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Startle/moro reflex in 8 month old

(3 Posts)
barbiebostock Wed 01-Jun-11 21:40:44

My DS is 8 months old and startles all the time. He's never been a great sleeper and only sleeps on his tummy, but in the car seat and pram etc(when he's on his back) i've noticed that he startles all the time (every minute or so) when he first drops off, and then around every 20 mins after that. i wonder if this is what causes his disturbed sleep at night too (does he do it on his tummy but it's less noticable?)
what causes it? is it normal? and how can i help him?

sneezecakesmum Wed 01-Jun-11 23:10:57

These sound like hypnic jerks if related to falling asleep. They are not dangerous, but I would check this out with your GP as it is affecting his sleep. No one knows what causes them. Most people get them occasionally - a sudden falling sensation and then a jerk awake.
He sounds quite affected by them and they are disturbing his sleep clearly. Whether he has vivid dreams? Sometimes they are associated with sleep apnea (stopping breathing briefly) which could explain why it is worse in the car seat when his head is flopped forwards? Not dangerous again but needs checking out.
Melatonin is a possibility to help sleeping but needs prescribing by a paed. hence get your GP to have a look at him.
It doesnt sound like a moro/startle reflex, they are quite different and happen when awake.

barbiebostock Sat 04-Jun-11 17:39:24

Thank you so much for this reply. I've been away from the computer due to family bereavement, but will phone the doctors on Monday.

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