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People often say they wish their baby had come with an instruction manual but it’s worth taking time, just a few minutes when you can, to watch closely and gradually become familiar with what your baby is like.

Getting to know their sleep and wake states will help you – download “Baby Watching: Making sense of your baby” to find out more, and watch the videos below from the Association for infant Mental Health UK.

 

View videos on Baby States

These videos on Baby States, and other videos on getting to know your baby, are freely available from the Association for Infant Mental Health UK.

Getting to Know Your Baby - Baby states introduction

Available free from the Association for Infant Mental Health UK.

Getting to Know Your Baby - Deep sleep

What’s it like to be in a deep sleep? Babies in deep sleep need rest and a comfortable and, if possible, familiar place to sleep.

Available free from the Association for Infant Mental Health UK.

Getting to Know Your Baby - Light sleep

Think how you feel in a light sleep and how you might want to be treated. Your baby needs time to wake or drop back into a deep sleep.

Available free from the Association for Infant Mental Health UK.

Getting to Know Your Baby - Drowsy

Your baby may enjoy a cuddle while they wake or they may want to fall back to sleep.

Available free from the Association for Infant Mental Health UK.

Getting to Know Your Baby - Quiet Alert

In the quiet alert state your baby may like to take some time to watch before engaging. Give lots of time and watch for baby’s cues.

Available free from the Association for Infant Mental Health UK.

Getting to Know Your Baby - Unsettled / active alert

Think how you feel when you are unsettled. Baby is likely to need a change of pace. They may need a feed or just a slowing down because it is all too much.

Available free from the Association for Infant Mental Health UK.

Getting to Know Your Baby - Crying

Babies cry for many reasons. Although it can be difficult to be on the receiving end of crying, your baby is not crying to ‘get at you’. It is how the baby is trying to help you work out what is going on for them. They may be tired, hungry, thirsty, too hot or cold, bored, scared, lonely or ill. Soon you will be able to tell one cry from another and this helps you know what to do.

Think how your baby likes to soothe. Do they have a favourite cuddling position? Have a look at sleeping and soothing.

Available free from the Association for Infant Mental Health UK.

Getting to know your baby - Sleeping and soothing

Available free from the Association for Infant Mental Health UK.