Does your baby struggle to settle for sleep?
Hopefully this blog post can help! Some babies manage to fall asleep quite easily, while others need a little bit of help. When I have babies in the studio with me for a newborn photography session, I can encourage a baby into a comfortable sleep using methods developed over my years of experience. As a specialist newborn photographer it is an essential role to be known as a ‘baby whisperer’ as babies need to be asleep to be able to pose them in certain positions, to achieve those baby photos you all love and adore! I hope that by sharing some some of these methods, and those of other local specialists, you will be able to help your baby sleep, because as we all know, happy baby = happy Mummy!
Why is sleep so essential?
Psychologically, sleep is absolutely paramount to our bodies ability to function, physically and mentally, and also how it handles long term health issues . It is really important that your little ones have sufficient sleep, so that you, as an adult, are able to achieve the necessary amount of resulting sleep. Julia Fensom is a baby consultant based in Aylesbury, Bucks, who specialises in sleep education and makes references to her research from Matthew Walker’s book “Why we sleep”. Julia is a lovely lady who I have the pleasure of knowing personally, so my first tip is to get in touch with her if you would like some practical help with sleep training. Julia told me in conversation with her earlier this week that ‘newborns can’t stay awake longer than 45-60mins in the first month so if they’re getting grizzly, put them down for a nap. Newborns have to be actively put to sleep, they won’t just sleep when they’re tired’. All her contact information can be found on her website: https://www.juliafensomthebabyconsultant.com
Quick tips for helping babies to sleep
- gently touch their faces, rubbing down their noses and across their foreheads. You can see a video of me using this technique in this behind the scenes newborn photography video
- have a warm room, or add a layer to help them feel cosy. I start all my newborn sessions with wrapping the baby using trained techniques. This usually helps the baby feel safe and secure, without getting distracted or startled by their involuntary limb movements. It also helps their body temperature stay warm, as newborns are unable to regulate their body temperatures very easily.
- take a baby massage course. I can highly recommend Becky who runs Blossom in Aylesbury, Quainton and local surrounding areas. Baby massage helps with circadian rhythms, so your baby will have better awake times in the day, and deeper sleep rhythms at night. Contact Becky – click here.
- have something near that smells of Mum to help with familiarity when Mum leaves the room. Nic at In Craft Corner can help with these type of items. She offers all sorts of lovely baby items and I personally ordered taggie blankets from her for all 3 of my babies when they were tiny. Her work is beautiful. Some babies really benefit from having something tactile that they connect to sleeptime, and it can be quite useful to have something to begin that connection early on.
- rocking and swaying with your baby can help remind them of the movement they had regularly when in the womb. I gently rock babies and keep my hands on them while wrapping them up ready for newborn photos. Babies benefit so much from physical touch as having close contact is all they have ever known.
If you have any tried and tested methods of your own that you think would be helpful to other parents out there, leave it in the comments. I would love to hear from you!
Sending you good sleep vibes for you and your little ones!
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