Movement can cause baby to fall into a deep sleep. But it can take a lot of bouncing (or light jiggling). A car ride or pram walk might work but often you will find that the bouncing method will only work if you are doing the manual labour yourself. It works because even when they were asleep inside you there was still movement so to suddenly be completely still is something they are not used to.
It should also be noted that a car ride is a difficult method to break as well as a tiring one for you! Unless you are absolutely desperate then do not go down this road (literally!)
Check if its colic
Constant crying is not uncommon in newborns and many parents will turn to a colic formula to help settle their infant.
If they are doing the 3’s – 3 hours of crying for 3 days a week over 3 weeks then its colic. Head to your paediatrician for some medicine to soothe their tummy (or head to my page on colic for some tips)
One of the reasons your little one may be upset is because of the excess gas in their tummy. Lifting their legs to their chest can help release gas as can moving their legs as if they were cycling a bike!
You can also ask your paediatrician if they can prescribe probiotics to relieve colic.
The special touch
There’s a sweet spot on babies. It’s in between their eyes. Stroke them softly enough and you just may find that they will drift off to sleep.
You can try different background noise as well, such as a vacuum cleaner, a fan or a CD of white noise (waves at the beach, light rain on the roof, etc) and you can even get apps for it. Take them into the bathroom and let them listen to running water – this works for some. My oldest used to fall asleep to Fat Boy Slim as I played it so much when I was pregnant with her so you can get creative!
The 5 S’s
Harvey Karp is an American paediatrician who suggests parents use the following 5 S’s to help their baby to settle:
- Side or stomach (Back sleep is the only recommend way for baby to sleep, but you can help baby settle by putting her on her side or stomach while holding her or helping her drift off) If you are going to do this I would suggest laying them on the left side to reduce the risk of spit ups.
Watch this video to see all five techniques in action.
They may not be settling as they are hungry or just want the comfort they get from sucking. If it helps them sleep then it’s worth a try. Some babies love to suck so you may want to consider using a dummy/pacifier if you think it will help.
Babies can feel your anxiousness. And frustration. If you’re too wound up, then it can make it harder to get bubba to settle in your arms. It may be helpful for someone else to take charge and I would definitely recommend that you take turns in settling the baby – you’ll want to know that your partner can do it when you get a night out.