Being born can be traumatic. One moment you’re in the safety and warm of the womb and the next you’re having to breathe, eat and exist independently in the outside world. The first few hours and days are huge in your baby’s life and so, as a parent, you naturally want to make baby’s transition into the real world as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
The stage is known as the fourth trimester, which stretches from birth to three months old, is as important as the time they spent developing in the womb. Your baby gains control of their senses, as well as physical and mental reflexes, as they become more accustomed to the world around them. While the transition from womb to world isn’t easy, here are a few ways to soothe your baby through the first few months of their life.
Giving baby plenty of skin-to-skin time
Skin-to-skin time is essential for mum and baby. It helps to regulate your newborn’s breathing, heart rate and temperature. Skin-to-skin contact is also shown to boost your breast milk supply and encourages bonding for mum, dad and baby. The feel-good hormone oxytocin is also released during this time, which gives everyone a mood boost.
Understanding your baby’s cries
It’s normal for your baby to cry a lot in the first few months as they get used to the world around them. “Crying is your baby’s way of telling you they need comfort and care,” states NHS England. This peaks around seven weeks and then crying should reduce as your baby reaches the three-month mark. If you’re concerned or something doesn’t feel right, have a look at the NHS guidance here or consult your GP.
Making baby feel safe
Recreating some of the conditions of the womb is a good way to make your baby feel safe. The Red Castle Cocoonababy, a nest for newborns, holds your baby in “a semi-foetal position with his shoulders and spine slightly curved”, a position that offers support and assurance. In this ergonomic cocoon, your baby has freedom to move their arms to touch their face and mouth but movement is still minimal which lowers their risk of suffering from “the fear of falling into space”.
Creating a comfortable environment
Babies sometimes cry because they’re feeling overwhelmed: in the first few weeks, your baby is constantly experiencing new things. Try to reduce the number of stimuli in a room, in particular when your baby is trying to sleep. The Cocoonababy’s nest shape will make your baby feel contained and comforted. The soft but firmness of the nest also simulates the feel of being inside the womb, ideal for settling your baby and helping them drift off to sleep.
Achieving peaceful sleep
Don’t try to force a routine in those precious first weeks. There wasn’t any routine for your baby in the womb, so trying to push for structure will only make things harder. Allow your baby to sleep as much as and whenever they like. Through its ergonomic design, the Cocoonababy can improve the quality and length of your baby’s sleep by reducing the involuntary jerky movements that often jolt your child awake.
Reducing the risk of flat head syndrome and gastric reflux
Flat head syndrome can occur when a baby sleeps on their back on a traditional mattress or a hard surface for a prolonged amount of time. The Cocoonababy’s top layer of foam helps reduce the risk of flat head syndrome whilst facilitating babies head movements. Sleeping in the Cocoonababy can also help to reduce reflux, a condition that affects half of babies under three months, because of its 20-degree incline.
The Cocoonababy is available from JoJo Maman Bebe. RRP: £130.