Exploring ways to soothe and support baby as they get used to being in the world.

Learning goals

  • Recognise what newborn babies need.
  • Be able to respond positively.

Discuss ways to soothe newborn babies

Have copies of the Tākai Whakatipu booklet Te Kākano on hand as a prompt.

Being born is a huge transition for pēpi!

Ask participants to imagine what it’s like being a baby before birth, inside the womb – for example, wet, warm, dark, snug and so on.

Now think about what it’s like for them after birth – for example, bright lights, cold, being touched and held.

One familiar thing to pēpi is usually their mother’s voice, but overall, you can see that being born is quite an extreme change for them.

What are some of the things we can do to help pēpi in this transition?

  • Use soothing techniques – use one action at a time and repeat it over and over.
  • Show them your face.
  • Gently hold both of baby’s arms close to their body.
  • Rock, walk or take baby for a ride in the pram or car.
  • Talk to them in a steady, soft voice.
  • Pick them up and hold them close against your body.
  • ‘Windy’ pēpi may be more comfortable in a more upright position. A front pack or sling can help.
  • Sing or hum to pēpi.
  • Wrap pēpi snugly.