I recently carried a six months old baby that was about to sleep, but he just kept on crying. Thou am a childcare practitioner it’s being a while since I tried putting a baby to sleep (due to teaching more of childcare and interact with other older children), however it felt great. As the baby kept crying, thou it was obvious he wanted to sleep (scratching his eyes) the mother kept asking if I was OK. I explained I was fine putting him to sleep (not wanting to give in by passing him back to his mum ). I got into the zone of rocking him to sleep, placed him vertically across my chest and started rocking. Then I remembered my profession that, of cause, my body need to be relaxed before this baby could sleep. I remembered the so many babies I have rocked to sleep, including my, while my body language was relaxed at is best.
You may say what has Body Language got to do with a baby sleeping but experience, both professionally and personally, has shown that a body that is relaxed when rocking or putting a baby to sleep tends to achieve this faster than a non-relaxed body. Research has shown that babies pick up on body language and they react to it based on if it is tense or not. A parent/career that is trying to put a baby to sleep but has a tense body may not achieve this faster than a another parent who is not tense and also trying to rock another baby to sleep. A tense parent might move the baby from one hand to another (unsettling the sleeping process of the baby) and get anxious that the baby is not sleeping. The more effort that is actioned into getting the baby to sleep can rather unsettle the baby. On the other hand, a relaxed parent that is aiming to put the baby to sleep may achieve this faster by being calm, having a relaxed body and not thinking that the baby crying is due to the process of you not getting him/her too sleep.
Techniques of getting your baby to sleep include:
- Ensuring that the baby is feed,
- Ensuring he/she has no wet nappy,
- Ensure he/she is not illness or does not have a body temperature,
- Ensure no discomfort of any sort within the sleeping environment, that is, not too noisy, not too hot or not to cold.
I understand that getting the body to relax can be difficult for some parents due to circumstance that may be surrounding them at the time. However, I can indicate that a person with a relaxed body and right attitude will get a baby to sleep faster than a non-relaxed person.