Having a baby is one of those milestone moments every couple looks forward to, it’s important to involve a professional new born photographer to ensure you get those perfect photos!
What they tend to ignore (or forget) at the time is that with that baby, comes weeks of sleepless nights, 3 am diaper changes and tired mornings. And while all of it is worth the trouble, it’s no secret that new parents do tend to suffer. That’s why, over the years, many settling techniques have been tried, tested and approved.
What are settling techniques, you ask? These are ways to get a newborn baby to sleep calmly so that the parents can also get those much-needed 5 minutes of shut-eye. Getting a restless baby to sleep is never easy, and we feel you might need a little help.
So, we are here today to tell you about the top 5 newborn settling techniques that might help your baby get cosy and fall asleep a bit faster.
Let’s not keep the baby waiting and get right to it!
Top 5 Baby Settling Techniques For A Newborn
Before we get to the settling techniques, it is important to remember that you might have to do a little bit of trial and error regarding sleeping time. No one goes to sleep unless they are tired, and babies are no different. It takes a few weeks but eventually you will know when to put the baby to bed and successfully do it.
However, babies are unpredictable, and even if they fall asleep on time (for a change), they tend to wake up in the middle of the night. Sometimes, it’s because they are too hot, too cold or just hungry. So, if the baby is fed and comfortable but still crying, then it is handy to know a few techniques that usually help them fall asleep faster.
Many new parents think that their babies do not like to be swaddled, but this is far from the truth. This usually stems from their babies crying after they have been wrapped but that only happens if the wrapping has not been done correctly.
Newborn photography swaddling techniques mimic the feeling of them still being in the womb which calms the baby down and ensures that they don’t wake up due to their startle reflex. It is most effective when done with a lightweight cloth-like cotton muslin, which is soft and durable.
When swaddling, it is vital to remember that the blanket should not be tight around the hips, giving the baby enough room so that it can bend its legs. Also, once wrapped, ensure that the baby sleeps on its back. This technique can be used till the baby can turn on its stomach.
2. Using White Noise
It is a common misconception that babies need to be in a completely silent surrounding to fall asleep fast. White noise is a great way to get babies to fall asleep as they are used to background noise. Believe it or not, the womb is not a very quiet place. So, even before being born, the baby gets used to low background noise that helps them remain calm.
This is why playing something low in the background can help the baby remain asleep peacefully. From a medical perspective, anything below 50 decibels will not harm the baby’s ears. We recommend getting a white noise machine for the baby’s room to play soft ambient music as you try to put the little one to sleep.
A white noise machine usually has a self-timer and is portable, so it can be used wherever you go. Plus, it’s not just beneficial for babies but also older kids (and sometimes adults). But it is not necessary as there are plenty of white noise videos on the internet that can be used for your little one.
3. Patting and Moving
Patting a baby to sleep is a settling technique that is as old as one can remember. We are sure everyone has seen parents pat a kid back till they sleep. There is something about that rhythmic pat on their back or their little bottom which instantly calms unsettled babies and puts them off to sleep. The patting settling technique, combined with a little movement like swaying or walking, can work like magic.
Swaying and walking around while the baby is in your arms somewhat replicate the movements they are used to while they were in the womb. This is a very effective method to use if the baby is overtired or unsettled. If you are using only movement as a settling technique, we suggest using a bassinet or a rocker as it will be less strenuous.
4. Shushing (Shush-Pat Combination)
This is another age-old and very effective settling technique used by parents. The shushing sound replicates whooshing sounds the baby is used to hearing in the womb, which brings a sense of familiarity and calms them down. However, this method cannot be used independently.
For it to be most effective, it has to be combined with patting. The shush-pat method is picking the baby up, patting their bottom and softly making shushing noises near their ear. The idea is to pat and shush rhythmically. Plus, moving around as you pat and shush makes it even better.
Using pacifiers as a settling technique is controversial, but if done correctly and timely, they can be a boon for babies. This is usually because until the age of 3 months, toddlers have a shorter sleep cycle, and having some kind of sleep association tool can help them swiftly go back to sleep when they wake.
For the first 5-6 months, you will have to put the pacifier back if it slips out of the baby’s mouth, which can be a little bit of a nuisance. But after 6 months, the baby should be able to put the pacifier back. However, a pacifier should be used only when you are sure that the baby does not have to be fed.
It’s not a bad idea to get rid of the pacifier by the third or fourth month and replace it with another technique like white noise or patting. That way, the baby will not develop a habit and associate sleep with it.
Understanding Your Baby’s Sleep Cycle and Tired Signs
As joyous as it is to have a baby, it is stressful, especially when it is not settling independently. In this case, understanding the sleep cycle is important. Usually, babies sleep for about 16 hours every day. But, this happens in 2-3 hour cycles, and babies need settling after every cycle.
In this case, it is crucial to remember that babies usually remember the last thing they did before falling asleep. So, if you fed the baby or were rocking it before it went to sleep, chances are that’s what it will expect as soon as it wakes.
It is also crucial to identify tired signs, so that you can put it to sleep at the right time. Post feed, newborn babies will stay awake for about 15-20 mins, which increases to 60-90 minutes as it grows older, after which they get cranky. Once the baby starts crying or getting restless, that means it’s time to hit the sack.
Additionally, some other sure-fire ways of telling that your baby is tired are small signs like yawning, jerking arms and legs and staring. Older babies also tend to rub their eyes if they are tired. It is important to keep an eye out for these signs because overtired babies also take a long time to settle and go to sleep.
Teaching a newborn how to self-settle is important because, after a while, the baby needs to be more independent and go back to sleep without any help. A great way to get the babies to be less reliant on the parents is by taking them to the room, dimming the lights and then putting them down while they are still awake but tired.
Additionally, avoid feeding right before bed so that the baby does not associate feeding with bedtime. It also helps if the parent does not pick them up if they are crying. Instead, rock the bassinet or just stroke their cheeks till they become quiet, and then leave the room.
Always remember that self-settling takes time, so be sure to give it a shot for at least 30 mins and not give in to changing techniques quickly so that the baby sleeps faster.
We hope that this short guide has been informative and can help get your little one to sleep quickly. After all, it’s only after the babies sleep that the mummies and daddies of the world can get some rest too.
And with that, we bid adieu. We will see you next time and until then, pour yourself a glass of wine and relax. You deserve it!