Sleep: Where do we begin with Rachel Fitz-D

The Baby Show Live @Home | 26-28 February 2021 | Rachel Fitz D sleep where do we begin?
Gazing down at the tiny newborn baby snuggled in your arms, it is difficult to imagine just how massively this little creature will change your world! And, over and above everything else which will inevitably change in your life, the biggest of all will be ... SLEEP!
No matter what the age of the baby or child, the single biggest topic of conversation and worry amongst parents is how they sleep and what they can do to change it for the better. The problem lies in the fact that, what looks like good sleep to us as grown-ups, is not necessarily what is right for a baby and vice versa. So what can you do from the outset to ensure that everyone’s sleep needs are met well enough?
You’ll notice that whenever you pop your baby down in the crib, within minutes they start squirming and rooting and, before long, the yelling will start and it simply won’t stop until you pick them up and start cuddling them again. This is no accident, your baby isn’t broken or naughty or wrapping you around their little finger: this inability to stay calm out of arms, or even in-arms if you’re not doing plenty of active soothing, is a highly evolved survival mechanism, deep-set into your baby’s DNA and can’t be switched off, no matter how much you try.
Once back in arms and being rocked, fed, warmed and soothed, your baby will start to settle and cat-nap. Keep going with your fabulous soothing tricks and your little cutie will stay pretty settled. But stop and ... you’ve guessed it, the fussing and crying will soon start up again. Quite simply, babies are evolved to sleep best in short bursts, day and night, when in close contact with their parents.
Studies show that, far from creating a rod for your own back, the more you cuddle and soothe your baby in the first 3 months of life, the better they’ll be at making relationships and coping with upsets as they grow up. So no need to feel guilty for all that cuddling - you’re helping your baby to develop well. What great news!
Sucking (a boob, a bottle, a dummy, your clean finger ...), rocking, skin to skin, white noise, warmth, patting - all these soothing techniques will work whilst you keep doing them because your baby will know you haven’t left them alone. So, through the day, as often as possible, carry your baby in arms or a well-fitted sling for maximum peace and quiet. And overnight, keep your baby super-close in a next-to-me crib or a Moses basket right next to your bed, and keep that soothing skin to skin contact by holding your baby’s hand so they feel safe and secure in the darkness hours.
And remember: your baby is just perfect at being a baby and, if you follow their lead, they will show you how to be a wonderful, responsive and better-rested parent.

Don't miss more from Rachel at The Baby Show Live @ Home at 10am Saturday 27 February - grab your pass!