Rocking your baby to sleep, singing them lullabies, and watching them doze off with a bottle or during a feed is so special in the first few weeks, but it can become incredibly tiring after a while. You will find that you get to the point where you just cannot put them to sleep this way all the time and are desperate for them to fall asleep on their own. These techniques to help your baby self-soothe will make your night time routines so much easier!
Choose The Right Time To Self-Soothe
You will know your baby best, but most babies show a readiness to begin self-soothing at around 3 or 4 months old. At 6 months old, most babies are able to sleep through the night without needing a feed, so it is an ideal time to work on self-soothing themselves back to sleep.
Separation anxiety kicks in at around 8 or 9 months and helping your baby learn to self-soothe before this can help them get through this difficult stage much easier.
Have A Set Bedtime Routine
It is so important to have a good bedtime routine for your baby. It can be a very simple night time routine, such as bathing your baby, reading a book, and then being laid down in their cot. These signals help them recognize that it is time to wind down for bedtime.
Bedtime routines help to provide consistency, and this is key to help them understand that they are expected to go to sleep, especially if they don’t necessarily understand words being spoken to them.
Give Your Baby A Security Object
If your baby is old enough, it might be worth giving them a security object to keep in their crib. It is not advised to leave blankets, pillows, and toys in your baby’s cot if they are under a year old, as this could increase the chance of SIDS.
A soft toy or blanket might help them self-soothe themselves back to sleep, and offer them some security. If your baby is not old enough, a pacifier might work as well.
Acknowledge Your Baby In Their Crib
Your baby will never learn to self-soothe if you keep taking them out of their crib every time they fuss. However, it is not a good idea to let them cry it out, and they do need some acknowledgment to feel comfortable when self-soothing.
Try to place your baby in their crib when they are drowsy, but not asleep. If they fuss to be picked up, stroke them and pat them back to sleep, but do not take them out of the crib. After a while, they will understand that they need to fall asleep in their crib, and will stop fussing to be picked up and taken out.
Don’t Let Your Baby Become Overtired
Before you place your baby down to go to sleep on their own, make sure that all their needs are met. They should have a full tummy and should not be overtired. They will not be able to control their emotions and self-soothe themselves if they are too tired
Anticipate your baby’s needs and get them to sleep when they are in the right mood to fall asleep on their own.