I thought I would pop this extract from our 0-5month Good Sleep Guide below, in case it is useful for you, if you are currently dancing around with an unsettled baby on you! I have also added in some info for older babies at the bottom too.
For younger babies:
It is common for newborn babies to need lots of settling. There can be periods of crying, so try not to worry and know it can be normal if your baby seems a little unsettled at times. They cry to communicate whether it be tired, hungry, needing a nappy change, a cuddle or that they are even too hot or too cold. You could try the following to help soothe your baby- whilst remembering to keep yourself nice and calm too!
HOLDING THEM OVER YOUR SHOULDER AND ROCKING
WINDING WELL AFTER FEEDS A WARM BATH BABY MASSAGE
SKIN TO SKIN WHITE NOISE ENSURE YOUR BABY ISN’T OVERTIRED (REFER TO OUR AWAKE WINDOWS SECTION)
During the first 3months, some babies are prone to Colic – descried as crying for 3 or more hours a day for 3 days a week for at least a week. This is common in the afternoon into the evening. It is not known what causes this, but it can help to wind your baby well after feeds, keep them upright for a little bit after feeds and lots of skin on skin to calm and soothe them.
You may have heard people talking of the Witching Hour- which is usually not just an hour- where babies are unsettled / upset / fussy and difficult to soothe at around the same time each day-most likely in the afternoon and evening. This usually starts around 2/3 weeks, then peaks at around 6 weeks and usually fades by around 3months. Rest assured that this can be perfectly normal, and again, you can help try and soothe them in the same ways as mentioned above.
It is worth noting, some babies can suffer from reflux/ allergies and the symptoms may be similar to colic so always see your GP, Paediatrician or Health Visitor if you are concerned at all. Remember you know your baby best!
You may wish to introduce a dummy to help settle your baby at sleep times, however, it is recommended not to introduce one until your milk supply is established. A dummy is very much a personal preference, but it can be brilliant for some babies. The Lullaby Trust suggests it can help to prevent SIDS, however, the NHS recommends removing it between 6-12months of age.
For older babies:
I firmly stand by fresh air method if your little one is unsettled, and find it works quite often. A change of scenery can break the cycle of crying and popping them in the pram for a walk. I know this isn't always practical to pop them into the pram at any hour of the day, but it can be useful for us, as much as them, to get out and get some fresh air to reset ourselves too.
The next step would be to look at sleep and see if they are ready and needing a nap or bedtime. Often an overtired baby (as much as I think that phrase is used too much as a cause for many things!), can find it hard to settle.
As always, I'm here if you need me!
The Sleep Baby Coach