The comment I hear most at newborn sessions is, “Can you come back at midnight and work your magic?” I always laugh because I remember those sleepless nights very well and being so desperate and willing to try ANYTHING to get my babies to fall asleep and stay asleep.
All laughing aside, it’s not magic. I LOVE learning, reading and researching. When I was a new mom I read countless parenting books. “Getting your baby to sleep” is a topic that never goes out of style and there were many, many strategies I read about during this time. What resonated with me most was the 5 S’s from the book “Happiest Baby on the Block.” They are:
2. Side or Stomach Lying (to calm only; not for sleeping)
3. Shush (fairly loudly)
4. Swing (quick, small movements with head/neck supported but never shaking)
Essentially what they teach you is to create a womb-like environment.
Your baby was curled up inside a small, warm space (swaddle!), hearing their mom’s blood flowing (louder than a vacuum cleaner!), moving around constantly (swing!).
Until I read this book I always wondered while pregnant why my babies would start kicking me so much when I lay down at night to go to sleep. After reading the book it made perfect sense that was when they would “wake up” because I was finally at rest, not rocking them to sleep by moving around. The same was true the first few weeks after birth. I remember people telling me that my baby had “his days and nights mixed up” and thus slept a lot during the day but not so much at night. In reality my baby was just lulled to sleep in utero by my movement.
Do you ever get sleepy on a long car ride? Same idea. The movement, the monotonous sound of the highway…hand me a blanket and let me lie down on my side and I’ll be out in one minute flat!
So there you have it! I hope this helps you soothe your baby and get some much needed zzzzzzzs!!!