One moment you are going about your life as you had become accustomed to. The next moment, everything has changed and now there is a little human demanding all your time.
Having children is a beautiful experience. However, every high has to be accompanied by various kinds of lows.
That is exactly what is happening with your babies. You crave those moments where your baby would fall asleep, at least you can get some work done around the house.
See, there is a slight issue. Baby’s sleep isn’t something that happens unless you hold them. It’s become a routine at home, whether day or night.
One minute the newborn babies are the sweetest angels, sleeping without a care judging by the bubbles forming out of the side of their mouth. It’s bedtime and you try to put them down in their crib, the sirens are turned on faster than you can take a breath. Mom will have to start all over again.
How Do I Get My Babies To Sleep Without Being Held?
The most pertinent question from new parents who are experiencing babies with sleep problems. There is one thing you can’t do without if you are to help your baby solve this issue, or even help sleep through the night or day.
See, your baby spent a good number of months, depending on the circumstances around their birth, in the womb. This is a nice, warm and cozy home that is free from distractions and worry.
Of course, your baby will have been accustomed to that. This is the reason why your baby will only want to sleep when held. They are close to you, they like your warmth and protection.
They like every beat of your heart. In their minds, they are still in the womb.
This is the reason why when it is bedtime, the moment you try to place the months-old baby on the unfamiliar sheets, they will jerk awake, even where they were sleeping just fine. Their sleep comfort has been taken from them.
You will require good tips to help you overcome the crying from the little one and give them the best sleep in a while. There is one thing you can do to help recreate that same feeling of being in the womb, without the newborn babies being in your hands.
The Power Of Swaddling
This is the best option for a mom to take for the baby’s benefit. The womb is a safe, warm and tight space. When your months-old baby is kicking, there really isn’t much room for them to do so effectively. Swaddling is common and mimics the womb to an extent.
The snug fit you create with a blanket will, first of all, be warm and cozy for sleeping. Moreover, it will help soothe their crying. This works for the night when they are finicky as they will learn quickly.
All you will need to do is rock them for some time until they are warm inside the swaddle and voila! Your hands are free to get stuff done around the house. If you do it right, you can make it a routine where you get to sleep through the night.
Another thing you should note is to have your baby nap on their back. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the leading cause of infant mortality for children who are not yet one year old. This is greatly exacerbated by the baby sleeping on their tummy or the sides.
The child will rebreathe the air that they had already expelled. This will cause an increase in carbon dioxide build-up.
Start getting them used to a nap on the back in the crib. Their airways will be much more open and the child will be receiving fresh air from around the room. Sleeping on the tummy is great as the child usually sleeps longer.
However, they are less likely to move around or change sleeping positions. With CO2 buildup, they may simply suffocate in their sleep. To prevent this serious issue, parents, put your child to sleep on the bed while on their back. The child may not like it but they will have to make do for their own benefit.
How To Swaddle A Baby
Swaddling a baby is not exactly a science, but it needs to be done right. Here are quick steps you can utilize.
Step 1: Find A Flat Surface
This can be a bed, a sofa, or someplace soft where you can begin the process. The thing you will want to do is fold the swaddling blanket into a triangle by taking the two diagonal corners.
Step 2: Place The Toddler On The Blanket.
You should do this face-up and at the center. Take the toddler’s right arm and place it across their chest slightly bent.
The blanket should follow and tuck underneath the left side of the body. Take the bottom of the blanket and tuck it just under the chin.
Repeat the same procedure with the left hand going over the portion of the blanket you tucked under the chin. Now tuck the left side of the blanket under the right side of the toddler’s body. You are all done in two easy steps.
Should You Be Swaddling?
That fourth trimester with a baby can be a serious drain on the energy of a parent, especially where there is a lot of crying and sleepless nights involved. As is the case, a solution has to become available to remedy this situation and what better one is there than swaddling?
It may seem like a straightforward solution, but the execution can be a real problem for many parents who are just trying out this technique. Making a warm burrito out of your baby may not be your cup of tea, it doesn’t, however, mean that you will be limited if you were to attempt this.
You could instead rely on baby swaddle sacks to achieve a similar effect. There are various design options such as those that come with Velcro or zippers to make work easier for you. If you choose to swaddle first, you can gradually introduce the baby to the swaddle sucks as you begin to wean them off this.
You need to be wary of something. The moment the baby begins to roll on their sides, it is time to get rid of the swaddled. The safety of the baby is highly compromised by swaddling.
How To Soothe The Baby To Sleep
Step 1: Swaddle
Swaddling is meant to recreate the tight packaging the baby got used to while still inside the womb. It is the first point on the journey towards calming your baby enough to sleep away from your arms.
