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involuntary jerking
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EmeliaCurie posted:
my 2 month old daughter constantly jerks her arm up to her face/chest and her whole body tenses up every time she does. she does this even in her sleep. some times hitting herself hard enough to make her cry. nothing i do seems to help. i've never been around another baby before, is this normal or should i be worried?
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bbcntpa responded:
sounds normal. try swaddling her to keep her from hitting herself while she sleeps.
 
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Sara DuMond, MD, FAAP responded:
Hi EmeliaCurie,
Newborns certainly make all sorts of movements and noises that are often tough to interpret, and that makes it tough to know when to be concerned. It sounds like you are describing a normal startle reflex (a.k.a. Moro reflex), that babies make in response to even the littlest noise, movement, and sometimes seemingly not in response to anything at all. Swaddling will definitely help, so try that. Most babies outgrow this reflex by around 4 months of age, so hopefully you don't have much longer to deal with this!
Dr. DuMond


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