Secrets to a Happy Baby
Bringing a new little one into your home is always a time of great joy. Whether you are new parents, or welcoming the newest addition of many, a newborn is always special. Unfortunately, draining nights filled with tears can make even the best parents feel strained, and even question if they got into more than they bargained for.
Late nights and sleep deprivation are a part of newborns, but understanding why baby's cry at night and how to help them get to sleep can make a more restful experience for everyone.
Why babies cry for no reason
You've changed his diaper. You've offered him a bottle or a breast. You've tried to put him to bed. No matter what you offer, baby doesn't want it.
Part of this is simply normal development—your newborn hasn't developed a circadian rhythm and needs practice to learn the difference between day and night. An inability to self soothe can also compound the problem, because they don't know how to get themselves back to sleep when they do wake up.
Another problem is “purple crying” an unexplained period of time when babies cry (typically in the late evening) for no reason at all. If you're up all night with a baby that seems to have no reason at all for their crying, here are a few tips to help soothe your child:
The 5 S's
Most doctors recommend the 5 S's to help get your baby back to sleep. The 5 S's are:
Newborn babies love to be swaddled. The sensation of being gently squeezed reminds them of the womb, and makes them feel cozy and at home. If your baby doesn't seem to enjoy being swaddled because theu simply must have their arms free, you can swaddle starting below the armpits for the best of both worlds.
This should only be done before the baby is old enough to roll, and the baby should always be placed on their back for safety.
Putting your baby to sleep on their stomach is dangerous, and will increase the risk of SIDS. That doesn't mean however, that you can't put your baby down on a blanket for a little supervised tummy time if they are crying inexplicably. While it is the worst position for sleep, it's the best position for easing fussiness.
White noise is your best friend. In particular this one free on youtube. Despite what you would think, babies actually sleep better in noisy environments.
Gentle rocking can also soothe the baby. Before they were born, babies spent most of the day getting gently rocked back and forth as you walk around. A swing or rocking in a rocking chair can make all the difference to a cranky baby.
One of the strongest forms of soothing is the ability to suck. A pacifier can make a huge difference in how quickly your baby goes back to sleep.
As the nights pass, you'll find out what combination works for your baby. She may just need some white noise and a pacifier to get back to sleep, or you may discover that being swaddled and walked a few laps around the house.
The first few months can be dreadful, but with patience and perseverance, you too can have a baby that sleeps through the night.
Want to learn more? Check out the links below: