Putting your hands on your baby and patting her in a gentle rhythm may help her settle to sleep.
- Face your baby away from you. You don't want to make eye contact with her.
- Put your hand on her shoulder to hold her steady and stop her rolling around when you pat.
- Cup your other hand and pat her gently and slowly on her bottom or thigh. If you are patting her on the bottom, make sure the pats are firm as they have to register through several layers of clothing an a nappy.
- The key to successful patting is to keep it steady and rhythmic.
- Some babies find quiet singing soothing, while others find it distracting. You could try counting in your head to keep your patting steady, or try creating your own white noise by quietly 'shooshing' her in time with the patting. The added bonus of 'shooshing' is that she will probably stop crying to listen to you.
- As your baby starts to settle and relax, slow down your hand movements. Once she's quiet, stop patting her but leave your hands on her body for a few more seconds.
- Quietly leave the room. Ideally you have left her calm and drowsy so that she'll be able to fall asleep on her own.
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