Psst…read on for a Sydney photographer’s magical tricks on soothing a crying baby.
It’s tough being a new parent. There’s so much to learn about caring for a new baby and you just never know if you’re doing it right. And sometimes you feel like you’re failing at everything, right? But you’re not alone. All new parents feel this way, especially in the early stages when your baby is brand new. How do I know? Well, as a Sydney photographer who chats to lots of new parents during family and baby photos, I hear the same stories. Caring for a newborn is tough, particularly when your baby is crying, unsettled and you just don’t know what’s wrong.
But I’ve got some tips for you! Yep, in my role as a Sydney photographer and Queen baby whisperer I’ve settled and soothed hundreds of newborn babies. So I thought I’d share my magic baby techniques with you.
Are you ready? Grab a coffee and let’s begin.
2. Wrap Your Baby
Many parents are surprised by how quickly their baby settles once I’ve wrapped them. And even though your baby will wriggle and squirm and try out their mad Houdini skills to escape, they actually enjoy being wrapped.
Why does wrapping work? Because a firmly wrapped baby feels snug and secure. I mean, think about it. It was just a short time ago your baby was curled up in your tummy with little room to move. So a firm wrap replicates this feeling of security and helps to calm and soothe your baby.
Types of Wraps
The trick to wrapping your baby is to keep their arms and hands snugly tucked away. This helps babies to feel secure and also prevents them startling and waking themselves up. The best types of wraps are those made from stretchy material. Typically, shop-bought wraps are made from cotton or muslin fabric. These fabrics have little stretch so babies are able to wriggle their way free.
There are so many cute newborn stores so try and find a supplier that sells baby wraps made from stretchy fabric like these gorgeous wraps from Snuggle Hunny Kids.
Not only will your baby feel snug, safe, and settled but they’ll look adorable too!
On the rare occasion a snug wrap doesn’t settle your baby, I try ‘free time’. Some babies like to be active and just want to wriggle and squirm and wave their arms around. So when I have a squirmy, energetic baby visit my Sydney photography studio, I’ll unwrap them and let them burn off their excess energy on a comfortable floor mat. It usually only takes 5-10 minutes of free time and your baby is then easier to settle, wrap and totally rock their photoshoot.
3. Keep Baby Warm
Often babies cry if they’re uncomfortable. Now this could be from a wet or dirty nappy, a tummy ache or it could be something as simple as the temperature being too hot or cold. The ideal temperature for your baby’s room is about 22-24 degrees. If you’re unsure of the temperature, a good rule is to have the baby’s room temperature so that it’s comfortable for a lightly clothed adult. If you’re feeling hot and uncomfortable in your baby’s room, then your baby will be feeling hot and cranky too.
And likewise, if you’re feeling chilly in your baby’s room, then your baby will be feeling cold too.
So be sure to monitor the temperature in your baby’s room.
4. Use A White Noise App – Sydney Photographer’s Tips
White noise apps are a great way to help your baby get accustomed to outside noises. I mean, you don’t want your baby to wake up at the sound of the television coming on, do you? White noise apps are also useful for helping babies drift off to sleep and come in a variety of sounds from soothing lullabies to calming ocean noises. There are also vacuum cleaners and hair dryer sounds should you wish to make your baby immune to those noises. At least you can do your hair and get the housework done when your baby sleeps.
You can check out the reviews on some of the most popular white noise apps here.
If you’re not a fan of having your device near your baby’s room, why not try a soft toy that includes white noise? There are super-cute toys on the market that play lullabies, white noise and even the sound of a heartbeat.
Just have a look at this cute snuggly toy from Riff Raff and Co.
5. Lavender Oil
For decades, lavender oil has been used for its soothing and relaxing qualities. Lavender oil can be used in a baby’s bath time routine to promote relaxation. Simply add a few drops in the bath water and watch your little one relax. You can also burn lavender oil in a diffuser and fill your home with its magical calming powers.
Lavender oil’s soothing powers are believed to help your baby have a deeper and longer sleep. As a bonus to its calming and sedative properties, lavender smells divine so your home will smell amazing.
6. Cuddles, Belly Aches and Burping
Yep, sometimes the most obvious reason for an unsettled baby is the one we overlook. Often the reason your baby is crying is they’re uncomfortable. A soothing cuddle and rocking your baby is often all that’s needed to help your little one drift off to sleep. Sometimes it’s a tummy ache and your baby needs a gentle pat on the back to get that nasty burp out. There are a few techniques for burping your baby.
For instance, my favourite burping technique is to sit your baby upright on my lap while supporting their head under the chin. This position uses gravity and with some gentle patting and rubbing on your baby’s back, the wind will eventually escape from their tummy.
If this technique doesn’t work, my next favourite position is with your baby over my shoulder. I slowly walk around the studio, gently patting, rubbing and rocking your baby until they finally burp. There are other techniques such as burping your baby over your lap but I find these two are most successful.
A Sydney Photographer’s Top Tips For Settling A Baby
Well, there you have it. All the baby settling tricks I’ve learned as a Sydney photographer. I hope you find them useful.
Because being a parent to a newborn is hard work, isn’t it? And babies don’t come with instructions or a rule book. But don’t stress. Everyone feels this way when they become parents. All you can do is try your best and try different techniques until you find one that works for you and your baby. These are just a few of the techniques I’ve found worked well with new babies.
And if you’re considering photos of your newborn and I sound like the perfect photographer for your baby, please get in touch here.
My Sydney photography studio is in Winston Hills just west of Sydney’s CBD. I love photographing families and babies and my studio is filled with gorgeous props and accessories to create stunning photos of your family and baby.
Want to see gorgeous baby photos? Head on over to my newborn gallery here to see lots of gorgeous babies.