How to Train Your Baby to Sleep by Mimicking the Feeling of the Womb
Babies are only exposed to one type of environment for the first nine months of their lives: their mother’s womb. Coming into a new environment with so many new stimuli may be quite disorienting for a newborn, and it can lead to a sense of uneasiness in the infant. Creating an environment that mimics the sensations of the womb will help your infant sleep better, transition more smoothly, and feel more secure overall.
Characteristics of the Maternal Tummy
Then, what is it that the womb possesses that your home does not possess? Now consider the setting in which the infant is most comfortable:
a great deal of white noise – he’s accustomed to living in a highly noisy environment, what with the outside noises blending in with the sounds of the body’s internal systems.
He’s used to living in a little place where everything is close together, so he doesn’t mind being cramped.
A sense of security and support – He’s accustomed to being caressed and supported on the sides and bottom of the womb, which produces a sense of security and comfort from being touched
He’s used to laying in the fetal position, with his arms and legs drawn up and tight to his body, and he’ll do it again.
As you read this, it may feel as though birth has come as a welcome relief. The womb may not appear to be particularly comfy to us, but to the infant, it is his or her home. By imitating some of these characteristics, you can make the adjustment easier and help your infant sleep better.
What is it about this sensation that helps babies sleep? The fact that we’ve already discussed this is significant enough to mention again. Even when still in the womb, babies are very sensitive to their mothers’ emotions and moods. Baby, like you, does not sleep well if she is not comfortable and does not feel protected.
When a baby is nervous or in any other manner emotionally distressed, she is unable to rest as a result of the preceding events. When she is unable to rest and you put her to bed and leave, she becomes even more agitated, making it even more difficult for her to relax. She is unable to fall asleep until she has relaxed, and weeping occurs.
Baby should be swaddled.
Because it simulates the intimate quarters of the womb, swaddling a newborn can help her relax and calm down more quickly. It is possible for babies to be upset by the fact that they can move their arms and legs freely after birth, a sensation they did not have while in the womb. Additionally, newborns have a tendency to twitch a little as they fall asleep, and these natural movements might cause them to wake up or be disturbed themselves.
The first month of life is OK with swaddling the infant all the time; after that, the baby requires access to her arms and legs in order to develop correctly. You can, however, continue to swaddle your baby during naps and at night to aid with her sleep.
What exactly is swaddling?
Swaddling is the act of closely enveloping a newborn in a blanket to simulate the experience of being in the womb. Swaddling reminds the infant of the security and compact sensation he or she gets when in the womb.
Swaddle your infant properly.
Lie a baby blanket on the floor and fold one corner toward the middle of the blanket, about 6 inches in length.
Lay the baby on her back on the blanket, with her head resting on the folded-down corner of one of the corners. The head should be free of the covering so that it may breathe.
Take the corner near the baby’s left hand and draw it over the infant to the right, securing it beneath the baby’s right hand.
Fold the bottom of the blanket up towards the chin of the infant, enclosing the baby’s feet.
Take the corner near the baby’s right hand and draw it over the infant to the left, securing it beneath the baby’s right hand.
Tips that are really important
When the baby is fed, clean, and dry, wrap her in a blanket. Swaddling is intended to be a comfortable and soothing experience for the infant, and if the baby is in any way upset, she will link swaddling with unpleasant memories of her mother.
When the weather is too hot, avoid swaddling the infant. Avoid overheating your infant by avoiding swaddling him or her when it is really hot outside or when the baby is in a warm room. This is especially essential when the baby is about to fall asleep since overheating is a risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Pay attention to the baby so you can tell when she wants to be let out. When a baby wants to be free, she will kick or wriggle, so keep an eye out for these movements. Allowing baby to be outside if you know she is uncomfortable can prevent her from becoming distressed and preventing her from resting.
After the first month, you shouldn’t swaddle your infant all the time. She must have access to her limbs in order for her to develop properly.
Action items include:
Locate or purchase a baby blanket.
Swaddling a doll is a good way to practice before attempting it on your real, wriggling infant.
Pay close attention to your baby’s reaction to being swaddled and make any required adjustments.
Mimicking the Womb in a variety of ways Baby should be bathed in a bucket.
There are a plethora of items available that provide an alternative to a mini-adult-like bathing experience for children. Baths may be an important relaxing tool for parents to employ on a daily basis to help their children sleep, mostly because being immersed in water reminds them of being in the womb.
Obviously, you can see that the manner in which you wash your infant becomes a crucial factor in helping your kid calm down and go asleep. Babies are most comfortable when they are in the fetal position, and a bucket allows them to achieve this position. It supports the weight of the baby and allows her to be stroked on the sides and bottom of the bucket, which reminds her of being in the womb once again.
