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Swaddle baby to prevent their natural startle reflex

If you are a parent of a newborn, you must have seen it. One minute your baby is sleeping peacefully and you are convinced she will be down for hours but then all of a sudden, her arms jerk. She is wide awake and you are back to square one trying to put her to sleep all over again. This is what is called a natural Startle or Moro Reflex. It is completely normal as it is a protective automatic reflex babies are born with.

What is a Moro Reflex?

The Moro Reflex is a natural response your baby gives to an abrupt disruption of balance. In simple words, your little one feels like he or she is falling. This can even happen when the baby hears a loud noise or when a mother, who is soothing her little one close to her body, places the baby in the crib, suddenly removing the support.

Babies also get startled by bright light or abrupt movement. The involuntary startle response is called the Moro reflex. The quickest way to identify it is when your baby suddenly extends her arms and legs during sleep, and quickly curls in or arches their back. This not-so-welcoming surprise can even leave your little one in tears.

How to calm a baby experiencing the Moro reflex?

Your baby is trying to get used to the outside world which is extremely different as compared to the warm and tight space inside the womb. So when your little one is experiencing the Moro reflex, try to draw your baby’s stretched legs and arms closer to their bodies.

Swaddle your baby

Swaddle is the most helpful thing as it restricts the baby’s movements and helps create a womb-like environment, which can soothe your child while experiencing the startle reflex. Moreover, it allows your baby to feel safe and prevents the baby from extending its arms out.

When you swaddle up your baby, it not only calms your munchkin but also prepares them for a sound sleep. It has the ability to counteract the Moro reflex. By keeping your darling’s arms tucked in tight against their body, you are helping them not to feel the falling sensation that leads to the natural startle reflex ultimately.

This is the reason people swaddle. It basically calms the infants and makes them feel safe. For people who don’t know, a swaddle is a fabric that you can use to wrap around your bundle of joy’s body like a cozy cocoon.

Additionally, traditional swaddles are simple blankets that require tucking and folding to get a snug feel. Whereas nowadays, ready-made swaddles are also available that don’t require any complicated folding. They are easy to use, and come with an adjustable fit hence keeping your baby’s tiny limbs in place.