Does your baby wake up every time you put them down?

Does your baby wake up every time you put them down?

Quick Tips for New Parents is our "channel" of bite sized advice for new or expecting parents. If you find this tip useful, why not check out our Tik Tok where we post similar videos daily.

The Answer In brief:

Does your baby wake up every time you put them down to sleep? This could be the reason why...

Putting your baby down so that their head and shoulders touch the mattress first can give them the sensation of falling, and trigger the Startle (Moro) reflex - even when they are sound asleep.

To remedy this try putting them down so that their bum, back and then their head touches the mattress (keep baby close by for as long as possible).

Why not give it a try? This small change could make a big difference.

The Answer In detail:

The journey into parenthood brings a whirlwind of joys and challenges, with sleep being one of the foremost topics on every parent's mind. If you find that your baby wakes up every time you try to put them down for sleep, there might be a simple yet effective reason behind it – the Moro reflex. In this blog, we'll explore what the Moro reflex is, why it could be disrupting your baby's sleep, and a gentle adjustment that could make a significant difference.

understanding the moro reflex - baby falling sensation

Understanding the Moro Reflex

The Moro reflex, also known as the startle reflex, is a natural and instinctive response that infants exhibit when they feel a sudden loss of support or a sense of falling. This reflex is present from birth and usually diminishes as the baby grows older. It involves the baby's arms extending outward with a quick, involuntary movement, often accompanied by crying or fussiness.

The Connection to Sleep Disruptions

The Moro reflex can be triggered when a baby is placed down in a manner that gives them the sensation of falling. If their head and shoulders touch the mattress first, it may startle them awake, especially if they are in a light sleep phase. This scenario can become a common occurrence, leading to frequent awakenings and challenges in establishing a consistent sleep routine.

understanding the moro reflex - the solution

The Solution: Adjusting the Placement

The remedy for this sleep disruption is a simple adjustment in how you put your baby down to sleep. Instead of placing them with their head and shoulders touching the mattress first, try placing them down so that their bum, back, and then their head make contact with the mattress. This sequence minimises the sensation of falling and reduces the likelihood of triggering the Moro reflex.

Tips for Implementation:

  1. Gentle Transitions: When putting your baby down, do it slowly and gently. Keep your hands close by for as long as possible to provide a sense of security.

  2. Observation is Key: Pay attention to your baby's cues and reactions. If they seem more settled and less prone to waking, you're on the right track.

  3. Consistency is Key: As with any sleep routine, consistency is crucial. Implement this adjusted placement consistently to help your baby adapt to the change.

Parenting is a continuous learning experience, and understanding the intricacies of your baby's reflexes can make a significant impact on their sleep quality. By being aware of the Moro reflex and making a small adjustment in how you place your baby down to sleep, you can create a more comfortable and peaceful sleep environment for both you and your little one. Sweet dreams await with this gentle shift in your bedtime routine!