You’re the parent of a young baby. Maybe they’ve been sleeping the past six weeks without a problem, then not. Maybe you haven’t had more than two hours’ sleep yourself since the day you brought them home. You’re exhausted! What do you do to settle baby?

Settling baby; Jan Murray
Child Health Nurse Jan Murray

There are so many resources available on the internet, but many of them are conflicting. Infant welfare nurse Jan Murray knows all about this scenario.

As a grandmother, it’s easy to want to step in and take over with a “this is what you do” approach and come and take over, but that’s not the best thing to do. Much has changed in our world in the last 20-30 years, the way we live is fundamentally different, and that has an effect on our babies as well. 

GUEST: Jan Murray
HOST: Jenny Baxter


The Treasuring Mothers podcast is made possible with the generous assistance of the Community Broadcasting Foundation.


Show Notes – Settling Baby

  • When Jan is invited into a home her first job is to get a feel for the atmosphere of the home. Environmental factors can affect settling baby, as can anxiety in the parents. Jan collects a history of when and how the baby was born, and what the parents been doing so far to help. Sometimes the problem can be something medical that’s been missed.
  • Sometimes babies find it hard to settle because they’re used to being busy. When mothers are very active before birth (as so many need to be) babies come out wanting to stay “busy”, and they find it hard to settle. Mothers, too, can find it hard to adjust to a slower routine, and struggle to settle themselves, the anxiety of which can be passed on to the baby. This is not a condemnation, but an awareness of fact.
  • Modern families also have a lot of stimulation. Flashing lights on monitors, TV. Even getting in and out of the car multiple times per day. Babies don’t adjust to changes like these as easily as adults do, making them agitated and harder to settle.
  • A settling plan will be different for everybody. Jan assesses for anxiety or depression, and gets the parents to seek help if there is. She’s also careful to create a plan that parents think they can do, not something they don’t feel capable of. Sometimes it’s less noise, need to start solid foods, less time in the car. It’s never a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Often it takes a professional to connect the dots on the reasons for an unsettled baby. The Parenting Centre, child health nurses, or a professional like Jan, are great resources. Don’t just read the books, but stop and listen to that still small voice inside. Trust your gut.

Jan’s website, Settle Petal, has many downloadable resources. You can also connect with her via her Facebook page.


Podcasts with Infant Welfare Nurse Jan Murray


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