Sometimes a new parent is faced with a little body that just won’t settle down. This could happen at any time of the day and need not necessarily be at night.
These little ‘I-am-determined-to fight-sleep’ babies can be not only trying, but frustrating and definately overwhelming.
I have mentioned before in ‘The Crying Baby’ and ‘ Sleeping Through’ methods to settle baby down, but it may be worthwhile to repeat a few methods here.
At all times try to remain calm because that little baby senses your frustration and desperation and that could aggravate the situation. Do your usual check list e.g. hunger, nappy, burping, temperature, comfort, etc. Still nothing works?
Do not think that if you play with baby you may tire him/her. You will just succeed to increase the adrenalin and make settling down more difficult.
Now for the more drastic measures …….. the spa treatment!
Fill the basin with warm water and, if you have it, you could add a few drops of soothing, relaxing essence e.g lavender etc. Undress baby, and lower into the water.
I find the most effective position is to let the tummy hang in the water. Put your left hand under the chin to keep the face out of the water, and leave your right hand free to stroke the back. (Now is the best time to practise your singing skills and you can make up the words as you go!)
Usually you can visably see baby relaxing. Do this for about 8-10 minutes for the best effect. Now rapidly dry, dress and wrap baby. Assess you own baby to establish if he/she must be wrapped firmly. Some babies settle best if they are wrapped because they feel safer. (Remember they were wrapped tightly for nine months prior to birth).
You could also give baby a little feed if necessary at this time.
Put baby to bed. In most instances the baby will drop off to sleep soon after being put down.
Good luck with your little ‘fighting – sleep’ baby!
© Teresa Denton