Guest post by Kati-Anne Gustafsson
Getting baby to sleep is often one of the toughest areas of having a newborn. Mom’s exhausted, everyone else is tired, but baby doesn’t want to sleep and starts to fuss if ignored. One way of getting over this is to have some special music that you have playing all the time when baby is being calmed down ready for a nap. Get the baby used to the music first of all so that it is something familiar, just playing the music several times a day every day will do that (pick something that wont drive you crazy) and then gradually, leave the baby for a couple of minutes at a time – first of all just stand where baby cant see you, and then aim to move across the room, and eventually out of the room all together.
The idea is that baby stops focusing so much on you, but on the music. Babies are born with a love of music and sound which is why this works – although I’m not going to claim it works on all babies because I’ve read far too many books that made predictions about all babies and my two babies did fit any of them!
I found two types of music that worked with my children. With the eldest, I found that he settled down very quickly when I put the Natural Sounds For Baby Sleep: Wind In A Forest CD in the stereo. I must confess that parrot screeching did nothing for me, but he loved it and would lie quite happily in his crib, even when he wasn’t asleep. The baby loves The Mozart Effect: Music for Babies, Vol 1– I can’t say enough about this music album, we also bought the second volume The Mozart Effect: Music for Babies, Vol 2 because the sound of Mozart lulls him to sleep. It’s magic!
You need to experiment with what works for your particular baby. Start with things you listened to whilst you were pregnant because chances are baby will already recognise them. On the other hand, I certainly didn’t listen to screeching parrots when pregnant with my firstborn, and he adored them from the first moment I played the CD!
Find the musical key and you’ll increase your baby’s security cushion. You can even take this music to grandparents or other babysitters home if you need to leave baby for a couple of hours – the music is something familiar and should calm them when you first leave and they need to adjust to you not being there.
Before long, the entire family could be feeling a lot more relaxed because the baby is more settled and sleeping regularly.