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The Baby Whisperer - Settling - 24 February


Parents are in great need of guidance when it comes to settling their new babies. They are especially in need of a technique which teaches them how to settle their babies in a bassinette or their own bed.

Background

After many sleepless nights and hours of pushing a pram or rocking a Moses basket with my arms, I realised that there was another way, an easier way in the long run.

The side settling technique that I teach is as close as you can get in a flat bed to re-creating the feeling a baby had in the womb when their mother walked around during her pregnancy, rocking their baby gently.

The Baby Whisperer's tips

There are some very important steps that you must check on before you attempt to settle your new baby into bed.

- Your baby is feed well
- You have winded your baby well during and after a their feed
- You have not kept your baby up for too long
- You have swaddled your baby/wrapped your baby
- Reduce stimulation in their sleeping environment

Settling Technique

Always put your baby into bed awake (unless they have fallen asleep on their own after a feed or play). Let them try and self-settle, giving them the chance to chat away and even complain a few times. If you go to them too quickly this can make it harder with over stimulation and an expectation of you picking them up and then expecting it every time. 

When you know that they do need your help, then the follow the steps below!

1. Put baby into bed, on their back or side. Tuck them in and kiss them good night/sleep tight. When you are lying them down distract them with the "ssh" sound, starting your calming before they are placed into bed (if they are quiet, tuck them in and leave the room).

2. Listen to their complaints. Think about whether it is a grizzle or a cry. Think about whether it is a consistent sound or if it is inconsistent. 

3. Enter room, no talking just "ssh" sounds.  Turn them onto their side (if not already), putting the wedge in place before you start the tapping.

4. Place one hand on their arm and over their hands (if needed) and then tap their bottom quickly to start. Continue the quick movement until they are calm and then slow it down to more of a vibration, in relation to their mood.

5. If they are calm but their eyes are wide open (fixed with tiredness) then use your fingers to gently stroke over their eyebrows and forehead.

6. For now we are doing this until they are asleep but gradually you only want to be doing this until they are calm, leaving the room and only repeating if needed.

If your baby wakes early from a sleep then first go into them as soon as I hear them. I do this to catch them before they fully wake, hoping to tap them back to sleep quickly. If you leave them too long (when they are set in a habit of a short sleep) then they have a chance to wake up and feel more energized!

When you have done this for 3 days and they are still not responding, then I would leave them to have a grizzle like above before going in to settle.

Settling your baby requires patience, consistency and confidence.
Babies respond well to being settled when you remind yourself of these three points each time you are trying to put these settling techniques into practice.

Where to go for further info:

Sharlene Poole, Baby Whispering DVD - 0-3 months, available from www.babywhispering.com or
www.babycity.co.nz

Plunket http://plunket.org.nz/


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