If you’re looking for tips to soothe an unhappy baby, here are 6 tips to settling your little one that may help base on my experience as a mum and a newborn photographer.
The first tip of our 6 tips to settling your little one is around touch. Babies find comfort in physical touch and gentle motions. Try swaddling your bub in a soft blanket, holding them close to your body, or gently rocking them in your arms. You can also try gentle massages or lightly patting their back to soothe them. Just having them in your arms, against your chest, feeling your heartbeat can create such a shift in their emotions and can relax them quite fast.
White Noise or Shushing Sounds are often calming, due to the rhythmic, repetitive sounds. Consider using a white noise machine (we have some for sale in the Romsey studio), playing music, or creating a shushing sound to mimic the womb environment. There are also mobile apps available that offer various soothing sounds specifically designed for bubs. Dim the lights, play soft music, and minimize noise and distractions. Ensure the room temperature is comfortable and consider using a swaddle or sleep sack to provide a cosy and secure feeling for your bub.
Don’t get me wrong, babies are sensitive to their surroundings, so creating a calm and soothing environment can help them relax. I have just found that reducing the normal noise levels worked best for my two as well as the babies in the studio. A completely quiet environment may cause baby to wake up suddenly if “normal” noises occur – older siblings fighting over that same last cupcake as always etc.
Babies thrive on predictability, and having a consistent routine can help them feel secure. Establishing a soothing bedtime routine can signal to your baby that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Include activities such as a warm bath, reading a bedtime story, or singing a lullaby. Consistency is key, so try to follow the same routine every night. This can help your baby relax and mentally prepare for sleep.
Dummies can be a source of comfort for many babies. If your bub is experiencing discomfort due to teething, you can try providing them with a teething toy or a clean, chilled teething ring to alleviate their discomfort. Always ensure that the dummy or teething aid is age-appropriate and safe for your bub.
Take it from me, when Aurora was born, she fed on me for 6 hours in the hospital (the midwives kept saying oh well she’s obviously hungry, let her feed…. 6 hours and 2 completely cut up and bleeding nipples later I reached for the dummy. She wasn’t hungry she just wanted to comfort suck.
I know how addictive that new baby smell is, I mean if they could bottle that and the smell of rain on a hot day (or after the grass has been mowed) I would be happy. But did you know that your scent as well as some essential oils can have a calming effect on babies. Consider wrapping your little one in a blanket that you had laying on yourself or using a lavender-scented lotion or a few drops of diluted lavender essential oil on your baby’s bedding or in the room. Lavender is known for its relaxing properties and can help create a soothing environment conducive to sleep.
Embrace Safe Co-Sleeping: If you’re at your wits’ end and struggling to get your baby to sleep, co-sleeping under safe conditions might provide some temporary relief. Ensure you follow safe sleep practices, such as placing your baby on a firm mattress with no pillows or heavy blankets and keeping them in close proximity to you. Remember that co-sleeping should be approached with caution and is a personal decision that should align with your beliefs and circumstances. Check out this link from Red Nose about safe co sleeping.
Late nights can be exhausting, and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help. Reach out to your partner, family members, or close friends who can provide support and take turns soothing the baby. You could also consider joining local parent groups or online communities where you can share experiences and gain helpful insights from other parents. PANDA is an incredible organisation that support expecting and new parents.
Remember, each baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Be patient with yourself and your baby as you navigate this journey together. If you have persistent concerns about your baby’s sleep patterns or overall well-being, consult with a pediatrician or healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance. Hopefully these 6 tips to settling your little one have given you something helpful to try when your little one is unsettled next time.
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