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How to Calm Your Newborn & Help Them Sleep

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

When people say, “Babies don’t come with an instructions manual”.

You laugh, and then you cry.⁣ ⁣

People and experts are quick to tell you ‘What not to do’, but where is the all information and testimonials

baby crying unconsolably

about ‘What to do'?⁣ ⁣

I was reading a post recently from a second time Mom, and she was sharing just how hard it is and the importance of realizing that, as the Mom, only YOU know what’s right for your family. 👏🏻 ⁣ ⁣

I want to let Mama’s know that there ARE things you can do! ⁣

⁣No, I'm not going to be reinventing the wheel or inventing some new miracle product, but we CAN go over the basics according to Dr. Harvey Karp.

Because, in the beginning parenting is HARD.

There’s no other way to say it.

There's A LOT of crying as we navigate how to respond and help our babies adapt to this big, new world.⁣ So, what do you do when your baby is 2 hours into the witching hour and no end in sight?

Or you're trying to work out if they have colic or not?

(The actual definition of colic is defined as more than 3 hours of crying for 3 or more days a week for 3 weeks)

⁣ ⁣

Tips to calm your newborn

💟 Swaddling

Your baby developed in a warm, compact environment. Swaddling helps mimic this during sleep while keeping them calm. ⁣Wrapping tightly with a receiving blanket or using a zip up swaddle with arms down is highly effective.

If swaddling alone doesn't calm your fussy baby, move on to the next step.

💟 Side/Stomach

Putting a fussy baby in the football hold on their side/slightly facing down (while being held) can trigger your baby's calming reflex.

Note: these postures should not be used unattended or when caregiver is at risk of falling asleep themselves. ⁣

💟 Shush

A fellow Mama told me a story recently how her 2 year old remembered hearing her heartbeat while in the womb. We can recreate that by shushing, white noise, running shower, fans, etc.

⁣Keep in mind that the shushing needs to be as loud as your crying baby or louder.

The noise can then decrease once baby is calm.

💟 Swing

Our babies were used to 12-15 hours of motion a day!

So, our new babies will love to be rocked, bounce or jiggled with their heads supported. ⁣Use the swing after the previous S's have been completed.

Then place baby in the swing while attended.

The swing isn't meant solely to calm them, but instead, it will prolong a calm period for your child.

💟 Suck

Breast, pacifiers, fingers, repeat 🙂⁣

It takes practice to learn to suck.

Lightly tap the pacifier out of their sucking hold in order for them to learn to bring it back it. Holding the pacifier stagnant in their mouth doesn't teach them how to grab it with their mouth and suck.

If your chid is breastfeeding, let them practice sucking on your nipple before introducing a pacifier.

This will help feeding to become established quicker.

Just like anything else, it takes practice. If it doesn’t work the first time, that’s okay. You’re in it together. Becoming confident in these techniques will take a bit of time and repetition.

Newborn sleep schedule

A newborn will have a very erratic rhythm at first where a schedule will seem impossible.

At first, I recommend to follow a sequence of events instead of a time on the clock.

The routine is called Eat/Wake/Sleep. Here is an example.

Newborn Sleep Essentials Training plan outline

This is just a small sneak peak into our Newborn Sleep Essentials Guide

Want to know more?

The slides in our newborn course will walk you through

  • Newborn sleep schedule

  • Newborn bedtime routine

  • Newborn witching hour + colic

  • Newborn bedtime

  • + Much more!

Get access to our guide here!

Lindsay Loring is a certified pediatric sleep consultant who is passionate about sleep. Lindsay has helped many families restore sleep balance in their home after a birth of a child.

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