Sleep settling techniques
Is it okay to let your baby cry themselves to sleep?
In my experience, responsive nurturing is the best approach to settling a baby to sleep. When a baby cries, their cortisol levels in the brain increase and while this can be advantageous in certain circumstance, a particular study has found that 'although newborns exhibit no behavioural cue of distress, they continue to experience high levels of distress once asleep, as reflected in their cortisol scores.' Leaving a baby to cry, whether it be to sleep or otherwise, is not favourable for optimal mental and physical health.
Is there any point where 'crying it out is helpful?
The only time maybe when your baby is old enough to test boundaries - leaving them be can work wonders. The difference between this age and a newborn is quite simple - in an ideal upbringing, the infant has already learnt to feel secure within their environment, and with the love you provide. Now they are testing boundaries through further exploration of communication. Newborns are not testing anything out. They are instinctively reacting to something therefore they require your response and reassurance.
What is the best way to settle a baby?
Snuggled in your arms in a beneficial position for digestive requirements - I call this position the 'nestle'. This nurturing hold allows the often uncomfortable movement of wind and food in the digestive tract to settle while your baby feels secure. If we place a baby straight into bed without using this, their feeling of discomfort when changed form a vertical position to a lying one can stop sleep or cause them to wake up shortly after being placed down.
How can I help my baby form healthy sleep patterns?
By making sure their digestion is balanced. This means feeding with their biological capacities and capabilities while you release the optimum amount of wind so their duodenum, intestines and bowels are not left to function in an abnormal manner, causing interference with developmental sleep.