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A reflex is an involuntary movement or action. We all have them, including newborns. Babies are born with several reflexes that are necessary for survival such as sucking and swallowing. They’re also born with what is known as the moro reflex, or startle reflex. 

Keep reading to answer questions such as what is the startle reflex, why do babies have a startle reflex, and when do babies lose the startle reflex.

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A reflex is an involuntary movement or action. We all have them, including newborns. Babies are born with several reflexes that are necessary for survival such as sucking and swallowing. They’re also born with what is known as the moro reflex, or startle reflex. 

Keep reading to answer questions such as what is the startle reflex, why do babies have a startle reflex, and when do babies lose the startle reflex.

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what is moro reflex?

The moro reflex in babies refers to the involuntary motions a newborn makes when startled, which is why it is also known as the startle reflex. This can happen as a result of loud noises, bright lights, sudden changes in support, or even their own movements.

When the newborn startle reflex is triggered, a baby extends their arms and/or legs out quickly before pulling them back in. Your little one might let out a loud cry as well, but the infant startle reflex can vary. 

why do babies have moro reflex?

There isn’t a clear answer to the question, “why do babies have startle reflex?” But several triggers have been identified as causing the moro reflex and explains why babies startle. Some potential triggers include:

• Loud noises such as door slamming or a dog barking

• Bright lights

• Sudden movements such as laying your little one down in their crib or bassinet. This is one reason the baby startle reflex while sleeping is common.

what is the possible function of the moro reflex in infants?

Nowadays, doctors use the moro reflex newborn babies have to evaluate the integration of the central nervous system. An absent or abnormal moro reflex (such as only occurring on one side of the body) could potentially indicate:

Injury resulting from birth

• An infection

• Spastic cerebral palsy

• Peripheral nerve damage

This is why pediatricians test for the start reflex babies should have to determine if there is cause for concern.

Experts believe the moro reflex was originally developed as a survival instinct. It encourages the child to cling to their mother, and if there is a sudden movement, the start reflex kicks in for the baby to cling to their mother for safety. 

when does startle reflex go away?

The good news is that there is a clear answer to, “when does the startle reflex stop?” As babies get older and their neck muscles strengthen, the moro reflex becomes less prominent and jerky. For most babies, the startle reflex starts to lessen around 3-4 months and is completely gone by 6 months.

what to do if the baby startle reflex is getting worse?

Most of the time, the moro reflex in babies does not cause any issues for little ones or their parents! It typically goes away between 3-6 months.

In the meantime, here are some ways parents can help calm down their little ones experiencing the moro reflex:

• Move your baby’s outstretched arms and legs gently back toward their body

• Hold your baby close to soothe them

• Support your baby’s head and neck when moving them

• Swaddle your baby

The only potential problem that the moro reflex can cause newborns is that it causes them to wake themselves up. First, you have to understand, “why do babies get startled in their sleep?” When you go to lay down your baby in their crib or bassinet be sure to support their neck and head, so there is no sudden drop.

what is moro reflex?

The moro reflex in babies refers to the involuntary motions a newborn makes when startled, which is why it is also known as the startle reflex. This can happen as a result of loud noises, bright lights, sudden changes in support, or even their own movements.

When the newborn startle reflex is triggered, a baby extends their arms and/or legs out quickly before pulling them back in. Your little one might let out a loud cry as well, but the infant startle reflex can vary. 

why do babies have moro reflex?

There isn’t a clear answer to the question, “why do babies have startle reflex?” But several triggers have been identified as causing the moro reflex and explains why babies startle. Some potential triggers include:

• Loud noises such as door slamming or a dog barking

• Bright lights

• Sudden movements such as laying your little one down in their crib or bassinet. This is one reason the baby startle reflex while sleeping is common.

what is the possible function of the moro reflex in infants?

Nowadays, doctors use the moro reflex newborn babies have to evaluate the integration of the central nervous system. An absent or abnormal moro reflex (such as only occurring on one side of the body) could potentially indicate:

Injury resulting from birth

• An infection

• Spastic cerebral palsy

• Peripheral nerve damage

This is why pediatricians test for the start reflex babies should have to determine if there is cause for concern.

Experts believe the moro reflex was originally developed as a survival instinct. It encourages the child to cling to their mother, and if there is a sudden movement, the start reflex kicks in for the baby to cling to their mother for safety. 

when does startle reflex go away?

The good news is that there is a clear answer to, “when does the startle reflex stop?” As babies get older and their neck muscles strengthen, the moro reflex becomes less prominent and jerky. For most babies, the startle reflex starts to lessen around 3-4 months and is completely gone by 6 months.

what to do if the baby startle reflex is getting worse?

Most of the time, the moro reflex in babies does not cause any issues for little ones or their parents! It typically goes away between 3-6 months.

In the meantime, here are some ways parents can help calm down their little ones experiencing the moro reflex:

• Move your baby’s outstretched arms and legs gently back toward their body

• Hold your baby close to soothe them

• Support your baby’s head and neck when moving them

• Swaddle your baby

The only potential problem that the moro reflex can cause newborns is that it causes them to wake themselves up. First, you have to understand, “why do babies get startled in their sleep?” When you go to lay down your baby in their crib or bassinet be sure to support their neck and head, so there is no sudden drop.