How to Train Baby to Self Soothe

How to Train Baby to Self Soothe

As parents, one of the most challenging aspects of raising a baby is helping them learn to self-soothe. Self-soothing is the ability to calm oneself down without relying on external sources of comfort. By teaching your baby to self-soothe, you can help them develop important skills to manage their emotions and become more independent sleepers. Here are some tips to help you train your baby to self-soothe:

1. Establish a consistent bedtime routine: A predictable routine can help signal to your baby that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Include activities like a warm bath, gentle massage, or reading a bedtime story.

2. Create a sleep-friendly environment: Ensure the room is dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. Use white noise machines or soft music to drown out any external disturbances.

3. Encourage independent sleep: Place your baby in their crib while drowsy but still awake. This allows them to learn how to fall asleep on their own, without needing you to rock or feed them to sleep.

4. Start with short periods of self-soothing: Initially, allow your baby to practice self-soothing for short intervals. Stay close by to provide reassurance if needed, but gradually increase the time you give them to soothe themselves.

5. Avoid rushing to their side: When your baby fusses or cries during sleep, resist the urge to immediately pick them up. Give them a chance to self-soothe and settle back to sleep on their own.

6. Use a pacifier or comfort object: Offering a pacifier or a soft cuddly toy can provide additional comfort and help your baby self-soothe. Just ensure they are safe and age-appropriate.

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7. Experiment with different soothing techniques: Some babies respond well to gentle rocking or rhythmic patting, while others prefer being left alone. Observe what works best for your little one and adapt accordingly.

8. Be consistent: Consistency is key when teaching your baby to self-soothe. Stick to the routine and resist the temptation to resort to old habits that involve excessive comforting.

9. Offer reassurance: If your baby becomes upset during the self-soothing process, reassure them with a gentle touch or soft voice. Let them know you are there for them while still encouraging them to self-soothe.

10. Practice during wakeful periods: Encourage your baby to practice self-soothing during daytime naps or playtime. This will help them become familiar with the process and build their self-regulation skills.

11. Be patient: Every baby is different, and it may take time for them to learn self-soothing techniques. Be patient and provide consistent support as they develop this important skill.

12. Seek professional help if needed: If you are struggling to train your baby to self-soothe or if your baby’s sleep patterns are consistently disrupted, seek guidance from a pediatrician or sleep consultant. They can provide personalized advice and support.


1. When is it appropriate to start training a baby to self-soothe?
It’s best to start introducing self-soothing techniques around 4-6 months when babies have developed better sleep patterns.

2. Is it okay to let a baby cry it out during the self-soothing process?
Gradual methods that involve short periods of crying are generally recommended over the cry-it-out method. However, every baby is different, so consult your pediatrician for guidance.

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3. Can self-soothing be harmful to a baby’s development?
No, self-soothing is an important skill that helps babies develop emotional regulation and independence.

4. Should I continue night feeds during the self-soothing process?
If your baby is still young and requires night feeds for nutrition, continue offering them. Gradually reduce night feeds as your baby starts sleeping longer stretches.

5. How long does it take for a baby to learn to self-soothe?
It varies from baby to baby. Some may pick it up quickly, while others may take several weeks or months to develop self-soothing skills.

6. Can I use sleep training methods for naptime as well?
Yes, the same principles can be applied to naptime as you do for nighttime sleep.

7. Is self-soothing only for sleep-related issues?
No, self-soothing skills can also help babies manage their emotions during daytime activities and in times of distress.

8. Is it normal for a baby to protest during the self-soothing process?
Yes, some protest is expected as your baby adjusts to the new routine. However, monitor their distress levels and provide support when needed.

9. What if my baby’s self-soothing attempts are unsuccessful?
If your baby is consistently struggling to self-soothe, consult a healthcare professional to rule out any underlying medical issues.

10. Are there any risks associated with using pacifiers for self-soothing?
Pacifiers are generally safe if used appropriately. However, it’s important to wean your baby off pacifiers around 6-12 months to prevent dental issues.

11. Can self-soothing lead to separation anxiety?
No, self-soothing actually helps babies develop a sense of security and independence, which can decrease separation anxiety in the long run.

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12. Can I still comfort my baby if they can self-soothe?
Absolutely! It’s important to strike a balance between encouraging self-soothing and providing comfort and reassurance when needed.

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