Yes we know that baby snuggles are the best. We get lots of time during awake periods to feed, play and cuddle our babies. But what about cuddling to sleep?
Do you find it difficult to not disturb your little one when transferring them to their cot? Or maybe you have noticed that it is taking longer for them to fall asleep.
Some new parents find that sitting and cuddling their baby to sleep is getting more difficult so progress to walking up and down rocking their baby to sleep. Which can be difficult for some people, especially as baby starts gaining weight, resulting in some parents experiencing back pain. There are some parents who are so exhausted that they will push the baby around the house in their pram or even find themselves driving in the car as that's the only way that baby will fall asleep.
But there is another way. Have you considered self soothing?
Self soothing is placing your baby in the cot sleepy but not asleep following their feed, play and awake window. The idea is that your little one will learn to self soothe and fall asleep happily by themselves. Some parents find white noise or a pacifier or both can help. Maybe try swaddling for a newborn to help them feel more secure.
If baby is well fed, winded, clean nappy and has had the appropriate awake window, self soothing to sleep can be quite easy. When babies are over stimulated or over tired it can make self soothing more trickier. So try to follow your baby’s natural awake window and don't leave it too late to pop your baby down for a nap.
If your baby looks like they are trying to fall asleep but just not quite managing it by themselves, place your hand over their chest area. This usually helps them feel more secure and settled. If you always pop your little one down awake, they will soon get the hang of self soothing. Once babies are able to fall asleep on their own it can by really beneficial to both parents and baby. But please do not confuse self soothing with the outdated cry it out sleep training technique. These are two completely different things altogether. There is no crying involved. Baby is happy and content, sometimes a little bit of fidgeting is involved as they are trying to settle and hopefully they will naturally drift into a lovely sleep.