Patting and side settling
Part 1 – Learn how to settle your baby to sleep with the patting and side settling techniques
We all know the scene quite well now, you have been humming ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’, Ok maybe a little out of tune but none the less sticking with it. You find yourself juggling him in your arms, all the while you walk up and down with him waiting for him to drop off. Then that miracle happens, he has fallen asleep so you walk over to his cot and placed him down. Then just as you are about to let go of him as you have gently put him in his cot and lay on he’s back … only to look at him to discover that those eyes have darted open. Again!
Or may be you have found yourself being that parent who has resorted to driving with her in her car seat in the middle of the night hoping she will finally drop off to sleep.
What I would like to do is set some fact straight about sleeping for babies under 4 months old. The fact of the matter is, most babies under the age of four months are going to need some help and assistance to fall asleep by you. This is completely normal and in fact should be expected.
I know you will have heard somewhere that you could be causing and forming negative sleep associations, ‘bad habits’ as some like to refer to them as, making you even more aware and conscious of the need to have them ‘self-settle’. The truth is, this age is where they are still having to learn the art to falling asleep.
In this article, I wish to share a few little secrets with you. The most helpful think you can do for your newborn baby is help them sleep by learning and mastering the art of ‘side settling’ or patting your new baby to sleep.
You baby is unsettled for a reason, yes?
When you find that your baby is crying every nap or bedtime, they seems just really unsettled, they just refuse to close their eyes? The simple reason maybe, that they are simply under or overtired.
I will discuss these situations of being under or overtiredness for more details in another blog. To help you I would suggest you need to focus very clearly on their wake times. Usually but doing a little bit of tweaking, you can be confident that they’re truly ready to sleep.
The reason why I suggest this is because a baby that is not actually ready to sleep, will never easily settle – regardless of whether you do it with or without the patting technique.
I understand and know this is a real balancing act. You find yourself at your wits end, exhausted from tiredness yourself making the decision on what to do now even more difficult. A which way to turn is the best. Some parents who find themselves with ‘bad sleepers’, actually begin to dread nap or bedtime. I can promise you this is not what any parent wants to be happening never mind a new one.
Therefore, to ensure and help you get the right balance right, my holistic Sleep Programs are created around the natural rhythm of your baby. I look at your babies day, and create the program which focuses on a baby lead routine, which mean it will be so much easier to follow, to have them settle and ensure that the results we get is them having a much better sleep of this.
When we take this personalized program and then use the “patting”, or the suggested side settling technique, you will begin to find you all being to enjoy bedtimes.
So, why does my baby sleep when they are patted?
It is due to the simple, gentle, rhythmic patting it is instinctual to do when you hold a baby and wish to settle babies. I do feel that this simple technique of tapping has most definitely been lost in our parenting styles. Mostly due to the all the different style and types of advice on sleep training that is readily available out there now.
The main reason why this gentle, repetitive tapping that is done on the babies bum is actually meant to mimic the rhythm and sounds of their mother’s heart beat while they were in the womb. Especially if during the third trimester your baby had turned and was ideally head-down-bum-up, then their wee bottoms are the was closest part of them to their Mum’s heart. Making this a very calming and relaxing feeling for babies. Meaning that your little one will find it much easier to drift off to sleep.
I find this is the best technique to use to help settle your baby in a cot. I also recommend that you try this for at least one sleep each day. This helps them familiarise themselves with their surroundings and their own bed for settling in the future.
How do I settle your baby by using the patting technique?
This great side-settling patting technique is defiantly something that I recommend parents all try when they are settling their babies under the age of four months old or less.
Let’s just keep it simple, no magic divine energy systems or pressure points. Just some plain and simple, good old-fashioned gentle bottom tapping, along with a few other things.
So. to make it easy for you to try and follow, I have created a step by step guide:
*Swaddle the baby tightly
*Place him in a completely dark room (interestingly it has been proven that babies actually find the darkness to be FANTASTIC & calming. The dark is what promotes the melatonin production – this being the hormones responsible for creating sleep)
*Play white noise loudly, – I recommend on of the ones from my website.
* Place her in the bassinet, then rolling her onto one side, while you keep supporting her tummy with one hand.
* Then with the other hand, rhythmically pat (this will need to be quite forcefully) their bottom. In an upwards motion. Some babies also find it helps to softly sing a song during this point.
*Meantime, and at the same time, start rocking the bassinet in a rhythmic motion if this is possible (will depend on style of the crib)
* When baby has fallen asleep, it is best to roll them onto their back for safe sleeping as per the lullaby trust sleeping guidelines.
If you decide you don’t wish to purchase one of my white noises, then you are able to play any white noise sounds. You can also just replicate the shhh-ing sound loudly next to the baby’s ear whilst you are patting and rocking if you prefer not to sing.
If you wish a more personalise sleep program which will take you through each step of the sleep and how best to help your baby learn sleep then you can purchase a program today
Part 2 – what to do when your baby wont sleep unless you have patted them to sleep.