One thing every new parent is bound to figure out is that sometimes babies cry for no reason at all—and they have no regard for their parents’ sleep schedule. As much as you adore your beautiful bundle of joy, the fact remains that a fussy baby just isn’t fun for anyone.
If you’re desperate for some solutions to get your newborn to sleep, don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Here are some simple techniques that really work.
A “shhhh” sound is incredibly soothing to newborns because it reminds them of the whooshing noise inside the womb. You can make this sound yourself, or rely on a device to do it for you.
The Baby Shusher is designed for this exact purpose, using a series of loud, rhythmic shushing sounds to soothe babies by engaging their natural calming reflex.
Swaddling is another technique that mimics the womb. Your doctor or nurse can show you how to do it the right way, but the general idea is to wrap a blanket snuggly around your newborn’s body to create a cocoon. It may eerily resemble a straightjacket to you, but it will soothe your newborn and prevent him from startling himself awake with random arm movements.
Rocking is yet another way to re-create the sensations your newborn experienced in the womb, where he bounced around gently for all those months. Rock your baby in your favorite rocking chair, or swing him back and forth rhythmically while he’s in your arms.
The sucking instinct comes naturally to babies, so having a finger or pacifier to suck on can soothe your baby and help her relax. However, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, giving your newborn a pacifier too soon can interfere with her ability to breastfeed properly. For this reason, the organization recommends “[waiting] to use a pacifier until your baby has learned how to breastfeed well and is at least 1 month of age.”
Have you found a reliable way to soothe a fussy baby to sleep? Share your favorite technique with us over on Twitter at @ShopBetterRest.