There is nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby. Getting baby to sleep, however, can be something of a struggle.
During our newborn sessions we use the 5 S's to soothe newborns as they can't do it themselves. These techniques can help at home too.
Your baby has just spent 9 months cosy and warm in Mummy's tummy. These techniques are designed to mimic some of the motions and sounds that are familiar and therefore, comforting to a newborn baby.
I don't do these in any particular order and sometimes use more than one at once (ie swaddling & side). Some babies just need a feed and they fall sound asleep, with others I'll try some if not all of these techniques. Our sessions are baby lead and above all it required patience and calm.
Babies are used to being in a small tight space in the womb, so swaddling them to restrict movement makes them feel safe, calm and happy. I alway tell Mum and Dad that I'd like to swaddle their baby and make sure they are happy for me to do so. I usually find babies settle very quickly when swaddled with parents asking for advice on how to do it themselves :).
Newborns are used to hearing Mums blood flow making quite a loud 'whooshing' sound in the womb. Therefore any kind of shushing or white noise will be comforting for a baby.
In the studio I use the 'Sound Sleeper' app on my ipod. This works really well for newborns and lots of our parents have used it as well. I've also seen 'The Baby Susher' work well - white noise can be played quite loud (as loud as a shower). Our Facebook followers have used recommended Ewan The Sheep.
Life in the womb is very jiggly so gentle movement can be comforting. Holding a newborn close to your chest and swaying backwards and forwards until they sleep or gently rocking them works wonders.
The sucking reflex comes from deep within the nervous system and triggers a calming response from the baby. Dummies are a great tool and can satisfy the need to suck that all babies have. We encourage parents to bring there own dummies but always have some on stand by just in case. We found the Avent Soothie to be great. However some parents choose not to use dummies and of course we will always respect this.
Newborns feel more secure on their side or stomach and sometimes just need a little time on their side to settle (this technique is for soothing NOT for sleeping). I usually start my sessions with a side pose to help settle the baby.
Try these techniques on your baby, stay calm and you'll see your baby start to settle.