Moro Reflex: How Tummy Time Can Help

Moro Reflex: How Tummy Time Can Help

Posted by Kerry Nevins on

The first years with a newborn are filled with milestones, challenges, and countless growth opportunities. Among these developmental milestones, practices such as tummy time play a pivotal role in ensuring a healthy progression. 

Tummy time, a simple yet effective practice involves placing babies on their stomachs while they are awake and supervised. This activity is not only beneficial but essential for their physical and cognitive development. Additionally, understanding the Moro reflex - a natural reflex seen in newborns - is crucial for recognizing the importance of integrating activities like tummy time into daily routines. This blog post aims to explore the significance of tummy time in baby development, particularly its impact on diminishing the Moro reflex, thereby supporting a smoother developmental journey for babies.

Understanding the Moro Reflex

Understanding the Moro Reflex

The Moro or ‘startle’ reflex, is an automatic or involuntary movement – referred to as a reflex – in newborns, in which your baby suddenly throws their head back, cries, and extends out their arms and legs with their fingers outstretched, before pulling their arms and legs back in.

The Moro reflex usually occurs in the following instances:

  • When a loud sound or sudden movement startles your baby
  • Your baby’s own cry can startle them
  • When your baby’s head falls back slightly

The Moro reflex is a natural reaction that babies are born with, and it usually starts to fade away when they are about 4 to 6 months old. Learning about why this reflex happens and what it means helps us dive into the fascinating journey of how babies grow and develop. It also highlights how important it is to take care of their growing brains through loving and supportive care.

The Significance of Tummy Time

The Significance of Tummy Time

Tummy time is more than just a daily activity; it's a foundational practice that supports various aspects of baby development. By strengthening the neck, shoulder, and arm muscles, tummy time lays the groundwork for future milestones such as rolling over, sitting up, and crawling. Moreover, it promotes motor skills development and encourages cognitive growth through sensory exploration. 

Connection Between Tummy Time and the Moro Reflex

Integrating tummy time into a baby's routine can play a significant role in diminishing the Moro reflex over time. As babies gain strength and control through regular tummy time sessions, their neurological system also matures, leading to a natural integration of primitive reflexes like the Moro reflex. 

Implementing Effective Tummy Time Strategies

Implementing Effective Tummy Time Strategies

Introducing effective tummy time strategies into your baby's daily routine can play a pivotal role in supporting their developmental milestones, including the enhancement of motor reflexes. Tummy time, the practice of placing your baby on their stomach while they're awake and supervised, not only strengthens their neck, back, and shoulder muscles but also promotes healthy brain development. By gradually increasing tummy time sessions, starting from a few minutes a day to longer periods as your baby becomes more comfortable, you encourage the development of essential motor skills. This practice can also aid in the natural progression and resolution of reflexes like the Moro reflex, as it provides babies with the opportunity to adapt to sensory experiences and develop muscle control. Incorporating engaging toys and activities during tummy time can make it a fun and beneficial experience for your baby, fostering an environment that supports their neurological health and motor skills development.

Overcoming Challenges with Tummy Time

Overcoming challenges with tummy time, especially for babies who seem resistant or have a pronounced Moro reflex, can be approached with patience, creativity, and gentle strategies. Here are some suggestions to help make tummy time a more positive experience for both you and your baby:

Start Slowly

Begin with short sessions of about 1-2 minutes and gradually increase the duration as your baby becomes more comfortable. This gradual approach helps your baby get used to the sensation of being on their stomach without becoming overwhelmed.

Use a Comforting Presence 

Lie down on the floor face-to-face with your baby during tummy time. Your presence can be comforting and can help distract them from the discomfort they might initially feel. Smiling, talking, and singing to your baby can also make the experience more enjoyable for them.

Make Tummy Time a Breeze with the Babocush Comfort Cushion

For babies who feel uncomfortable or stressed during tummy time on a flat surface, the Babocush offers a gentle introduction. Its inclined position helps babies who are struggling with reflux or colic, making tummy time a more pleasant experience right from the start.

Incorporate Props 

Utilize props like rolled-up towels or a tummy time pillow to prop your baby up slightly. This can make it easier for them to lift their head and might be more comfortable for babies with a strong Moro reflex.

Engage with Toys

Place brightly colored toys or a mirror in front of your baby to catch their interest. This encourages them to lift their head and shoulders to look, which strengthens their muscles and can help distract from any discomfort.

Tummy-to-Tummy or Chest Time

If your baby dislikes being on the floor, try placing them on your stomach or chest while you're reclined. This still gives them the benefits of tummy time while also providing comforting closeness.

Timing is Key

Choose a time for tummy time when your baby is well-rested and content, not immediately after feeding, which might be uncomfortable for them. A happy baby is more likely to have a positive experience.

Create a Routine

Making tummy time a regular part of your baby's daily activities can help them get used to it. Consistency helps build familiarity, which can reduce resistance over time.

Remember, every baby is different, and what works for one may not work for another. It's important to watch your baby's cues and adjust your approach as needed. With patience and persistence, tummy time can become a productive and enjoyable part of your baby's development journey.

What are your thoughts?

We invite our readers to share their tummy time experiences or tips in the comments section below. Your insights can provide invaluable support to fellow parents navigating the joys and challenges of baby development. For more information on baby development and products that support tummy time, visit

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