All healthy newborn babies are, in fact, born capable of drifting off to sleep when their basic needs are met and when they are in the ideal conditions in which to do so.
And when they do, it’s magical.
However, this may not happen all the time, and it is absolutely OK to offer hands-on settling support when your little one can’t quite do it by themselves. Below we explore how to settle a newborn at night.
Ways to settle a baby
There are many ways to settle your newborn baby. And it is important that you experiment and play around to find what works best for your precious little one and you too.
Your baby might:
- Like noise, rocking and movement as they settle off to sleep
- Prefer sucking on a pacifier or the breast to soothe
In my experience, though, the best and most successful way to settle your newborn baby is to have them feeling snug, secure, safe, and warm.
This is exactly what happens when they are placed in a safe-for-sleep tuck sheet. The Baby Tuck Sheet by ergoPouch is genius.
It will provide your newborn baby with that snug, secure feeling, similar to being in the womb. When used together with the Cocoon Swaddle Sack, it will help to create control over their startle (or Moro) reflex, preventing their little arms from flailing around when they are trying to sleep. The Baby Tuck Sheet helps to create that extra level of warmth that your teeny, tiny newborn needs. And most importantly, it’s safe as it sits securely around your baby’s bassinet or crib mattress without any risk of it coming loose and covering its head and face.
Before placing your baby down in their crib or bassinet to settle using the Baby Tuck Sheet, aim to do the following:
- Ensure your newborn baby is well-fed, burped, clean and dry;
- Dress your baby in the appropriate clothing layers according to the room's temperature they are sleeping in;
- Zip your baby up in their ergoPouch Cocoon Swaddle Sack. In colder room temperatures, they will need a higher TOG-rated Cocoon Swaddle (i.e. use a 2.5 TOG sack for room temps 63°F – 71°F). In warmer temperatures, the TOG rating will need to be less (i.e. if around 72-75°F, a 1.0 TOG will do, or 75°F and above a 0.2 TOG);
- Give your baby a beautiful, big cuddle, whispering gently in their ear - ‘It’s Sleep Time’ or “Good Night and Sweet Dreams”;
- Place them down on their back, in their empty bassinet or crib with feet touching one end;
- Zip up the Baby Tuck Sheet on the desired zip setting. Use the tighter zip for a firmer fit if your baby has a strong startle reflex; and
- Watch as they peacefully drift off and sleep ‘like a baby'.
If your little one is having trouble falling to sleep or falls asleep but wakes soon after, instead of picking them up straight away, listen first. If they are grizzling and fussing only, they may be in the process of winding down and may soon fall asleep without you needing to intervene.
However, if they are crying and need your help settling, pick them up, check for any obvious reasons for the crying, i.e., dirty diaper that needs changing, a burp etc., then implement your preferred settling method until calm and dozy (or fast asleep if you choose), zip them up in their Baby Tuck Sheet and away you go again.
Which ergoPouch product is right for my child?
As your child grows and develops, so too does their style of sleeping. ergoPouch products are designed towards the age, developmental milestone and physiology of children aged newborn – 6 years old, and the different sleep needs and challenges your child will have during this timeline.
We can suggest an ergoPouch product for every milestone in the first six years and beyond. Use our handy Milestones Chart to help you decide which products are best for your child at their current age throughout all seasons. The green flags indicate a typical journey through the range based on standard developmental milestones.
About the Author
Steph Gouin is a qualified Baby and Child Sleep Consultant, a Registered Nurse of over 15 years and Mum to her three beautiful children - 8, 6 and 4. As one of Australia’s leading sleep experts, Steph is an International Keynote Speaker, having travelled to the Middle East in 2019 to speak at a Toddler Health and Wellness Conference.
She's been published on several online parenting forums, including ‘Kidspot’ and 'The Tot' in the US, in numerous Australian parenting magazines. She is one of two 'resident sleep experts' for @mymothersgroup and Kidspot. Steph is incredibly passionate about the work she does and gains great satisfaction from educating, supporting and guiding parents as soon as their baby arrives and, in the years, beyond.