When you are really pregnant and close to the end, you don’t get much sleep. Sleep is one of those big issues that is always talked about in every parenting magazine, and this is because of the lack of it. When we lack something, we draw attention to it and sleeping is like gold when you’re a new parent: as in, it’s hard to find!
The third trimester sets you up for those early newborn days, because you don’t get much sleep at all. The aches in your bump and back along with the consistent need to pee and insomnia all make for very sparse rest and resets your body to wake up at the slightest interruption. This may well be natural but it often feels like nature’s way of laughing at you! To be able to get a decent rest when you bring that precious baby home, you need to know how to calm your newborn so you all get a few hours of sleep before the next feeding session. There are many methods out there, and these are some of those you can try:
No woman embarks on motherhood knowing how to swaddle a baby. If you’ve had a lot of experience with little babies, that’s different but it’s something you can learn on a doll during pregnancy. There are many different swaddles you can read about here but generally, swaddling is an effective way to calm your baby down. They feel snug, happy, and reminded of the womb when they are swaddled. Cuddling also has a positive effect on the central nervous system, which can calm the hormones that make babies cry.
A car is a precious commodity for most parents and when it comes to babies, it’s like catnip! The moment a baby is being driven in a warm, comfy car seat, the rocking motion can put them to sleep and calm them right down.
Babies generally have a need when they cry, and crying communicates that need. Always check for hunger, wet or dirty diapers, and basically any discomfort. Putting your baby to the breast, or curling up with a feeding pillow and bottle can really soothe a frantic baby. The closeness and full tummy are what’s needed!
Increasingly popular, the sound of white noise is reminiscent of the sounds of the amniotic fluid whooshing in the womb. There are a lot of companies that make white noise machines like this one to attach to the side of the crib and soothe your little one to sleep. By giving them the sounds they became accustomed to in the womb, they immediately feel safe and comforted.
Of course, all of these methods are based on your newborn being ‘standard’ and without reflux and colic, which can be harder to soothe. Getting sleep as a new mother is important, but expect to be a little sleep deprived for the first weeks while you and your new baby get used to each other!