For the last forty or so weeks, your baby has been growing in your uterus, a protected, warm, safe environment. You have been baby’s home, and you are all they know. Understandably, a lot of parents get frustrated and upset when their baby doesn’t sleep very well as being fatigued can put a strain on your relationships and your ability to function effectively.
In saying this, it can be beneficial to reflect on what major changes have occurred as soon as your baby is born. These changes can be tough for them, and they need you to reassure, love and care for them so they can slowly adjust to their new environment. Remember, bub has been growing in your womb, so a bassinet or cot is foreign for them. The outside world is very bright compared to your womb, and bub doesn’t know the difference between day and night yet. You are their home, and you and your partner are the only familiar ones; your voice, your smell and your touch are all your baby usually want when they are upset.
Settling your bub
Settling your baby can be stressful and overwhelming when bub is crying and you’re not sure why. It takes time to get to know your baby, their body language and what works for them regarding settling techniques. Being flexible and responding to your baby’s needs are important. Observing and learning the different cues that your baby exhibits (hunger, tired or discomfort cues), takes time, and is your baby’s way of telling you what they need. Trusting your mama instincts is also very important when it comes to responding to your baby’s needs and cues.
Settling tips for new mums
There are lots of different reasons why your baby might be upset. Below are some ideas on what might work to settle them.
5 tips to make sleep time easier for you and your baby1. A bedtime routine can make the world of a difference in how your baby sleeps. A bedtime routine is about recreating the same steps each time before putting your baby to bed. For example, a warm bath, dressing bub, swaddling or using a sleepsuit and then a lovely feed before settling bub in their cot. Creating this similar routine before bed every night will trigger your baby to learn that it’s bedtime, and over time your baby should settle down to sleep quickly after the routine.
5. Your newborn will generally fall asleep relatively easily, although as your baby grows and develops, he or she may need help to learn how to fall asleep on their own. Ways to help your baby relax include being cuddled, rocked or fed. Just remember, the outside world is foreign to your baby and they sometimes need their parents for reassurance and comfort. Follow your instincts mama, and do what you feel is right and what works for you and your baby.
Safe Sleeping Recommendations in accordance with SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) guidelines
SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is defined by Red Nose Australia to bethe sudden and unexpected death of an infant under the age of one occurring during sleep and remains unexplained after a thorough investigation. SIDS is devastating for the whole family but is rare due to the implementation of safe sleeping strategies, which reduce the risk of SIDS.
An outline of safe sleeping recommendations:
You can read more on safe sleeping here -www.rednose.org.au
- Aliza Carr | Midwife & Perinatal Mental Health Specialist
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