Amongst the first challenges of early infancy, is for your baby to be able to stay calm when faced with little sensory challenges and to be able to fall asleep without crying. These are more than just conveniences, they are life skills.
All babies are born immature and sensitive to stimulation and many babies battle to fall asleep. It is part of our role as parents to help our babies remain settled and sooth to sleep.
Most learning happens during play and these life skills are no different. Your new baby can learn through play to use her sense of sight, hearing and touch to settle.
Soothing touch – At around 3 months, your baby will start to use the sense of touch to settle and remain calm. There are practical ways you can encourage this:
- Swaddle her hands near her mouth so that your little one can sooth using her hands by sucking on them while she settles to sleep.
- During playtime, massage her legs and feet with deep pressure strokes to sooth her.
- Simply use still touch by putting your hand still on your baby to settle her . This can even help to settle her to sleep.
Visual calming – From a few weeks of age, your baby starts to use the sense of sight to calm – when fussing, she may calm when your face comes into her line of vision. Being placed under trees in the garden can sooth her. If your baby fusses whenever her nappy is changed then put a mobile over the change mat and you will find she will be calmer for nappy change time.
The Fisher-Price Butterfly Dreams Mobile also has an option of projecting lights onto the roof, which can be soothing after bath as you get your little one ready to sleep.
Listening to calm – Listening to mom’s voice or soothing music and white noise also calms little ones though the sense of hearing. Sounds should be muted and not too loud and simply played as background music as you prepare your little one to sleep.
As your baby starts to use her senses to settle, you will find she will turn a corner – the life skill of being able to settle herself is essential.