“How to teach your baby to self-soothe?” is one of the most-asked questions by new parents.
It’s not that you dislike rocking your baby to sleep or singing him a lullaby.
You simply feel sleep-deprived yourself and want to make your little one more independent.
To help you, we’ve master-crafted a list of techniques that you can try to teach your little one how to self-soothe.
What Is Self-Soothing?
Self-soothing involves teaching your little one to put himself to sleep.
This is an essential skill that will prepare him for a lifetime of sound sleep and independence in the long run. In fact, if your baby learns to self-soothe, he can calm and put himself down to sleep if he wakes up during the night.
If your little one masters the art of self-soothing, you will no longer worry about him tossing and turning all night. He will be able to drift off to sleep on his own. This ensures that you, too, will get a night of sound sleep and wake up all refreshed and ready to seize the day.
How to Teach Your Baby to Self-Soothe
No good comes out of teaching your baby to self-soothe if you rush the process. Just like the process of sleep-training your little one, take one step at a time. No matter what technique you choose to try, it is important to stay consistent for 8-10 days to decide if it’s working.
You should prepare yourself to not rush to your baby when you hear even the slightest grunt. Being a parent, the maternal response is to run to him and provide comfort.
But if you want him to enjoy a sound sleep in the long-term and grow into a self-reliant individual, refrain yourself from being there to cuddle, rock, or shush him.
Let us now delve into the ways on how to teach your baby to self-soothe.
Step #1: Start Slowly
Did you know that your little one needs to have his hands free for self-soothing? So, the very first step in teaching your baby to self-soothe is to wean him from the baby swaddle.
Once you do so, the step up would be to gently reduce the time you spend parenting him to sleep.
This may include rocking him or feeding him until he drifts off to sleep. Instead of parenting him to sleep, you can slowly start by laying him on the crib while he is drowsy and not completely asleep.
In the beginning, you will have to do this during any night wakings as well. While trying this technique, you should observe your baby’s behavior on how quickly he falls asleep for 8-10 days.
Step #2: Have a Bedtime Routine
Having a defined bedtime routine is crucial when teaching your baby to self-soothe. Creating and following the routine gives a cue to your little one that it is time for him to drift off to dreamland.
You don’t need to plan for a complex routine. It can be as simple as singing a song or reading a book. You can even have the schedule to apply lotion or give a bath to signal your baby’s body to relax.
The only thing you should be careful about is consistency as the baby learns to respond to situations. If a particular sleep routine fails to put your baby to sleep even after a couple of weeks, you should try a different approach for effective results.
Step #3: Play Self-Soothing Music
Just like the right music can calm you down after a long day, your baby also feels relaxed when you tune in the right music. Playing white noise has been found to help calm the infant to fall asleep.
Sound machines can be of great help while teaching your baby to self-soothe.
These machines do two things right: they soothe babies to go to sleep, and they also drown out annoying sounds that might prevent your infant from getting high-quality sleep.
With a variety of white noise tracks available, you can pick a couple and play it for your little one while teaching him to self-soothe. For white noise to be effective, you should make sure that the ambiance of the baby nursery or the room is conducive for a sound slumber.
You should not have bright lights on as it tricks your baby into thinking that it’s not time to sleep yet. If you live on a well-lit street or street that gets plenty of sunshine, consider buying blackout curtains.
The Bottom Line
There is no doubt that you are giving your best shot to master the art of teaching your baby to self-soothe. But it would help if you were very patient throughout the process while your little one slowly learns this vital skill.
Eventually, the result of your dedication, patience, and consistency will yield results, and you will no longer have to search ‘how to teach your baby to self-soothe’ on Google.