Tips and Tricks for Settling your Baby to Sleep

Tips and Tricks for Settling your Baby to Sleep

There is so much advice out there for helping babies sleep through the night, helping them self soothe, getting them into a routine etc. Parents will choose whatever works best for them. But sometimes, baby is simply just unsettled and it’s not as easy as just putting them back to bed. I know at 3am I would have tried anything so I’ve put together a  little list of tips and tricks that I’ve picked up as a newborn photographer and love to use to help settle little ones in my studio.


Firstly- Is your baby hungry? – Feeding your little one quickly when they are hungry will help them feel secure and happy that when they are next hungry, mummy (or daddy if bottle feeding) will be there.


If this is not the reason for them being unsettled, check their nappy, check their temperature – may they be too hot/cold in what they are wearing?, and make sure they are not crying in discomfort (e.g wind)- this will most likely be a high pitched cry and you may notice them bringing up their legs.


Then you can try the following:

  1. Cuddles – every baby loves cuddles. My little girl slept on my chest every nap time for about 6 months and was almost most settled there. My little boy was exactly the same, in fact he’s now 3 and still loves cuddling up. Your little one has grown inside you for 9 months and the outside world can seem like a pretty scary place at times! They will know your smell, they will love your warmth and they will feel huge comfort in knowing they are close to you.


If you baby wear, this can also be something to try. I use to do the hoovering whilst wearing my little girl when she really wouldn’t settle. She’d be asleep within minutes!


  1. Swaddling- This isn’t the easiest to do but certainly gets easier with practice and there are loads of youtube videos explaining how to swaddle your baby. You can use a blanket, a large muslin square or purchase a swaddling blanket like this one: Wrapping is always my ‘go to’ for unsettled babies in the studio. Swaddling your little one will provide them with the support and security that they love, as well as keeping them nice and toasty (please read advice as to what to put on them underneath their swaddle depending on the temperature of the room).


  1. White Noise- There are loads of apps you can get to play white noise to your little one (I wouldn’t recommend putting your phone in bed with them but just having it in the room may work wonders), or you can get a number of baby shushers or others like Ewan the dream sheep (my little boy’s favourite) that can play a number of sounds e.g heart beat sounds to help settle your baby. These sounds may feel familiar to your baby but they also distract from other sounds and activity that may have woken them up without the white noise.


  1. Pressure Points- everyone has pressure points on their body that can help relaxation. For babies the best spot is between the eyes. Stroking this point lightly with your finger can encourage them to shut their eyes they will often fall asleep very quickly.


  1. Rocking- For 9 months, babies are used to feeling all of your movements. Life on the outside can feel a little overwhelming and rocking helps recreate this feeling and so helps calm them down. If you can face your little one away from you, even better- babies are very good at smelling mummies milk! I was told a million times that I was making a rod for my own back and that I shouldn’t rock my daughter but sometimes it was really the only thing that would send her off to sleep! And now she sleeps amazingly at 5 years old!


  1. Place baby in bed on your t-shirt or blanket- sometime all babies want is mummy. If you cuddle your baby in a blanket place baby in bed on the same blanket. They will know your scent while may help calm them.


  1. Sucking- babies love to suck for comfort. They aren’t for everyone but I don’t think I could have been without dummies for my two! Thank fully the dummy fairy collected both without too much resistance!


  1. Stay calm! Your baby will pick up on your stress.


Super helpful video showing some of what I’ve talked about here:


Victoria is a newborn photographer based in Shrewsbury, Shropshire offering maternity, newborn, baby and family, and cake smash photography.

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First Birthday Photoshoots at Victoria J Photography

First Birthday Photoshoots at Victoria J Photography

Your little one’s first birthday is incredibly special! I didn’t realise how much so until I had my little girl. It’s fair to say her first year seemed to pass by in a blink and I remember feeling really overwhelmed and emotional the evening before her first birthday. I wanted time to slow down. But, of course, that’s not possible so instead we have to embrace every milestone, feel every emotion and enjoy every minute of our little ones. What better way to celebrate your babies first year than with photography that will provide memories for many, many years to come!

First birthday sessions at Victoria J Photography have 2 different options. To keep it simple- with themes and cake or without!


The Cake Smash Session


Who doesn’t love cake!? These sessions are huge amounts of fun! You provide the theme and I will sort the set up, cake and outfit to match it. All of this is included in the package price. We start with a mini portrait session where we capture timeless images of them, normally on a neutral backdrop in an outfit you bring from home.


Once we have some beautiful portrait shots, we get the birthday baby into their cake smash outfit, quickly change over the set up and introduce the cake. I always aim to get a few images of it whilst it’s untouched and then it’s all down to your little one. Surprisingly, babies don’t see cake and instantly dive right in! Some will, but most of the time it take a little while for them to warm to the idea. I’ll never rush you through your session, however, so your little one can take as long as they need!

Warning- parents, you may end up slightly covered in cake too, especially is your little one is crawling or walking! Pre-Covid lockdown I would be the one running around after your little one, however, for the foreseeable future, in order to limit contact, I’ll be getting you involved too!


Once the cake has been smashed we’ll get your baby cleaned off in the tub. This way, you don’t have to worry about taking a cake covered baby home! Of course, if the cake hasn’t been completely destroyed your welcome to take it home. The bath splash section of the session is the part I find babies love the most! We are usually able to capture lots of smiles at this point and the studio usually ends up covered in water!

Want to know more? Session information as well as prices and packages can be found here.


