by Cindy Davenport from Safe Sleep Space
From birth to 4 months old your baby’s sleep patterns will vary greatly. It’s also perfectly normal for them to have many unsettled periods during the day.
At this age not only does your newborn need to feed regularly, they are also adjusting to life outside the womb so it’s really important to help and support them through this huge transition.
If you’re wondering why your baby loves to be held – think about how different life is on the outside for your baby. In the womb, their world was constant – constantly fed, ‘held’ close, exposed to very little stimulation and they were also physically connected to mum.
Once they are born everything changes dramatically. Each day is different – they are exposed to a whole host of experiences and stimulations, which would understandably be overwhelming. And if your baby is hungry, cold or startled – they only have one tool in their toolkit – to cry when they need comfort or containment. Crying is the way babies communicate with us.
But all this doesn’t mean they will never be able manage on their own, it just means that in the early weeks and months they need a little bit of extra assistance to adjust to their new environment. And by responding sensitively to them when they ‘ask’, you are creating a bond that will help their little brains develop the skills they need to feel secure and eventually calm.
On the other hand, try not to be too hard on yourself if you can’t always work it out and respond positively to your baby’s cries. Taking care of a newborn can be exhausting and it’s important to work as a team with your partner or call on a supportive family member or friend, to step in and help when you need a break.
About the Author
Cindy Davenport is co-Director of Safe Sleep Space and Nourish Baby. She is a registered midwife, maternal nurse and lactation consultant. Safe Sleep Space is an organisational Partner with Centre for Perinatal Psychology. Safe Sleep Space offers infant and toddler sleep consultations as well as training to health professionals. For more information visit www.safesleepspace.com.au
Contact us Today
Contact us at the Centre for Perinatal Psychology should you need support while navigating your way with your baby to help them find settled sleep.
Contact Safe Sleep Space if you are looking for gentle, effective sleep solutions from qualified health professionals.
Call us on 1300 852 660 or contact us to make an appointment or enquiry.