What a joy to watch your baby sleep! All parents know that watching their child sleeping is soothing and almost makes us forget all the worries of everyday life.

However, in these moments of tenderness and complicity, we can also detect small spasms in the child that draw our attention and sometimes worry us. Even if these uncontrolled movements are not usually serious, it is interesting to know how to recognize them. What is their origin? Can they be avoided? Why do babies have spasms during sleep? What is the best way to sleep?

Identifying sleep spasms in newborns

These rapid, involuntary, low-amplitude muscle contractions are also called sleep myoclonus. Not to be confused with convulsions, they are benign and do not present a health risk for babies. They are easy to identify: they are involuntary movements of short duration (between 15 and 20 seconds) that appear sporadically, usually during sleep. The areas most frequently affected are the head, arms and shoulders.

Over time, the spasms become less and less frequent until they disappear completely. Nevertheless, they can last up to seven or eight months in some cases.

Causes of infant spasms

Even though sleep spasms are normal in toddlers, many parents want to know the cause. The answer is not so simple. The reasons for sleep spasms in babies are currently unknown. So if you are concerned about this, don't hesitate to express your doubts when you visit your pediatrician.

They are thought to be genetic in origin. Experts agree that the central nervous system is primarily involved but that there are no side effects.

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How do you manage sleep spasms in babies?

Children who suffer from spasms need, even more than others, a safe sleep and in particular a bed with bars to avoid possible falls.
Therefore, avoid Montessori-type beds for children who suffer from severe spasms during sleep.
Do not wake up a child during his sleep even if he has spasms.
Avoid co-sleeping.
Respect your baby's sleep and wake times, and limit stimulation before bedtime.
Don't eliminate naps during the day. You can use soothing essential oils, as they are natural, healthy and prepare for better sleep, but use them sparingly.