Even if you don’t remove your baby from their crib, you can use your voice to soothe and entertain him or her. Research shows that babies begin to hear from around week 16 of pregnancy, although initially will be limited to sounds from inside the body. This develops quickly, and studies have demonstrated the fetus can recognise voices around week 24. If your baby can recognise your voice before it’s even born, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that this is one of the most comforting sounds available to them.
When you put your baby into the crib, they’re not going to be asleep 100% of the time. A blank, white ceiling isn’t very interesting to a newborn, and the lack of stimulus can leave your baby feeling frustrated and tearful. You can combat this with a baby mobile, which will hang above your child’s crib to keep them entertained. You can get baby mobiles to hang from the ceiling or, if you prefer, attach onto the side of the crib. Both are widely available, and you should find one with moving parts for best results.
If you find it difficult to get your baby to sleep through the night, you should consider purchasing a night light to comfort your baby. Night lights are kept on throughout the night, and emit a soft, light glow. This has been found to relax babies, helping them drift back to sleep when they wake during the night. They also have many benefits for the parents, too. If you’re making regular trips to your baby’s crib during the night, you may find that turning on the main lights wakes you fully, preventing you from falling back to sleep when you return to bed. Night lights are the perfect solution – they’re bright enough that you can see where you’re going, but soft enough to keep you in the sleep zone.
Sound machines are the perfect solution for babies that find it difficult to fall asleep at night, or that easily wake from their sleep when they hear unfamiliar sounds. The sound machine will play a series of sounds to your baby throughout the night. Although this may seem counter-intuitive, they work extremely well and can make all the difference when it comes to persuading your baby to sleep through the night. Newborns are used to lots of noise – they’ve just spent 9 months inside their mother’s womb, which is never completely silent. Being placed inside a quiet room is therefore a strange experience for them, and they need time to adjust. A sound machine is the perfect compromise, as they enable your child to feel comfortable, whilst giving you the freedom to get the rest you need.
For more information and advice on comforting and entertaining your baby see the nursery guide on Parent.Guide.