Baby Reflexes

Reflex occurring in a newborn is an important sign to show that their nervous system and function is developing. Usually these reflexes will die out as they grow up. However, some normal reflex such as the blinking reflex follow us through our whole lives. These are some reflexes that are commonly seen in your little one, which will disappear when they grow up.

  • Moro reflex
  • Sucking reflex (sucks when the area around the mouth is touched).
  • Startle reflex (pulling arms and legs in after hearing loud noise).
  • Step reflex (stepping motions when sole of foot touches hard surface).

The reflex is also important in protecting them. For example, imagine yourself blinking unconsciously when a dust has nearly flown into your eyes. Thus, it protects your eyes from the dust in that split of a second. The reflexes to your little one is as important to him as the blinking reflex is to you. Thus, you may even say that your baby is pretty well equipped with survival tactics right from the start. Today’s topic we will be discussing about the reflex called, Moro Reflex. What is Moro Reflex, how will moro reflex affect a baby and how do we reduce Moro Reflexes occurring to them.

What is Moro Reflex?

Moro Reflex will be seen in all babies up to the age of 5-6 months, and it is abnormal for them to have an absence of this reflex. This is seen when they are startled. He will tighten his body, throw his arms or legs out, may look startled and often cry. It occurs when a sudden movement is felt or when a loud sound is heard. Usually, doctors will perform a test to prove that this reflex is present.

  • Doctors will lie your little one on a padded surface.
  • He will then lift him up very slightly supporting his neck and back, so that he would not feel his body weight.
  • The doctor will then release your baby while still supporting him.
  • Your little one will feel the sudden loss of balance and support. Feeling as though he is falling.
  • The normal response you would see are that the arms should move sideways with the palms up and the thumbs flexed. Give a startled look and cry for a minute or so.

How does it affect your little one?

Whenever they hear a loud sound or feel a sudden loss of balance. They will undergo this reflex. You may not feel it, but when the baby undergoes this reflex they feel as though they are falling. Imagine yourself tripping, and felt that sudden shock which runs through your whole body. You stood there relieving yourself for that instance. Almost the same feeling goes through your little one during moro reflex, therefore, it is quite a big response in your little one’s point of view. It is one of the main reasons that your little one cry. Do you find your children waking up crying frequently in the middle of the night? Moro Reflex is one of the culprit behind it. Do you find that with no rhyme or reason your little one starts to cry? It can be a troublesome but necessary reflex that happens to your newborn. We will guide you on the method to lessen this reflex in the next section.

Reducing Moro Reflex

Since this is a reflex, it happens when the baby is affected by external factors. Hence, once we reduce the caused by external factors, this reflex will also be reduced. These are 2 methods that we find the most useful.

  1. Whenever you put your newborn to sleep, when transiting from your arms to the crib. Be very gentle and always keep him close to your body giving him the necessary support. Lower yourself very slowly with the baby in contact with your body down into the crib. Do not release him until his back reaches the bed giving him support. Your baby may still feel the descend of his body, however, the response will not be so drastic as he can feel that his whole body is being supported.
  2. You should swaddle your baby, swaddling is known to help babies curb moro reflex by wrapping their body tightly give them comfort and a secure feeling. You can read more about the benefits of swaddling at SwaddleTots. It can ensure a good night’s sleep for both you and your newborn.

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