Most babies go through an unsettled period either every day or every couple of weeks. A crying baby can be very difficult for parents to cope with especially when already tired and getting less sleep than they would like! A usually happy content baby can turn into a baby parents don’t recognise when they are very unsettled or going through a developmental leap. It can take hours of walking around, getting them to sleep only for your baby to wake the moment you put them down.
A sling can be a life saver at these times. Some parents try a sling but give up saying their baby doesn’t like it or doesn’t settle straight away. A sling is a great solution but not always an instant one. I have spent many an evening walking around with a very unhappy baby who isn’t settled by feeding, lying on mammy or daddy’s chest or any sort of entertainment or toys.
Almost always, when this unsettled, your baby does not happily sink into a sling and become content straight away. Often it takes a lot of encouragement, rocking, swaying, whispering in their little ears and gently encouraging them to relax into the sling. This means putting them in very slowly and bit by bit. It may mean holding them close and easing the sling on around them slowly. Babies don’t like to stay still (how often do they give out the moment mammy sits down with them and are happy the moment you stand up again!) so gentle movements will help. Your birthing ball can be a great help especially when you’re tired and the last thing you want to do is walk around the house. Slowly bouncing and rocking on your birthing ball will help soothe your baby and give your tired legs a break.
You will be amazed how after a while (or a long while!) your baby will start to settle and sink into the sling and you’ll see little calm eyes peaking out watching everything and eventually the fluttering of eyelids and then they will fall into a contented sleep. You may notice that when you stop moving they start to move again and get a bit frustrated but some gentle moving- swaying side to side while sitting down- will settle them again. You can then sit back and enjoy a well deserved break (and a sneaky cuppa!)
From experience babies tend to settle easier (and sleep better) in bed if they have been kept upright and close to their parents for an hour or so before bed. Don’t be tempted to put them down too soon or you may find they wake and you have to start the process again. So once you get your baby settled in sling, sit down, relax, enjoy some tv and a cuppa and breath in the smell of your lovely peaceful baby 🙂
© Snugglebugs 2015