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Soothing Baby After Moro Reflex

When Baby suddenly awakens in a startled state, don't fret. Here are five easy ways to soothe him back to sleep.

Most parents have seen the quick spasm that suddenly awakens Baby with a bug-eye affect. It's called the Moro reflex. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), this dramatic reflex causes Baby’s head to shift position abruptly or fall backward. Something loud or abrupt may also startle him. Baby will extend his neck while throwing out his arms and legs, then rapidly bring his arms together, and he may cry loudly. It's a startling scene for sure, but it's also something he will grow out of.

"The Moro reflex, which may be present in varying degrees in different babies, peaks during the first month and then disappears after two months," says the AAP.

Don't worry if this does happen. You can soothe him back to sleep with a variety of techniques that many parents adhere to.

The 5 S's of Soothing

The art of tightly wrapping your baby to provide warmth and security, swaddling is thought to be one of the most effective ways to calm and quiet an upset infant. Learn how to swaddle at YouTube by searching “How to Swaddle Your Baby.”

Babies are born with the sucking reflex, and sucking can be done on a pacifier, bottle or breast. Sucking is natural and allows babies to work out gas and colic pains.

Parents do this naturally when a child is fussy, but shushing loudly is the key. The “sh” sound mimics the noise of the womb, so when babies hear it, it can be very effective in soothing them.

While all infants should be put on their backs to sleep, when Baby is fussy try using a different tactic. While holding Baby, place him either on his left or right side or even on his stomach. Once he's asleep, put him in his crib on his back.

Swinging is highly effective in calming babies, whether it happens in your arms or in an infant swing. Swinging motions are comforting to infants because they are similar to the way the baby moved from side to side in the womb when the mother would walk before birth.

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