps: Use a large, thin blanket. Lay the blanket out on a flat surface. Fold one corner in slightly. Gently lay your baby face up on the blanket with their head at the edge of the folded corner. Bring one corner of the blanket across your babys body and tuck it snugly beneath them. Fold up the bottom piece of the blanket, leaving room for your babys feet and legs to move.

Bring the last corner of the blanket across your babys body and tuck it beneath them. This will leave only their head and neck exposed. Your swaddled baby should only be laid on their back to sleep. Check them regularly to be sure they dont overheat. If you have questions about swaddling, ask your babys doctor. You know that all too familiar story where your baby has fallen asleep in your arms. Then you carefully lean over the cot and lower them down and as soon as you move away boom theyre awake and screaming hysterically as if youre tossing them down a mine shaft. Or worse, you actually manage to settle them to sleep and theyre completely still and before you know it they twitch or jerk and flail their arms about. Boom, theyre awake. Well, thats startle reflex for you. For many babies, this scenario happens constantly and creates a cycle of poor sleeping patterns that only leads to frustrated and desperate parents. Babies while asleep are in a state of dream sleep (REM). Your babys eyes dart back and forth under their eyelids, while the rest of their body is very still.

They will have the occasional twitch and may do little jerks in their sleep known as the startle reflex (also know as the moro reflex). What is startle reflex? The startle reflex is one of many reflexes that babies are born with. It is an automatic reaction to a loud noise, or the sensation of falling and causes the baby to be startled and flail their arms. So if that baby is falling asleep and suddenly has a startle reflex, it will go from relaxed to hysterical in 0. 6 seconds and when their arms move about, they no longer feel the safe environment of the womb which was once the edges of their little world. The good news is that the startle reflex usually disappears after around 3 or 4 months, but this may be later for some babies. This is why we are encouraged to swaddle babies from birth until the startle reflex has disappeared. However for some babies, the enjoyment and security of being swaddled is preferred long after the startle reflex has disappeared but unfortunately, swaddling no longer keeps them satisfied. Babies grow stronger and have developed Houdini skills mastering the art of escaping the swaddle, or worse have started rolling over while swaddled which poses a safety risk, and some simply dont cope well unswaddled.

Here are a few things you can do: When you descend your sleeping baby into its cot or bassinet, keep them as close to your body as possible for as long as possible. Hug your baby while you gradually bend over and contort yourself into a position thats graced the cover of several chicky magazines. Then place your baby on the mattress holding them close to your chest for a few seconds before relinquishing contact with your body. Once a slumbering baby feels a mattress on their back, they usually feel secure enough not to flail. I know itll feel like youre putting a container of nitroglycerine to bed, but it works. Swaddle wrap your baby tightly to give them a sense of comfort and security. If youve ever had an herbal wrap at a spa, you know exactly what I mean. However, be careful not to wrap too tightly to avoid risk of hip dysplasia and shoulder joint displacement. Lie down on the floor and feed your baby to sleep. Okay, youre desperate. You havent slept in days. Youre convinced that your kid is implanted with a high-tech, sci-fi sensor that reacts every time you lower them down.

Give yourself a break and lie down on the floor and feed your baby to sleep, then fall asleep yourself. No flailing necessary. Try using a transitional swaddle suit like our SLEEPY HUGS sleep suit, to transition your baby gently from swaddled arms to free arms in no time. What makes the SLEEPY HUGS sleep suit different? The SLEEPY HUGS sleep suit is a totally enclosed sleep suit designed to allow your baby to move their arms freely while still providing an enclosed, secure feeling that they enjoy. It has a slight resistance in the arms that allows them to move their arms around freely yet gives them that edge feeling (similar to being in the womb), so when they experience a startle reflex, they immediately feel secure. The SLEEPY HUGS sleep suit is the only swaddle transitioning sleep suit of its kind that doesnt restrict your babys arms to any one position, making it perfectly safe for babies who start to roll onto their tummy during sleep and allows baby to sleep in their most comfortable and natural sleeping position.

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