newborn startling easily and waking up - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 01-20-2008, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 4 week old I just realized has an active startle reflex. His hands move alot when he is asleep. We have been swaddling him and this helps. However my DP is holding him right now as he sleeps-and just realized that he wakes up every time his hands move-which is alot. It explains his waking up every hour-and that he seems to fight sleep. I'm wondering if he's afraid to fall asleep because of this reflex. We were putting him in a bassinet during the day to sleep-but now I think I may have to wear him more than I am.

I've also noticed him thrashing around in his sleep at night-he wakes up for a second fusses and falls back asleep before I have a chance to soothe him-he does this mostly in the early morning (3-5am) Is there anything I can do in addition to swaddling to stop this? I feel so bad for him that he's having such bad sleep-it also makes my sleep really bad-as I wake up after every wimper it seems-and if he's falling asleep right after-it's awful as then I keep waiting for the wimper that he won't fall asleep after.

Karen, mother to a wonderful active three year old.
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#2 of 10 Old 01-20-2008, 09:06 PM
 
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Swaddle him. Really tightly. In fact, you can even swaddle around his little hands, so that he looks like Mr. Burns from the Simpsons.
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#3 of 10 Old 01-21-2008, 02:09 PM
 
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Swaddle him. Really tightly. In fact, you can even swaddle around his little hands, so that he looks like Mr. Burns from the Simpsons.
:

ditto w/my DD (9wks). she has gotten better about staying asleep + her arms have quieted down. Hang in there mama!

dd #1 11/15/07 and dd #2 unplanned and so glad the midwife was on her way!
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#4 of 10 Old 01-21-2008, 02:18 PM
 
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We swaddled DD very tightly for the first 10 months. There was a period from 1 to 2 months when we didn't. But besides that she needed to be tightly wrapped up to sleep.

Just make sure that your unswaddle him at other times. They've done some research to show that babies who are always swaddled can have muscle and hip issues. They need time to move their limbs all around when they are awake.
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#5 of 10 Old 01-21-2008, 08:08 PM
 
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My girls have the same problem. Their arms just fly all over the place when they sleep and because of it they won't sleep for more than 20 min on their backs. they will only sleep on their tummy. I've read numerous articles saying babies should only sleep on their backs to avoid SIDS, but if the baby can pick up his head on his own when laying on his tummy, then maybe you should try that? Just make sure there are no loose articles and that the sheet fits very very tightly. My girls are now almost 3 months and sleep most of the night.

Good Luck!
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#6 of 10 Old 01-21-2008, 10:20 PM
 
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My DS did the same thing when he was that age. I could have written your exact post at that time. I had him in a cosleeper next to the bed and I got very little sleep. Sleeping with my hand on him seemed to help him drift right back to sleep but was pretty uncomfortable. I finally brought him into bed with me and we've both slept really well ever since.

I found it really helpful to read the Sears stuff on babies sleep patterns. As I vaguely recall, babies do have periods of light sleep about every hour. Perfectly normal.

When napping, we swaddled him as shown in the Harvey Karp video. My mom set me up with oversized swaddling blankets, which were essential for a good, tight swaddle.

I'm sure he's getting the sleep he needs. Hang in there and good luck! You will get to sleep again
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#7 of 10 Old 01-21-2008, 10:35 PM
 
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he wakes up for a second fusses and falls back asleep before I have a chance to soothe him-
This is a good thing. If he can move about and talk a little and get himself back to sleep, do not interrupt. We grabbed my daughter and started trying to comfort her the second she made a peep - all we were doing was waking her up! Her sleep is still mess and I think that's a big part of it. I'm not suggesting you let him cry or anything, but if he's in the midst of putting himself back to sleep, leave him to it.

Also agree with the swaddling. Some babies need to be swaddled for a long time.
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#8 of 10 Old 01-22-2008, 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by onlyboys View Post
Swaddle him. Really tightly. In fact, you can even swaddle around his little hands, so that he looks like Mr. Burns from the Simpsons.
Yep, I still do this at 5 months. ds loves it and we tried to sleep w/o and it just doesn't happen
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#9 of 10 Old 01-22-2008, 09:30 AM
 
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We used to call this "starfishing" around our house. He had a HUGE startle reflex and would fling his arms and legs out and look for all the world like a disgruntled starfish.

We wrapped him up like a burrito at sleep times and wore him when he was awake and that seemed to really help. Look for a light, stretchy blanket to wrap with. We have a new merino wrap for the next beastie, so we'll see how that goes. (Upside of living in a country where wool is relatively cheap, hehe)
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#10 of 10 Old 01-23-2008, 02:01 AM
 
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If you are comfortable with it I would suggest laying him to sleep on his belly. My dd was a stomach sleeper from day 1, and it was mostly because of her enormous reflex sensitivity.

born to be a mom to Lilah Rose at home on 7-18-06 and a cranky wife to Johnny 12-05 ::
Home birth to Eirwen Claire on 1-06-11
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