- Feed and swaddle your baby, put her in her cot and walk out. As soon as she cries, respond – pick her up, engulf her and sit. Your body becomes her bed.
- Let her cry/grizzle within arms (about a minute), then ‘cup’ and shush her. Stop and start until you feel she is ready to fall asleep. Ideally with a newborn baby that will happen really quickly, but with a baby with reflux or colic it takes longer.
- Once she goes to sleep, sit and hold her. Anytime she moves or stirs – cup and shush. Around the 45-minute mark, cup them through to the next, deeper, sleep cycle.
- When she’s been in your arms for about 75 minutes in total, stand and cup and shush her while you walk her to her cot.
- Place her in and leave the room. Respond as soon as she cries and start the next wake cycle.
- Crying/grizzling is not a negative communication, it is how your baby talks to you – stop, listen and respond.
- Settle your baby in your arms using only movements you can replicate in the cot.
- Remember your baby is a person and it is not necessary to pass her around or wake her for visitors. Restrict visitors until you are ready to entertain.
- Breastfeeding can be the hardest job a mother does – ensure you have a good village of supportive friends and family around you.
- Fuel your body with food and water and take time out for you – even if it is just a walk to the letterbox.
- You are your baby’s expert/baby whisperer – hold on to this thought to get you through the day.
Photos: Mike Rooke
Hair and make-up by: Claudia Rodrigues
Baby and toddler clothing by: Dimples