May 4, 2010

Benign Neonatal Sleep Myoclonus

No mother wants to find out that something is wrong with her brand new baby. When Neil and I noticed that Rigby was doing something out of the ordinary I tried not to assume the worst. Neil told me one evening that Rigby had been twitching in his sleep and that it kind of concerned him. I hadn't noticed and figured it was the type of jerking that all babies do - we've seen them flail their arms and wake themselves up, they all do it. That night as I lay in bed with Rigby asleep on my chest I experienced what Neil was talking about. In his sleep Rigby would twitch and jerk for minutes at a time. It's difficult to explain unless you see it. In the dark of the night I lay there sick to my stomach wondering what could be wrong with my baby. We noticed it off and on over the next few days and it really concerned me. At our next doctor's appointment I asked about it and the doctor asked me questions back, trying to rule out seizures and other conditions. He told me signs to watch for and to keep an eye on it. Having the inquiring (and worrying) mind that I do I started to do a little research on my own and that's when I learned about Benign Neonatal Sleep Myoclonus - basically a very long term for a baby that has an immature nervous system and twitches and jerks in it's sleep. I didn't want to self diagnose but as Neil and I researched it more and more it so perfectly and exactly described what Rigby was doing that there was no doubt in either of our minds that that is exactly what he was experiencing, it has very specific manifestations. The research we gathered assured us that these twitches have zero affect on the baby's brain or system in any way and that they typically outgrow them by 2 months. I am so happy to say that over the past few weeks he has had these episodes less and less and within the last 2 weeks I haven't seen him do it at all.

I wanted to post about this as we have learned that Benign Neonatal Sleep Myoclonus is an under-diagnosed condition and often goes misdiagnosed which can lead to unnecessary testing and medication. I wanted to share what I had learned to maybe help other mothers who see the same thing in their little ones and worry about it as I did. I am so grateful it was nothing to worry about and that Rigby has already outgrown this condition.


  1. Thank Goodness! I am SO RELIEVED that everything is alright with the little man! Oh the things a mothers heart has to go thru with some of these little people!

  2. I'm so glad to hear that he's not doing it anymore! Yeah for all of you!


Straight up now tell me...