With the baby in the swaddle, the steps to follow will be a great deal of help whenever you need to get the baby to sleep and hopefully get some work done.
Step 2: Side/Stomach Position.
As explained earlier, SIDS is a serious problem affecting a large number of babies. This is the reason why sleeping on the back is the safest way for your child to sleep. However, it is a terrible position to put your baby in if you hope to soothe them.
Instead, you will have to take a chance and switch their sleeping positions. You can hold the baby by the side, lay them on your shoulder, or lay them by their stomach. These simple actions will quickly calm any baby down.
Step 3: Shush
Contrary to popular opinion, total silence is not necessary to get a baby to sleep. Have you ever tried laying your head on your partner for a while? You can hear their heartbeat and even the rumbling of their stomach.
A baby is exposed to this for more than five months and actually gets used to it. Instead of pushing for total silence, you should instead add some white noise into the room to help mimic the sounds the baby would have been used to while still in the womb.
Step 4: Swing
Getting the baby to relax is a great deal of mimicking the life they got used to while still in-womb. Aside from the noises of all the bodily processes, they also tend to be suspended in a jiggly bubble. This means every movement you or your partner made was immediately translated into some form of motion.
You probably realize that rocking the baby actually helps calm them down, but only for a moment. Instead, what you should be relying on is small motions of an inch or less. You should always support the head and neck of the baby when doing this.
Step 5: Suck
This seems to be the instinct of every baby. Put something into their mouth and they will immediately start sucking on it. It’s kind of similar to putting a spoonful of peanut butter on the tub sides to distract your dog from the vigorous shower it is undergoing.
Similarly, any baby that is throwing the most adorable ruckus can be easily distracted and soothed by simply placing a pacifier into their mouth. The name of the tool itself is apt to the situation it will be handling.
Will The Baby Learn To Fall Asleep Without Needing To Be Held To Sleep?
Getting your child to sleep away from your embrace, just for a few minutes, can seem like a tall order for many parents. Those few minutes end up being the most precious moments of the day. There are various rumors that abound about parenting and how you do it.
With regards to letting your child sleep in your embrace or on your chest, this is something that is greatly frowned upon. The premise is that this makes the child become overly dependent on the parent.
Science To The Rescue
According to the American Museum of Natural History, letting your child depend on you actually is the key to getting them to become independent over time. During the first 3 to 6 months after birth, what is known as the virtual fourth trimester, it is absolutely crucial to maintain contact to aid baby sleep. After this, you can begin transitioning the baby towards sleeping in their own bed, or a bassinet.
In other instances, white noise can help your baby sleep, and other children shielded from the noise of a crying baby during the night. White noise will drown out any naturally occurring sounds that can make it difficult to get your baby to sleep.
Why Does My Baby Sleep In My Arms?
As noted earlier, life outside the womb is still a new experience for them to get adjusted to. They don’t do it very well, that’s why you need to help them cope, as a parent.
One of the methods you will rely upon is holding the baby until they fall asleep. The warmth of your touch and your skin coupled with the beating heart they like is a great reminder of the blast the baby had while in the womb.
Letting that baby sleep in your embrace, especially in the virtual fourth trimester, is actually an excellent thing. With time though, it starts to become a nuisance. Your baby falling asleep in your embrace because the position and the closeness they feel to you is a reminder of the place they spent a majority of their lives in; the womb.
This is why it is necessary to begin weaning your baby off the need to sleep while in your arms at around four or five months of their life outside the womb.
Why Does Holding My Baby To Sleep Through The Night Work?
This world out here can seem a big and scary place. This is doubly true for newborns. They have been spending quite some time in a warm and cozy place where they are taken care of.
The process of birth then brings them into a world they know nothing about, and do not know how to begin surviving in it. That is where you step in as a parent.
In this big world that your child knows nothing about, of course, it will be scared and agitated as to what is going to happen. The only way your baby falls asleep is when they feel as comfortable as possible.
This is true for eating, this is true for their lives in general. However, this comfort is the exact thing needed to get your baby to sleep.
Getting them to sleep on a cold sheet in a bassinet will be an entirely new experience for them. That may not exactly go well during the early weeks. What parents can do is hold them.
Holding them will let your baby feel the comfort that they had experienced all their life in the womb. The warmth of another person, the beating heart and generally being taken care of.
Your baby will only sleep when they feel the warmth and safety that another human can provide. This feels familiar to them and puts them in a state where they can trust their surroundings enough to make sure they sleep, possibly through the night.