Settling an unsettled baby – what may be wrong

Settling an unsettled baby

Chiropractor Nisha Saran

By chiropractor – and mum – Nisha Saran

How do I get my baby to settle is a common conversation between new mums. There is nothing more stressful than an unsettled baby and you just don’t know why.

It may be that your baby isn’t sleeping for long. Or that you are having problems feeding.

It’s natural for you to feel the pressure

When my daughter was born, she struggled to latch on to feed – I was getting so stressed. She was a forceps delivery, the result of which had affected her jaw.

Despite my professional experience and being able to resolve the problem, I was still a new mum trying to work it all out, and the emotional pressure you feel is enormous.

What may be happening

settling an unsettled babyIf your baby is unsettled, first, keep in mind that crying is normal for a baby. It’s unlikely that you are doing anything wrong, your maternal intuition will lead you. But when you’ve ensured their basic needs are taken care of and they still refuse to sleep, feed or settle – what do you do next?

Pain or discomfort can be reasons for a baby to cry. It may be that your baby cries more in a particular position – for example lying down on their back, but when held upright they don’t cry as much.

Signs that your baby may be uncomfortable can be:
  • Excessive crying times
  • Increased crying in certain positions
  • Constant movement and wriggling around
  • Preference to feeding from one breast
  • Difficulty in latching to the breast
  • Difficulty in maintaining a feed long enough to be satisfied


All of these signs can be related to tension, discomfort or pain that a baby feels somewhere in their body. Some reasons may be attributed to uncomfortable positioning in the womb or trauma during the birth process – especially if interventions such as forceps were necessary as was the case with my baby.

For my daughter, very gentle chiropractic techniques focused on the spine and the bones of the cranium. This helped release tension and she settled more easily.

What may work

There is a lot of advice available from your midwife or post-natal groups. And mum-to-mum recommendations are always a great source.

My main point is that if your baby is unsettled please don’t suffer unnecessarily – share your experience and seek help – you are not alone.

Should you wish to have an appointment with me then please call our friendly reception team who will be happy to help 020 8943 2424.

The Waldegrave Clinic is a multi-disciplinary practice that offers chiropractic, physiotherapy, podiatry, massage and a range of complementary therapies.

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