There are a number of reasons why babies tend to fuss and cry in the middle of the night. From a soiled diaper to a hungry tummy to sometimes just the need to feel comforted. A lot of times newborns suffer from digestive issues such as acid reflux or colic. Since their digestive system is still trying to get used to breastmilk or formula, they may be a little sensitive at first. Ruling out the possibility of being either one, here are a few tips to get your little one back down when all hope seems lost.
Use a swaddle
At one point during your baby’s sleep, their swaddle may become undone due to an instant reflex that ends up startling them. Because of that, they end up losing that tight snuggle feel. To get your baby back to sleep, use breathable swaddles such as Presley Couture baby swaddles that allow your baby to feel snug while being wrapped. If you have a few that are made with the right material, you can keep them swaddled for the entire time they are down. The more stiff swaddles tend to become undone because they don’t have much stretch to them.
If you think about it, your baby didn’t have much room to move around in the womb but was still used to the feel of motion anytime you walked around or rocked. If you don’t think the rocking is helping, try walking around with your baby. If you feel like you’ve been holding them forever and you’re starting to get exhausted, Ergobaby strollers are easy to pull out so that once you place them in it, you can rock them in the stroller or walk around your house for a soothing motion that is sure to get your baby drowsy again. If you don’t have enough space in your home to walk around with a stroller, try using a baby carrier that will allow your hands and arms to be free while you take a few strolls around your living room.
Use a lovey
If your baby is a little older, you can introduce a lovey. A lovey is simply just a blanket or plush animal that is safe for them to cuddle up to. Small, lightweight plush figures such as a Jellycat bunny are soft to the touch and small enough that it doesn’t pose a threat when cuddled up next to it. Holding a lovey while rocking them allows them to cuddle with them and familiarize themselves with it. It may also help to sleep with their lovey so that your scent transfers to the blanket or plush figurine and can be more comforting to them.
Use a pacifier
Because babies have been sucking since the womb, it’s a soothing mechanism for them. You may have caught them sucking on their thumb at one of your ultrasound appointments. Taking that away from them may not be easy once they are born, especially when over stimulation occurs in the middle of the night. For your sanity, be open to trying a pacifier even if you’re against it. Sucking on a pacifier helps in comforting them.
Follow their lead
Sometimes you have to pay extra close attention to your baby’s actions and what they are trying to tell you. This may be easier said than done. With time, it may be easier for parents to pick up their cues. In the meantime, try to pay attention to signs where your baby is starting to doze off. It is at this point that your baby should be put down. If you miss that window, your baby will become overstimulated again trying to fight their sleep through crying.
Hang in there, you and your baby are just getting to know each other and once you pick up on their cues and patterns, you won’t be as frustrated as you are in the beginning. Remember that this doesn’t last forever, pretty soon they will be sleeping through the night and you’ll get back to getting all those z’s you were once used to.