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Thread: jerky hands?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default jerky hands?

    When do the involuntary movements stop? My DS is almost 9 weeks and keeps waking herself up b/c she ~jumps~ in her sleep. She grunts and crys when swaddled. Also I would like to have her hands out more...we keep them in the mitts b/c she keeps scratching her face...anyone have a LO that has outgrown this?

    wife to the best guy... anthony
    BF~PTCD'ing~ co-sleeping~ babywearing~organic eating mom to adorable anneliese 9/27/06 and sweet little melania 12/22/07
    and mom to my first love.... 3 fur babies

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: jerky hands?

    what you are referring to is called the startle reaction- totally normal. They jerk their hands and can wake themselves up from a deep sleep even. Swaddling is supposed to help with this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: jerky hands?

    My son seemed to completely grow out of this by about 5mo or so but it gets less and less from 3-5 mo. It is a protective reflex but can be frustrating when they are trying to get to sleep. When Aaron was smaller, I would stay in his room with him after he fell asleep and I had layed him in his crib and I would keep my hand on his tummy while he was startling. This seemed to comfort him a bit and he wouldn't wake usually. Well, it took a few times for him to "know" I was there and comforting him before he would stop waking. I also would sometimes ease his hands down onto the crib for him (because one of his hands landing on the mattress seemed to startle him a lot) one at a time. I would sometimes chuckle because I'd get one hand down and start to ease the other one down when he'd flop it onto the crib and all of my work with the first hand was for naught! (I only chuckled when we both had had some good sleep the night before!) Hang in there, she'll be through this, soon!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Smile Re: jerky hands?

    My 8 weeks old does this too. It is hard when she wakes herself and gets mad at the world for waking her up!

    My LO sleeps in a cars seat - yes I know it sounds odd but we tried everything and it is the only place she will sleep. Before we put the car seat in the crib next to our bed but now we have started sleeping with her in her car seat in our bed so my DH or I can keep one hand on her belly/arms/legs to sooth her and limit the arm jerking. We also found that she will sometimes sleep on the boppy pillow in our bed (head and shoulders proped up on the pillow with feet and botton down inside the open part of the U) and we keep our hand on her this way too. The swaddling worked wonders until about a week ago when she decided swaddling was not for her anymore and protest if her arms are wrapped up.

    Interestingly, she never jerks when she is sleeping on my DH or I (in our arms, on our lap or in a sling). I guess the body warmth makes her feel safe or something.

    Try out new positions and maybe you will find one that works for you and your LO. Good luck.
    Samantha: born 3 1/2 weeks early on Sept 2006 6lbs 4 oz 18 inches long with situs inversus totalis. Now a strong healthy little girl that wants to be a NICU doctor, loves her little sister and breastfeeds her dolls!
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 2,200 oz
    Alexandra: born 3 weeks early on July 2010 7lbs 8 oz 19.5 inches long.
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 1,200

    For information on becoming a Breastmilk Donor http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk

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