The Portrait Shoot


Of course, not everyone wants the cake as part of their session so I also offer the option of a simple birthday session. These aren’t themed as such but I will work to your chosen colour scheme and include balloons as part of the session if you want them. For these sessions, we work through one or two different set ups and outfits.

We will start on a neutral backdrop with a simple outfit (either one of mine or one you have from home) to get some timeless portraits of your baby. Then we’ll bring in the balloons, have an outfit change and capture some birthday images. I love the simplicity of these sessions!



Of course, family images can be included in this session also.

Want to know more? Session information as well as prices and packages can be found here.

Things to do in Shropshire- Summer 2020

Things to do in Shropshire- Summer 2020

I spend hours looking for new things to do in Shropshire. Before my little girl started school in September, we used to have girly Monday’s and I started the list so that we would always have something new to do. The list grew and lots of people helped contribute more ideas so now we have a helpful list of places to visit with children around Shropshire.

Last year this list proved really popular, so I have produced one for this year too. Obviously this year is a little bit different- as we come out of lockdown there are still a number of places that are shut, limited opening hours etc. For this reason, I have not included softplay centres on the list- but if they reopen during the summer I will add to the list. There are still some indoor attractions on the list, but please check beforehand if they have reopened. There is a link attached to almost every attraction so it should be easy enough to access this information.

I have also attached a free downloadable PDF checklist for you to print and pop on the fridge and check them off as you go.

If you have any more suggestions, please let me know, and feel free to share this far and wide. Help the mummies and daddies that are in need of a new place to go after so many weeks being at home!

Outdoor Walks-

Castel Dinas Bran-

Lyth Hill-

Rectory Wood (Church Stretton)-

Battlefield 1403 (Shrewsbury)-

Appley Woods (Telford)-

Haughmond Hill including Zog activity trail (parking £)-

Wyre Forrest Wren Walking trail (parking £)-

Llangollen canal and the horsehoe falls-

Pontcysyllte aqueduct-

Chirk aqueduct-

Oswestry Hill Fort-

Telford Town Park (parking £)-

Shrewsbury Quarry Park-

£ Hawkstone Park Follies-

£ Weston Park, Shifnal –

The Mere at Ellesmere-

Cae Glas Park (Oswestry)-

Seven Valley Country Park (Bridgnorth) –

Granville Country Park-

Nescliffe Country Park-

Mortimer Forest-

Clee Hills-

Stiperstones National Nature Reserve –

The Wrekin

Corbett Woods-

The Wolseley Centre – Wildlife Trust –

Splash Parks and Paddling Pools (free)-

Shrewsbury Quarry Splash Park

Telford Splash Park

Farms, Zoos and animal parks (free and £)-

£ Park Hall Farm (Oswestry)-

£ Home Farm, Attingham (Shrewsbury)-

£ Hoo Farm (Telford) –

£ Exotic Zoo (Telford)-

£ Acton Scott, working farm –

Apley Farm Shop and (£) Scotty’s Animal Park-

£ Rays Farm (Bridgnorth)-

£ Fordhall farm (Market Drayton)-

£ Gentelshaw Wildlife Centre (Eccleshall) –

National Trust

Dudmaston Hall (nr Bridgnorth)

Attingham Park (Shrewsbury)

Benthall Hall (Broseley)

Cardingmill Valley (Church Stretton)

Wenlock Edge

Berrington Hall (Leominster)

Croft Castle and Parkland (Leominster)

Letocetum Roman Baths and Museum (nr Lichfield)

Morville Hall (nr Bridgnorth)

Morville Hall (nr Bridgnorth)

Shugborough Estate (Staffordshire)

Sunnycroft (Telford)

Wightwick Manor and Gardens (Wolverhampton)

Wilderhope Manor (Much Wenlock)

Places to visit outdoors-

£ Wonderland (Telford)-

Cheshire Ice Cream Farm (entrance is free but activities are £)-

£ Bridgnorth Railway-


£ Blists Hill (Ironbridge) –

£ Battlefield Falconry Centre (Shrewsbury) –

British Ironworks Centre (Oswestry) –

£ Wroxeter Roman City-

£ Telford Steam Railway-

Ludlow Castle-

£ Woodseaves Miniature Railway-

£ Treasure Trials (7 in Shropshire in total)-

Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre (entrance is free so some activities £)-

Shropshire Wildlife Trust-

Ludlow Market

£ Snailbeach Lead Mine –

Shropshire Lavendar –

Shawbury Fruit Farm-

Stokesay Castle (Craven Arms)-

£ Long Mountain Pony Trekking –

Bildwas Abbey-

Haughmond Abbey –

Moreton Corbett Castle –

Acton Burnell Castle-

Wenlock Priory –

Places to visit indoors-

Apley Farm Shop and Playbarn (admission is free but activities are £)-

Percy Throwers Garden Centre (Shrewsbury)-

Hollybush Garden Centre and Aquaria-

£ Enginuity (Ironbridge)-

RAF Cosford (parking £)-

Rowleys House and Mansion (Shrewsbury)-

Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre (entrance is free so some activities £)-

£ Jump in Trampoline Park, Shrewsbury-

£ Splat n Splodge Pottery painting (Shrewsbury) –

£ AMF Bowling Shrewsbury –

£ Telford Ice Rink –


Want the FREE downloadable PDF? Download it here: Summer activities shrewsbury 2020 printable


Victoria is a photographer based in Shrewsbury- offering maternity, newborn, baby and family and cake smash photography. Want to know more? Get in touch for a chat.