Newborns normally communicate their needs by crying. But sometimes these cries can be too much and may interfere with the baby’s sleep. A newborn can cry because they are hungry, have colic, want to be held, or they are just cranky for no reason. For first-time moms, this can be very challenging and it may affect you emotionally.
From experience, I have learned that it is important to first find the main cause of these cries and then get a solution. This is the only way you will ensure that they are able to effectively nap or get quality sleep. Are they feeling too hot or is it too cold and they need to be swaddled? Are they unwell or just tired? Well, below are five vital tips which I find effective in soothing a crying newborn and making sure that they get sound sleep.
One thing that a new mom should be aware of is that the womb is warm and so comfy. The environmental change can make your baby cry endlessly and this can negatively impact how they sleep or take naps. To ensure that they get quality sleep, always swaddle your baby. I tend to use receiving blankets because they are warm, soft, and secure. Furthermore, they help to create a womb-like environment. Research shows that babies who are normally swaddled don’t cry a lot and they usually sleep for long.
Note: some newborns love when they aren’t swaddled completely and their arms are left out. This could be because they love freedom or suck their fingers.
2. Encourage Sucking
A non-nutritive way which your baby can use to soothe themselves and settle in quickly for a nap is by sucking. This usually calms their nerves. Additionally, it doesn’t fill their little stomachs. If my baby is crying and looks sleepy, I normally help them to find their thumb and they’ll soon doze off. Note that if your baby doesn’t suck their fingers, you can use a pacifier.
3. Relaxing White Noise
Adults tend to think that babies don’t love noise. In fact, when I took my newborn home, I banned my partner from playing loud music. But the funny thing is that my baby wouldn’t sleep in a quiet environment for long as it’s expected. I later realized that not all newborns love quietness. This is because when they are developing in the womb, they can hear the way the blood gushes through the veins, heartbeats, and how your stomach rumbles. A change in environment can make them cranky. In numerous occasions, white noise has proved to be effective in soothing crying babies and promoting the quality of sleep. Normally, I turn on the fan or play audio files with whooshing sounds. If you can’t find these, you can use a hair dryer or a vacuum cleaner to block all the random noises that may startle your newborn while they are sleeping.
4. Side Lying
One major factor that can interfere with baby sleep, especially newborns is the sleeping position. Remember that before you gave birth, they spent many weeks in your womb in a fetal position. This means that sometimes the way you position them can make them throw tantrums. One of the things that I noticed with my newborn is they never loved lying on their back. Letting them sleep in this position meant that I’d only enjoy a few minutes of freedom. However, I realized that they slept soundly if I placed them in a side-lying position. Well, I later realized that this is because they were used to the fetal position while they were developing.
5. Tone Down
Newborns cry because of many reasons and sometimes it could be as a result of overstimulation. To combat this issue, you might need to tone down a few things. For example, turn off the music, dim the lights, change their sleeping environment, turn on the fan etc. You’ll notice that sometimes a simple thing such as letting them sleep on the couch instead of their crib can soothe and help them nap for long. Sometimes they could be overwhelmed by temperature changes. For instance, my child sleeps better at night with light clothes on because it’s usually warmer than the day. Just remember that everything is new to them and sometimes you need to make a few changes to provide extra comfort in order to enhance the quality of their sleep.