Newborn behaviour and settling techniques – During the newborn photography session I often have parents mention that I seem to be able to settle and put their baby to sleep quite easily. Or mention that I have the magic touch. I do have a way with babies, newborns in particular, which is why I simply adore working with them. However, there are some simple techniques that I use that you can also utilise to help settle your baby to sleep.
Newborns all have their own unique personality and temperament. Some are quite content and patient, others not so much. Some are quite active and alert, others are basking in that glorious baby moon phase. However, all communicate in much the same way, by crying. Crying stimulates your letdown reflex ready to feed, crying allows us to know that baby is wanting or needing something. If baby is hungry, you may notice those hunger cues before the crying starts.
Often during a newborn session, I will notice those hunger cues, the little tongue poking out, shaking head side to side. We stop and feed and begin the session again once baby has a nice full tummy and a cuddle from mum or dad.
The following are some techniques I use whilst photographing your new baby and to help settle your newborn to sleep. It really can be a process of elimination, if your newborn continues to be unsettled, move on to the next, however, sometimes baby could simply be overstimulated and just need to be held to help them to settle.
Check your babies nappy, some babies absolutely can not stand a wet or dirty nappy and insist it is changed immediately.
Even if baby has been fed only an hour ago, I would try to feed again, comfort feeding is perfectly fine and sometimes is all your baby needs to help them settle if they are feeling overstimulated, tired, or just in need of some comfort.
Wrap, most newborn babies adore being wrapped or swaddled, it is a great way to help calm a newborn baby by recreating the restricted space they have been used to in the womb. A simple wrap is perfectly fine, I often use a lighter under wrap underneath my more fancier wrapping techniques. Especially if I am aware that baby is a little touchy or feeling over stimulated and just needing to settle into sleep.
Too hot or too cold. Your baby will tell you very quickly if they are feeling too warm or too cold.
Womb noise or white noise. I use a baby shusher in my studio, however, mostly babies drift off to sleep with a gentle shhh shhh sound and some gentle rocking.
Quite often, once we have gone through these techniques, a newborn will settle into a nice deep sleep. These are just a few ideas I use in the studio during a newborn photography session, no one knows your baby as well as you, and your instincts will alert you if baby is more than just a little unsettled. If you are worried about your newborn crying, always talk to your GP or baby health nurse.