I always love the excitement of my clients as they expect that first baby or the second or the third.. The arrival of a new baby always brings so much joy, excitement and love into the family. At the same time, it’s tough in those early days, and it’s ok to say it is tough! You are both exhausted, and the baby won’t sleep!! As a Philadelphia newborn photographer the Sleepless baby conversion comes up a lot.
As a mom of two boys and a newborn photographer in Philadephia, I spend lots of time with babies and helping babies go to sleep. Im going to share with you some tips that work in my studio and have worked for me at home with my own boys. Now, I am no expert, just a mama sharing some tips in hope that maybe it can help turn that sleepless baby into a sleeping baby.
Set the “Sleep” Mood
When I prepare my studio for your baby’s pictures, many of the things I do are to mimic the baby in the womb. Darken the room, some black out curtains are great for this. Use a white noise machine for baby. In the studio I even use “Mother’s Heartbeat” sound. These all mimic what baby heard when they were inside your cozy belly.
Swaddle Swaddle Swaddle!
Speaking of mimicking the womb, swaddle your baby! I hear all the time, oh my baby does not like to be swaddled. Now, some babies might not, but most babies, especially new babies love to be swaddled. The swaddle provides a sense of comfort and reminds them of the tight space in the belly. If your baby is struggling to sleep during those early days, and not turning over, then give the swaddle a try.
Baby Sleep Without Mom
Oh I know this struggle!!! My boys would wake up the minute I put them down, especially my first. A mama friend shared with me the smell and milk trick. Sounds funny right, but gosh it worked. First the smell trick, no judgement please. I would sleep on his fitted sheet. That’s right, it became my new blanket. Why? Because my smell would be on it. I know it sounds crazy but our babies can smell us a mile away. Once it was time to lay baby down, I would put that sheet on the crib, and lay baby on it. And for the final touch, the milk trick….. I would put a little milk on the sheet near baby’s face, so baby would smell me and milk. For some reason it was the perfect combination and it worked.
Sometimes, when you are tired you have to reach for all the tricks in the book. Try the smell and milk trick.
Routine Routine Routine!!!!
As a previous Philadephia Teacher, and A-type mama, I can tell you this is a big one. Establish what you want bedtime to look and feel like. Keep this same routine, it will help you as your baby grows. A routine will send a signal to your baby its time for sleep. In the early stages of your baby’s life, a routine can be as simple as music, reading a book, swaddle, a little lavender lotion, lights out. And as your baby grows into the toddler years it helps them know what to expect. We all know toddlers love routines.
The Overtired Baby
As you settle in with your little one, learn to read your baby’s cues. Once you learn baby’s tired cues, place them in the crib at that moment. If you wait to long past the first signs of tiredness, your baby might grow to be overtired and over stimulated – making it hard for them to fall asleep.
Most Important…. BE PATIENT
As you read through this, just remember, every baby is so different. I truly believe your baby’s personality is established already. So don’t feel anyway when you try something it does not work for your baby. Adjust and try it another way and just be patient. As a classroom teacher, it would take me one month to establish routines and procedures and they were six. Take your time baby is fresh into the world. Patience and a little persistence might help you and baby get more sleep.
I can tell you this, at the end of the day…. do what works for you and your family. My boys slept with me for ever!!!! Some nights I wake up and they are in my bed. One on each side of me. My oldest says he can still smell me. hahaha!!! Must have slept on too many sheets… lol
As a professional photographer in Philadephia, I totally love working with babies and kids. Ever notice how a child can enter the room and make it magical. Let’s connect and talk about a photography session for your little ones.