“Why won’t my baby let me put him down?!”
“She only wants to be held by mom and sometimes dad!”
“Why does he seem to startle so easily?”
Is your baby between the ages of 0-3 months old? And you are struggling with the fact that your baby “isn’t sleeping through the night?” Maybe she seems to cry more than you were expecting?
There are mounds and mounds of articles saying how to get your baby to sleep through the night by 6 weeks old! But this just is not the reality for the majority of babies.
Also parents in our culture are expected to keep our baby quite especially when we are out and about. Though your baby is not happy unless your holding him.
THAT IS OK!
I am here to tell you that it is OK if your baby is not sleeping through the night. It is OK if your baby likes to be held often. And it is OK if he cries out in public!
The 4th Trimester
You still have a newborn even though they might be starting to look more like a baby they are not quite there yet.
Have you ever noticed that when other mammals have babies they can walk and are much more self sufficient than a human baby? A horse is pregnant for 11-12 months, while we are only pregnant for 9 months.
This right here describes the 4th trimester pretty well. It is the first 3 months of your babies life outside the womb. A human body physically cannot be pregnant this long and we have the ability and instinct to be able to care for our babies who are fully dependent on us.
In our society there is a lot pressure to have our babies sleeping through the night ASAP. We should make sure that they are able to “play” by themselves already. And lord help us if she cries when someone other than mom or dad holds her!
Think about it for a minute…your baby was in a place that was the PERFECT temperature, he would get swayed to sleep whenever he wanted, he did not know the feeling of being hungry, and to top it off he was with mom LITERALLY 24/7! How much better could life get? This is all he knows until he gets ripped from the nice cozy home of his. How would you feel if you had everything you wanted and then were forced to move somewhere else where this was no longer true? This is where we as parents come in during this 4th trimester to help our little ones adjust.
How to Soothe your Infant
Now we as parents want to help our babies in any way when they are crying and upset, but sometimes we forget all the different ways we can help them. It is especially hard when they have been crying so long and can’t tell you what’s wrong.
I like to remember the 6 S! – Stinky, Starving, Swaddle, Sway, Sleep and Sound.
Most likely your baby is in need of one of these things when she is crying.
- Stinky – Have you changed his diaper recently? Maybe he is upset because he feels too wet!
- Starving – Does she need to eat? It is hard to tell with a breastfed baby how much they are eating so offering her your breast is never a bad idea! With a formula fed baby you know more what she is eating, but newborns tend to cluster feed because they are going to go through a growth spurt. So go ahead and try!
- Swaddle – Newborns are used to being in a tight space, which is part of the reason their startle reflex is so great! I HIGHLY recommend a Halo Sleepsack, I discovered this with my second son and it is a lifesaver!!
- Sway – Another soothing technique that babies like is to be swayed or rocked. It reminds them of the safe place inside mom.
- Sleep – Has your baby been up for a long time? Maybe they just haven’t slept long enough. Babies sleep a whole lot more than you might think. Getting your baby to take a nap could help them wake up recharged.
- Sound – Sometimes babies will get overwhelmed with all of the new sights, sounds, smells and may just not be able to calm down. A great thing to have on hand is white noise. I found the best one on YouTube here. There are no ads to inturrupt your baby and the comment section had me laughing so hard! (You will need this since you won’t be able to leave YouTube!)
Not to worry though if one of these things don’t work…you have not failed! It really is hard to be a newborn with so many different things happening.
And it you find yourself needing a moment to take a breath that is also OK! Your baby will be fine, just make sure to put him in a safe spot first.
Life with a newborn definitely takes some adjusting! You will find your groove and the hard times will pass I promise you! Just remember to savor these times with your newborn they won’t be this little for long!
How was life for you with your 0-3 month old? Are you currently in this time?? I would love to hear your experience!
Be on the look out for more info about this time period in your babies! Such as items to help make life easier and how to cope with postpartum depression.