'Startle reflex' in infants?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by donna723, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I went to my brothers house yesterday to check out my brand new great-nephew who was born three weeks ago. My niece was on a lot of medication and the doctors told her not to even think of getting pregnant while she was on these medications - she did anyway. Now she's in the middle of a divorce and back home with her mom and dad.

    The baby is a beautiful little boy, delivered by C-section. The day she was supposed to be released, the pediatricians decided to send the baby to a bigger hospital to be checked out - scared everybody half to death! The baby 'twitches' when he sleeps! He did it so much that they wanted to make sure he wasn't having seizures. I don't remember mine ever doing that but they said that all newborns do it, but he does it A LOT! I hate to make this comparison, but it's like when you see a sleeping dog and they're 'chasing rabbits' in their sleep! They kept him in the bigger hospital overnight, ran some tests, and decided he wasn't having seizures ... they told my niece that he had an "exaggerated startle reflex" and let her take him home.

    Yesterday I held him for well over an hour. He took a bottle and burped, then I held him with his head on my shoulder, patting his back, and he was sound asleep ... and then he started twitching! My hand was over his legs but his little arms were free and they would jerk and twitch with every sound in the room. There were other kids there and the louder the noise, the more he would twitch! And he remained sound asleep the whole time! Is this 'normal'? Or could this be how it starts out with those kids who are hyper-sensitive to everything? Is there such a thing as over-reacting to noises and stimulation? Not that I can do anything about it and not that I would even say anything to them about it, but I was just wondering and was kind of worried about the little guy. Has anybody ever heard of this?
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I had babies who did this, though not quite as badly. It is a very normal thing in babies. With Wiz we made the mistake of having the house be VERY quiet while he napped, then he couldn't nap if ANY noises were on in the house. It took several MONTHS to work that out.

    Jessie had major allergy problems as an infant and had to sleep in her carseat. We had a babyswing that the carseat sat into. We didn't have it on, but had her strapped into the seat and placed there so she couldn't fall or be bothered by Wiz or the cat. She would startle so much she would start rocking! It was pretty amazing, but she usually didn't wake up.

    thank you startled so much he woke himself up. Even in a silent house he woke himself up! But i didn't make the other kids be super quiet when he napped and he got to the point that he napped through anything.

    Each one of my kids has significant sensory problems. Not sure if they are related to the startle reflex or not. But the startling shouldn't hurt the baby at all.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The Moro reflex is the big four-limbed startle reflex where all four limbs extend as response to a sudden loud noise or a drop (such as dropping them back a few inches onto a mattress).

    I remember when I was about 6 months pregnant with easy child 2/difficult child 2 and I was standing next to husband, who was sitting. husband sneezed (he has a VERY loud sneeze) and I got a four-limbed Moro response from the baby in utero - WHAMWHAMWHAMWHAM! Punched from the inside in four places at the same time.

    That's when I looked at husband and said, "Well, she's got a good brain at this stage, anyway..."

  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    All of my babies were twitchers but my third had an exagerated relflex to sounds, even in utero. I would be standing at the counter washing dishes and when I banged a pot against the sink she'd jump like crazy. Kid noises were the exception: she was the third baby and with a toddler and preschooler in the house it was never quiet. I finally just rolled the bassinet into the living room where the action was so she could get some sleep. ;-)
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Well -

    I dont' know a thing about twitchy babies, but I have been personally easily startled all my life. There are even a group of people that live primarily in the NE that have this syndrome, and it has a name but I can't remember it.

    Perhaps between her being on the medications, and the medications it took for C=section there are some residual medications working their way out of his system.

    (and now ANOTHER baby to add to the list of when he's 18 I'll be old.....er) lol

    Congratulations on your nephew!
  6. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    This little guy doesn't just jump when he hears a noise, he keep on twitching for several minutes, like a dog that's dreaming! But his movements don't wake him up! He keeps right on sleeping! It's just very strange. I've never seen a baby do that before.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Donna...Mustang just posted the same thing about two weeks ago about her niece...lmao. And she described it the same way...dog dreaming about running.
  8. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    LOL Yeah, well it's kind of embarrassing to describe it that way but it's the only thing that comes to mind!