It is natural to use a bucket for a bath since it practically pushes the infant to lie down in the fetal posture. Together with warm water and the tightness of the baby’s grip on the edge of the bucket and the bottom of the bucket, this helps to replicate the sensation of being in the womb. A mini-adult-like bath, as opposed to a bucket, provides baby the sensation of swimming, similar to that experienced in the womb, but also makes her feel a little adrift, as she has nothing to keep her arms and legs from drifting around.
I understand that putting your kid in a bucket sounds nearly cruel, doesn’t it? Consider thinking beyond the box! It just appears weird because it is not something that many people do…at least not in the United States. Bathing a baby in a bucket is a popular type of infant care in Europe, and it is well recognized as a method of calming and reassuring babies as they navigate this vast new world.
Quick tip: You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a fancy baby bathing pail, though you may if you want to. Make use of whatever you have on hand, but make sure to use a bucket that has not previously been exposed to strong chemicals. Consider the shape of a bucket, such as one used to construct sand castles. To ensure that baby is held tenderly and without any sharp edges or seams, look for a bucket with flexible sides if at all feasible.
Action items include:
Find a baby-sized bucket around the home and properly clean it, or go out and buy a fresh one.
Check to see sure the bucket is flexible, smooth, and won’t tip over when the infant is within it before use.
Examine whether baby prefers the sensation of a bucket bath over the usual baby bath by giving him or her a test bath.
To put your baby to sleep, sway and shush him or her.
During pregnancy, baby is naturally swung gently from side to side in the womb as the mother goes about her daily routine, as she does when she is not expecting. Because this swaying motion becomes familiar and calming to the infant, parents can experiment with using it to help relax their baby before bedtime. It’s important to remember that this is not the kind of thing you want to do every time your child wakes up, or you’ll find yourself waking up more frequently in the middle of the night.
Instead, this is what you want to do to assist baby in settling down so that she may go asleep on her own after a stressful day. When swaying the infant, be gentle and consistent with your movements. She should be able to settle into a type of rhythm that will assist her in remaining calm. Swaying should not be done in a hurry or with much excitement, since it is intended to soothe the infant. If you sway her too quickly, she’ll believe it’s time to play instead!
Shushing is another technique that is used to simulate the womb. This is comparable to the noises that a newborn hears when still in the womb, and it may also be soothing to the infant. Shushing, like swaying, should be smooth and rhythmic in its movement. Each exhalation should be accompanied by one “shush,” which should be smooth and match the cadence of the baby’s breathing.
Shushing should be gentle, not forceful; avoid making the noise that a teacher makes when she is trying to calm her classroom. Avoid shushing altogether and instead employ white noise to quiet your baby without her even understanding what you’re doing.
Action items include:
Slow down your breathing by singing a tune in your thoughts as you move or shush to assist establish a slow rhythm.
Experiment with different speeds and voice levels to see what works best for your infant.
Baby, please wear it.
Another option that feels comparable to being in the womb is to carry the baby in a sling, wrap, or pouch when out and about. This has advantages for you since it lets you to be near to baby while still having your hands free, and it helps baby feel protected, safe, and comfortable as a result of this.
Wearing your baby helps to keep her warm, allows her to hear your heartbeat, and helps to develop a deep bond between you and your child that is established via physical touch. Some alternatives for wearing baby are included below; however, it is up to you to determine which solution is the most appropriate and comfortable for both you and your child.
The wrap is a long length of cloth that is knotted around the wearer’s waist in a variety of ways. It has a lot of uses because it can be folded up and is highly flexible. This is most appropriate for young newborns; larger children will have difficulty fitting into it, and the user may find it uncomfortable.
Mei Tai is an Asian-inspired carrier that has more structure than a wrap yet is still lightweight. It may be worn on the front, back, or hip, depending on how comfortable it is and how big the baby is. This is a feasible choice for babies who are bigger or older.
Adjustable pouch – A pouch is a circle of cloth that is attached to the wearer’s front and keeps the infant to the wearer’s chest while the wearer is standing. It is comparable to a Mei Tai and is suitable for babies of various ages and sizes as well.
Action items include:
Consider your requirements as well as the size of your child to determine which type is best for you.
Before dealing with a real infant, practice tying on a wrap, sling, or pouch with a doll first.
Make any required adjustments to the fit – if the baby appears to be unhappy, check her fit to determine if anything is rubbing or pinching her. To test whether it makes a difference, try placing the baby in while sitting down.
As your child develops and your activities vary, consider a variety of alternatives. Some methods of infant wearing are more suited for some sorts of activity than others, while some are less appropriate for others.