Every parent understands the exhaustion that comes when you are trying to soothe an upset baby. Many mums and dads will make the trip to the hospital when they cannot find a reason for their baby to be crying, and nothing is working to soothe them. It can be a challenge for first-time parents and also confusing when nothing is working to settle the baby. You may be getting conflicting advice from family and friends, along with health care professionals.
For many babies, the first step is to make sure that they are not hungry or overtired. It can help to maintain a diary of when your baby is sleeping, crying and feeding, which can help to figure out if a pattern is emerging. Newborns need plenty of sleep, especially those aged between six weeks and three months will only stay awake for an hour or so, then they need to go back to sleep. Try and recognise your baby’s tired signs so you can get them down for a nap before the overtired stage kicks in.
When you are pacing the floor in the middle of the night for hours on end trying to calm your baby, here are a few methods that you can try.
- Try to space out the feeds, so they end up taking in a good feed that is wanted less often and will help them to sleep better in between.
- Swaddling your baby can help to soothe and settle them. Try swaddling your baby up and rocking them to sleep
- Consider a white noise machine. Many babies are calmed by the womb sounds which can help them to settle and have a much better sleep
- Babies are not born to self soothe. Don’t ignore their cries; most often, they won’t just stop on their own. Soothe and rock your baby and sing them a lullaby can help them to settle.
- Avoid over-stimulating your baby. Rock and soothe them in a quiet, darkened room and avoid talking to them when trying to get them to settle.
- If you cannot get your baby to settle, you can always try a car ride. Many babies will drift off to sleep once they are in the car and feel the gentle vibrations.
The first step in tackling the crying is to understand what the standard patterns of sleep and play are for your baby. There are support teams out there than can help you with settling techniques that work for both you and the baby. There isn’t any incorrect or correct way to settle babies; however, some methods will work better for you and your baby than the rest.
You must talk through any issues you are having with your temporary nanny if you have one, who may know the reason for the crying that you were not aware of. Touching base with your nanny often can ensure they are kept up to date with your babies progress and any concerns that you may have. If you don’t have one and feel like you’re struggling to cope right now, don’t hesitate to reach out to a nanny agency for assistance.
Get in touch with some mother groups who may have techniques of their own that they found worked well that you might not have even thought of. Touching base with people can give you more ideas and inspiration when it comes to settling your baby, especially if you are a new mum.
Parenthood, as you will come to find out, is the most rewarding journey you’ll ever partake in life. And you don’t get to some place good without some hardship. We hope our article has helped give you some ideas and inspiration to levelling up your parenting skills and give you and your baby some quality sleep time.