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Settling Baby


Tips for Settling Baby

Forget baby whispering, and start baby listening.

We often hear about the importance of language.  The power and psychology of certain words.  How reframing is a necessary way to bring about change or acceptance or even to have people pause long enough to consider there may be a different way.

So how about we all become baby listeners.


Our babies have come from a warm, confined, gentle space where they have never had to experience hunger or thirst or the irritation of nappies and clothing.  When they are womb side they are always nestled close to their mother’s heartbeat, they are rocked to sleep, and they adapt to a world where little changes.

Arriving world side they are confronted by harsh sounds, glaring lights, cool hands (my dear midwife always used to apologise for the temperature of the hands which helped bring my babies into the world), as well as major circulatory and digestive changes in their tiny, precious, perfect little bodies.

And while all this is happening what do we expect of them?  We expect them to sleep in their own bed, often in their own room.  We are frightened to let them fall asleep in our arms where they are soothed and rocked and sung to in the very safest place they can be. 

Why are we so surprised that our brand new babies don’t sleep and eat as we think they should?  How have our adult selves come to the point where we refuse to trust the process of a new life unfolding gently as these little beings adjust to their new surroundings?

When you're struggling simply remember back to when your baby was nestled happily inside you.  You'll come up with loads of gentle ideas for helping them find their equilibrium again.


In the Womb

Out in the World

  • Warm

  • Confined

  • Plenty of movement

  • Noisy

  • Floating in water

  • Never hungry or thirsty

  • Familiar

  • Safe

  • Dark, or filtered light

  • Always with mum

  • Overwhelming for all of baby's senses

  • Harsh sounds or complete silence

  • Everything is new

  • Temperature extremes

  • Bright lights

  • Feel of nappies and clothes on the skin

  • Left alone at times

  • Experiences hunger and thirst

  • Body systems are adjusting


So bearing the above in mind here are some things you might like to try:

  • Feeding
  • Winding
  • Changing nappy
  • Cuddling
  • Rocking
  • Swaddling
  • Baby wearing
  • Singing and dancing
  • Going for a walk with baby in a pushchair
  • Going for a drive with baby
  • Bathing baby
  • Showering with baby
  • Massage
  • White noise or 'sshhhing' - you, apps, Baby Shusher, radio off the station, vacuum cleaner, CDs...
  • Dummy
  • Check baby's temperature by slipping your fingers between their shoulder blades - add a layer or two, or take a layer or two off if necessary
  • Phone a friend - call in reinforcements and take a break
  • Pass the baby to another person - a change of energy could be just what baby (and you!) needs
  • If you are on your own and feeling very tense place baby in a safe place e.g. their cot or bassinet, and then take 10 minutes to gather yourself, before returning to baby in a calmer frame of mind.  Never, ever shake a baby.
  • Call Plunket Line 0800 933 922 or Health-line 0800 611 116 for advice and support

It's a big transition coming out into the world.  Babies cry to communicate, not to manipulate, and soon enough you'll be pretty good at figuring out that little person's language. 

Check out The Brainwave Trust for information on a child's development from ages 0-3 - fascinating stuff!


Mothering The Mother 


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