Posted by Linda
It isn’t necessary to wait till your baby is crying or sobbing or very irritable to recognize that your child is ready for sleep. During the first six weeks especially, when there are a lot of adjustments that the baby is making to ready himself for life outside the womb, there is a lot of crying which seems to continue even after you have tried everything that you can. Don’t despair, it does get better. It takes awhile to get to know your child and to recognize whether he or she is crying because he is tired, or wet, or hungry. I remember being so exhausted in those days, but by three months, everything seems to smooth out. There was less crying and more sleeping and finally, i could get a little more rest myself. I also admit to being nervous with my newborn and being overwhelmed with the idea that we were totally responsible for this little child who was completely dependent on us.
The first signs that your baby is getting reading for sleep is that you notice that his activity decreases. He might yawn. His body even seems quieter. His motions are slower and his eyelids begin to droop. This point is optimal for either putting him down for a nap or lying down with him for sleep. If you wait until he is rubbing his eyes or is irritable or cranky and is fussing, your baby has entered the overtired zone and getting your baby to sleep becomes more difficult.
I read the books about how to soothe my child and my belief was to start with the easiest and least exhausting technique. I found it to be the best way for me especially when I was really tired myself. Here are some ideas. Keeping the baby close is very important. After all, according to researchers, babies don’t recognize that they are not a part of you till they are nine months old. If that was not enough, I tried swaddling, nursing or feeding, rocking, walking, a warm bath, massaging, singing or playing music, or taking a walk outside. The most important thing that I learned is to be calm myself, for babies pick up on parent’s energy. However, I found that it is easier said than done when your baby has cried for awhile. Sometimes, I thought that the crying would never stop. I learned that the calmer that I was and not frantically running through the list of what to do next, the better it was for my baby and for myself.
Next, I will be writing about the length and duration of a baby’s sleep. What are some tips that you might pass on to others when calming the baby?