Self-Soothing Secrets: How to Teach Your Baby
Self-soothing is when your baby can settle and fall asleep themselves without intervention from mum and dad. This “skill” can be invaluable for your little one and for you, with the assurance that they can drift back off to sleep, making for peaceful nights for all. This also helps ensure your child gets a good full night’s sleep too. Here are a few tips on how to teach your baby to self-soothe.
In your baby’s first weeks, they will sleep often for a few hours at a time and wake up quite a few times in the night for various reasons. While it may be too early to practice self-soothing techniques at this time, there are some things you can do to help prepare them for the future.
Start by keeping the nursery dimly lit at night and brighter during the day to help differentiate between night and day. Put your baby down when they are drowsy, but not quite asleep yet (unless they have fallen asleep elsewhere first!), and most importantly, start a bedtime routine that they will become familiar with.
Consistency is Key
As your baby gets older, this routine will be vital to self-soothing. Being consistent with this will give the signs to your baby when it’s time for bed, helping them to naturally become drowsy and ready for sleep. Your nightly routine should work for you and your family, and this may include a bath, feed and of course, cuddles before being put down in the cot. The bedtime itself should also be consistent. Some parents want to leave it as late as possible to try to get them to sleep through, but this risks your baby becoming overly tired, which makes them fussy and harder to settle.
Stop Bad Habits
If your baby wakes up in the night and can’t settle, it could be for a number of reasons including habits they have picked up.
This can include falling asleep whilst feeding. If your baby tends to fall asleep after eating, then it may be difficult to have them self-soothe should they wake up in the middle of the night, wanting a dummy or food to help ease them. In this case, if you notice them drifting to sleep during a feed, use the cue to put them to bed.
All Babies are Different
Don’t forget that no two babies are the same! Just like other developmental milestones that occur in your baby’s first year, self-soothing will happen when your baby is ready. Do not feel discouraged if your baby is not taking to self-soothing as quickly as you’d like. Just remember to stay consistent and not to give up on the routine!
Create the Perfect Calming Nursery
Beautiful Bambino offers exquisite collections of nursery furniture and nighttime baby accessories that help make bedtime relaxing for all. From gorgeous cots to comfy bedtime clothes, we have what you need for a calming nighttime atmosphere. See our selection online or in our Bredbury, Stockport store.