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When can my child self soothe and what does that look like exactly?

Babies are considered newborns for the first 6 months of life. Therefor, most babies aren’t capable of self soothing until 4 to 6 months old. Also take into consideration adjusted age ( if born prematurely). They depend on parents and caregivers to soothe them until they have matured enough to learn this skill.

A perfect example is a baby that wakes repeatedly to have her pacifier put back in, then goes right back to sleep!  Once she is old enough, she will simply reach around the crib to find her binky and put it in her mouth herself.  Often this skill is around the 6 month mark FYI.

Other ways babies self soothe are rubbing their heads back and forth on the crib sheet, holding their blanket and rubbing the silky edges, kicking their feet up and down (actually looks like they are throwing a fit!), sucking on their fingers, talking to themselves, holding on to a lovey!

I often encourage parents to use camera/video monitors, and to watch for a few minutes before entering the child’s room when sleep coaching/training.   If you know what to watch for, you might find that your child is attempting to self soothe on their own. Often times if given a few extra minutes of fussing and self soothing, the child will learn to calm themselves on their own!

So next time your baby ( 4 months and older) wakes in the middle of the night, watch them on the video monitor and see exactly what stage they are at.. Are the doing some self soothing or are they still needing a hand from you?  Patience is key here!  If they are to young to self soothe on their own, know that this stage will soon pass!

 

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