Updated: Jan 9
As its World Sleep Day, its a great time to share some of the techniques I use to get newborn babies sleepy during my studio Newborn Photoshoots at Generations Photography. Most newborn babies spend more time asleep than awake, but remember each baby is different and thus their sleep pattern will be different too.
Some of the techniques I use successfully to help babies sleep will be explored below.
Techniques to help your baby get to sleep
-Use White Noise
One of the most successful tools I use during my studio Newborn Photoshoots is to use white noise to get babies to sleep and to help them get back to sleep if they wake up. I use the following device the Baby Shusher which can be purchased from Amazon (which also works successfully on adults as well, as I have even had parents fall asleep during the photoshoot!) You can also download Mobile Phone Apps which have white noise, some of which are free. White Noise is a great tool to use because it helps to replicate a comfortable womb like environment which will help to calm your baby, stop them crying and aiding them to fall asleep quicker. However, make sure not to have the sound too loud and do not place directly next to your baby's ears.
The temperature of the room is a very important factor to consider when you want your baby to sleep, as you do not want them to be too cold or too hot. The suggested room temperature is 16-20 degrees with light weight bedding. If your unsure of the room temperature you could get a thermometer to keep in the room. Its important to check on your baby regularly to assess their temperature. Ways to assess your baby's temperature is to either feel the back of their neck or on their chest (hands and feet always tend to be cooler anyway). If their skin feels hot or sweaty, remove one or more layers of their clothing or bedding. During my studio Newborn Photoshoots I have the room temperature set to 18-20 degrees, as the babies often get cold when they are being changed in and out of different outfits. When I am wrapping them, swaddling them or putting them in a thick outfit I will monitor their temperature regularly and act accordingly.
In the early weeks babies can startle and twitch when they drift in and out of sleep, which can cause them to wake up. It is a normal reflex called the 'Moro Reflex, however it can be unsettling for a baby. One way to settle a baby experiencing this is to swaddle them. I have different items I use during my newborn photoshoots to swaddle a baby to help to get them to relax. There are some important health and safety steps to follow if you are going to swaddle your baby. Firstly to avoid them overheating use thin materials. Secondly make sure not to swaddle over your baby's shoulders. Do not put your swaddled baby on their front to sleep. Ensure not to swaddle your baby too tightly. It is also important to regularly check on your baby's temperature if you are going to swaddle them to check they do not overheat.
For more advice on how to safely swaddle your baby safely head to:
-Lay baby down before they are asleep
Babies can be easily startled when being put down, so in the studio if I want to get a baby to sleep, I will lay them down when they are drowsy but not fully sleepy as I want them to get comfortable and relaxed before drifting off to sleep. This has also been shown to help increase the length of time a baby sleeps at night.
Capturing your new adorable baby in photographs in the first couple of weeks of life will provide you with special memories to treasure forever. All those unique things about your newborn baby pass so quickly, so its precious being able to have photographs to treasure for years to come. Newborn Photoshoots are best carried out within the first 2 weeks, as this is when baby is most sleepy, however I have done newborn photoshoots up to 6 weeks, so its never too late to book. If you would like to find out more about my studio Newborn Photoshoots click here.
Other sources of advice on Sleep can be found at:
I hope this blog has given you some ideas to use to help with your baby's sleep. If you have any of your own tips, I’d love to share them with my readers and clients, let me know on either of my social media platforms.
Remember every baby is different and what works for one baby, will not work for another.
Written by G.Hampton 19/03/2021
Copyright © 2021 by Generations Photography