Love them, cuddle them, put them down when they're asleep
Updated: Aug 15, 2022
Naturally, new-born babies and all little ones need lots of love and cuddles, and sometimes it may be best for you to ‘wear’ your baby in the day time to get some chores done, but every day at one or two naps start to practice teaching your little one to self-settle.
The baby will wake up and need a feed, then a nappy change and gently talking to your baby in the early days before you can play with them. Talking, copying their noises and singing to your baby is always good, this is how they learn to speak. And copy their noises too, echo their noises and they will one day echo you!
Let the baby be in their sleep space where they can be left safety if you need to pop to the loo. Never leave them alone on sofa, couch, changing mat or anywhere they can fall to the floor. Babies move before you think they can. Then as you can see that the new-born is getting tired, don’t immediately put to the breast or bottle again, which will only encourage feeding to sleep which is a very difficult habit to lose, but instead place you baby in their sleep space, notice how they are tired and want to go to sleep, and watch for the signs and cues your baby is giving. …shush your little one, put a hand on their chest, or hold their feet and you may notice them slipping off to sleep on their own.
If not pick him/her up and calm your baby, and rock gently them and try to put them down again when calmer, so the baby becomes used to being in their sleep space when tired.
As the baby gets older you will be able to extend the time the baby can manage to wriggle and try to settle themselves to sleep. This is good for when baby is older at nap and at bedtime.
Babies around 3 months start to produce the melatonin hormone themselves, which puts their sleep cycle into a more regular rhythm, so they know the difference between day and night.
Of course, all babies have different personalities so they will take different times to learn to self-settle. Whilst the calm personalities may manage to self-settle early on, the more alert and nosy babies, who have a fear of missing out may take much longer and they are often the ones who need to have more active help further down the road in the months to come.
Don’t put your babies down with the fear of them waking up just place them down and if they wake up slightly then shush them, soothe them, and let them learn to self-settle in their safe sleep space. Of course, you can pick them up again, cuddle and put them down again holding their feet or hand when soothed and calm. This is all good practice for the future.