Does your baby settle down on their own or, do they need you to calm them down and fall asleep? Baby self-soothing is a skill that comes easily to some babies, but other little ones have a temperament that makes it more challenging. Self-soothing is an ideal technique that not only helps your child to get into the habit of settling himself to sleep but also gets you quality sleep. You can start that step by step through various techniques and methods before they can do it by themselves.
What does baby self soothing mean?
Self-soothing means the baby’s ability to fall asleep on their own, without the need for an adult to rock, cuddle, pat, carry or shush them to sleep. However, a baby’s ability to do this depends on their temperament and personality. What may work for a baby may not work for your baby. You can teach your baby to self- sooth between four to eleven months. It totally depends on the child. Sometimes they might take much more time in compare to other children to learn this ability.
Baby self-soothing involve:
Self-soothing involves simple yet effective techniques or tools to calm oneself down when in stress or is extremely irritable. There are many effective ways and techniques by which you can help the baby to self-soothe. Some are as follows
1. By using the body parts:
This can be done with the help of the baby’s face, fingers, hands, and mouth. Sucking the thumb or pacifier or their favorite toy or blanket. By gently rubbing their eyes and also holding their hands together.
2. Soothing strategies involve movement on a sensory level:
These strategies help them improve their sensory level and can learn fast. This can be done
- By gently playing with your baby’s hair.
- Rocking the crib or rocking the baby in your arms.
- Singing or humming melodies for them.
- Stroking the blanket or pillow near the baby.
3. Self Exploration.
It is also one effective way to teach your child the basics of self-soothing. Let your child be creative to explore the movements or positions that are comfortable for them. Watch them playing with their hands and fingers. This will automatically teach them to calm down without your help.
Benefits of baby self soothing
It is beneficial for the baby, as well as for the mommy also. It helps the baby to sleep faster on their own and is helpful in the long run. This milestone is as important as teaching them to sit, walk or grasp things. Some more benefits of baby self soothing are mentioned below:
1. Baby sleeps better
If your baby can self-soothe, they will be able to sleep better without any intervention. They can also sleep on their own if they wake up in the middle of the night. This technique also helps the baby to sleep for a longer period of time. Doctors believe that babies who can self-soothe themselves get an extra hour of sleep, which is essential for their development and growth.
2. Baby become less fussy
The technique of self- soothing not only let the baby sleeps better but also makes them calm and can control themselves. This will also make them less fussy and restless. A mother who teaches her baby to sleep independently is helping the child to be more active and confident in the future.
3. Makes your baby confident
Self-soothing develops confidence in your baby at a very early age. The baby learns to sleep by themselves, even if they wake up in the middle of the night. This will also regulate their mood, they would be happy and calm and this may help them learn new skills.
4. Mommy gets more time
If the baby learns to sleep by themselves they can sleep better and for longer, giving mommy some extra time to do her own stuff. Also, baby can sleep better if there is no baby intervention in between. Then it can be easier for the mother and she can also care the baby in better ways.
Tips to make your baby to self-soothe
A mother can follow different tricks and steps, making your baby learn to sleep. Scroll down for a few more tips that would be helpful for you.
1. Set a routine:
This is the most important part of the process. Setting a regular routine for every activity will not only make them learn the skills, but also will help your child in the future. A particular pattern of everything will prepare the baby to expect the next activity on the list. You can do this by observing the daily activities and routine of your baby and set it accordingly.
2. Have consistent sleeptime:
You can start by establishing a bedtime for the baby. Set a particular time for the baby to sleep, this helped them learn to sleep at that time. Make sure the time you set is not too late. That can be tiring for them and might face difficulty in sleeping. Consistency makes your child less anxious because they know what’s coming next, including sleep time too.
3. Give them time to self- soothe:
Give your baby a self-observation time in which they can learn to soothe by their own. Try not to comfort them as soon as they start to cry. Watch them if they can keep calm by themselves, yes it will take some time and your baby would learn. Keep their favorite toys and blanket and leave them for a few minutes. It is better not to comfort them immediately because listening to trivial complaints and cries of a child will only spoil them.
4. Stop feeding baby to sleep
If you are feeding your baby to sleep, then definitely you are not helping your baby to learn self-soothing. Try to stop feeding them before bed or can shorten the time and gradually make them overcome the habit of relying on milk to sleep.
Points to remember
- If the baby learns to self-soothe, then they can manage to sleep if no one is around.
- Practice the new skills with the baby a few times before they figure it out themselves.
- Be patient and do not get frustrated as it will take time for the little one to learn new things
- Use well-defined progressive techniques and exercise. Remember a lot can be achieved through gentle ways
Taking these measures will help your baby in learning self- soothing techniques. This will also help your baby learn to grow on their own.
Also Read: Risks And Benefits Of Swaddling A Baby