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  • Why Self-Soothing is Important (and 5 Tips How)

    Self-Soothing is ImportantSelf-soothing is an important skill that all babies have to learn eventually. It’s how we all calm ourselves so we can fall back asleep. During the first few months of life, mom and/or dad do all of the soothing. They nurse, comfort, rock or sing to babies to get them to relax.

    But imagine you’re a baby. One minute you fall asleep in mom’s loving arms, the next you wake up alone in a crib. That can be scary! If baby wakes up where she went to sleep, she’ll be relaxed and inclined to fall back asleep.

    But you want your baby to learn to do it on their own at some point so you can actually get a full night’s sleep. They can self-soothe in a number of ways: thumb-sucking, reinserting a pacifier, rubbing a special blanket, or anything else they find calming.

    When do babies learn to self-soothe?

    When babies are born, they aren’t capable of regulating their emotions. They need parents to step in and comfort them when they become angry or scared or frustrated or tired. Some babies gain the ability to self-soothe around three months old. Most have it by six months. You want to start working at self-soothing by six months before any strong sleep associations have formed.

    Why should babies self-soothe?

    Simply, for better sleep! Babies who self-soothe sleep longer and with fewer interruptions. When they wake during non-feeding times, they can quickly fall asleep without waking up anyone else. Plus mom and dad get some sleep too!

    Self-soothing does NOT mean ignoring your baby or letting her cry until she falls asleep.

    How does one teach a baby to self-soothe?

    It’s pretty simple, but you have to stick with it. Once you commit to teaching self-soothing, stick with it unless you think your baby is too young to learn, then you should wait a few more weeks.

    1. Wean baby from the swaddle. They usually need their hands free to self-soothe. That’s why the Slumber Sleeper is perfect, because baby feels safe and secure, but her hands are free to get to her mouth.
    2. Create a strong, consistent sleep routine. There should be a strong signal that it’s sleep time (for night sleep and naps) and several steps that lead to sleep so baby understands the cues.
    3. Lay baby down drowsy, but awake. You want baby to fall asleep without mom or dad’s arms. It might take her a few more minutes to fall asleep, but that’s OK. The goal is to get baby to fall into sleep on her own.
    4. Don’t rush into baby’s room at the first cry. You want to get her a minute or two to self-soothe before you do it for her.
    5. Teach self-soothing before age one. Children who never learn to soothe until after one year old have trouble doing it until they are as old as four.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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