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How to settle a newborn baby

February 20, 2021 | NEWBORN

 Are you struggling to settle your baby? Or maybe you are trying to establish a good sleep routine for you and your newborn. Here are my top tips for a successful sleep routine for mum and baby.

 

Why is my baby crying?

Newborn baby’s cry a lot, and it’s important to understand that this is baby’s way of communicating. There are multiple reasons why baby may cry and as a new parent you have the fun job of figuring out what each sound means when your baby is trying to communicate with you.

The main reasons why your baby may cry or be unsettled could be because they are either too hot or too cold, tired, hungry, thirsty, have a dirty nappy, have wind, they are over stimulated or over tired and this maybe why they will not settle.

How to stop a newborn from crying

If your baby is unsettled the first thing you will likely do is scoop them up and give them a cuddle, while making the famous shushing sound in the hope that they stop. But when this doesn’t work what else can you do to stop baby crying?

• If breastfeed you could allow baby to suckle as this often settles a breastfed baby

• You could try playing some white noise ( I recommend this app https://deepsleepsounds.com/)

• Hold baby close to you or even try skin to skin contact while gently rocking.

• Gently stroke your finger along babies nose

• Try winding baby by holding them over your shoulder and rubbing and gently patting their back (making sure the head is supported)

• Try feeding baby if hungry. They often have little growth spurts and need feeds more often.

Is my baby tired?

Newborn babies sleep more than they are awake during the first few weeks, often sleeping around 14-18 hours a day – although it will feel like their sleep is never at night. But do you know what signs to look out for when baby is tired?

Signs to look out for that baby is tired

• Yawning

• Grizzling

• Clenched Fists

• Sudden or jerky movements

• Very fussy

• Frowning or even going cross eyed

How can I get my baby to sleep?

Establishing a good sleep routine from the early days will become a godsend as baby gets older. However – just because you start to create a routine does not mean that your baby will follow it, and thats okay. New mums often put a lot of pressure on themselves or feel external pressures from other people that shame them or make them feel they are doing something wrong if baby isn’t sleeping and that is simply NOT TRUE.

Some days baby will sleep and you will feel like a new woman. You will manage to have a shower and get dressed and might even manage to get out of the house before lunch. Other days baby will cry, wont sleep and you will be a walking advert for the next zombie movie, and will still be in your pjs with unbrushed hair at tea time – and thats Okay!

Here are my top tips for getting baby to sleep

First of all make sure that baby is fed, winded and has a clean nappy. Babies love to be wrapped and swaddled as it makes them feel safe, so I would start with this first. Make sure not to overstimulate baby if you are trying to get them to sleep – remember you want baby to feel relaxed and not energised. Play some white noise in the background as this works wonders with new baby’s. Rock gently until baby starts to drift off to sleep and relaxes. If you want to cuddle your baby to sleep then there is nothing wrong with that – after all they grow so quick so theres no judgement here. If you do want to put baby down to sleep make sure the room is dark and the perfect temperature for baby. Lay baby safely in their cot free from any cords / bumpers ( https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/caring-for-a-newborn/reduce-the-risk-of-sudden-infant-death-syndrome/).

Helpful Links

NHS – safe sleeping

White Noise App

Newborn Photography

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