• Antje Farmer Photography

My top tips for newborn sleep!

I had two babies who were not very keen on sleep. At all. They liked to be on me, with me, partying with me at 3 am. Taking two hours to settle, with me ninja moving out of the room.

After the initial cuteness of this, I quickly became a walking zombie and a little bit obsessed with sleep. In fact, when I did sleep I remember dreaming about sleeping. Crazy times!

Routine, no routine, baby led, non baby led, wake up, don't wake up, dummy, no dummy - you name it, I tried it.

Whilst my children are now amazing sleepers (scroll down for proof), funnily, sleep and babies have become part of my job. Being a newborn photographer is as much about settling baby as it is about taking images. And a lot of new parents who come to my studio face the sleep dilemma right now. Probably the most asked question is: How do you manage to settle them?

So here are my top tips for settling baby (I wish I had known these 6 years ago):

  1. Warm water bottle - if you want to settle baby into a crib or cot, pre-warm the mattress with a warm water bottle - it works magic

  2. Rocking - if you can't put baby down awake to self settle yet, swing baby into the light (I learnt this trick on a newborn photography course with a midwife). Babies love the light and will find it very intriguing AND very tiring. I only do this if I have an unsettled baby though, I would avoid doing it all the time, unless you want to work on your biceps.

  3. Swaddle - I swaddle my newborns in the studio. Babies love being curled up and warm (like in your belly). There are some amazing videos on swaddling. Always ensure baby is not overheating though.

  4. See if you recognise sleepy cues to avoid baby becoming overtired and try to settle baby when you spot these (these often are: face rubbing, lots of limb moving, yawning, grizzling)

  5. Stroking forehead - I gently stroke baby's forehead, which makes baby close their eyes and relax. They love this!

  6. My secret weapon: THE BABY SHUSHER It is amazing. It sends dads to sleep on my studio sofa.

It costs about £30 and is the most reliable sleep buddy. You will get your mobile phone back and you can delete the white noice app!

7. My last tip is always to take it in turns to get some sleep if baby is not sleeping well. Make it a job share for a bit :-)

Remember when you are in the horrible tiredness fog:

It is a phase.

It will pass.

Everyone will sleep again (even if it doesn't feel like it at the time)

And: CAKE!

All advise here is non medical, so please discuss with your health visitor or midwife.

Wishing you a wonderful Easter and may the sleep fairy bring a lot of sleep dust your way! Love Antje

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