4 Easy Ways on How to teach baby to self soothe

How to teach baby to self soothe

If you are reading this, you’re probably desperate for some shut-eye and wondering how to teach baby to self soothe. I am sure you must have tried a number of things but nothing seems to work. You’ve tried everything from singing lullabies to counting sheep, but your baby just won’t stay asleep. 

Teaching a newborn to self-soothe is a challenging task. Whether you’re wondering how to teach self-soothing to a 4-month-old or how to teach an infant to self-soothe, this post has you covered. In this post, I’ll give you some tips and tricks on how to teach self-soothing that are guaranteed to make your life easier.

Being a new parent is tough. It’s like you’ve been drafted into a 24/7 boot camp, except you don’t get any breaks and the drill sergeant is a tiny human who can’t even talk yet. Teaching your baby to self-soothe can be a game-changer for both you and your little one. Self-soothing is the ability to calm oneself without needing external help. 

Understanding Self-Soothing

Let us talk about the most elusive skill in the parenting playbook: self-soothing. Basically, it is your baby’s way of saying “I got this, Mom and Dad, you can take a break now.” And trust me, you’ll want your little one to master this skill ASAP so you can get some much-needed shut-eye yourself. So what exactly is self-soothing? It’s when your baby can calm themselves down without calling for backup (aka you or your partner). It’s like they have their own little relaxation techniques – sucking on their fingers or a pacifier, cuddling with a lovey, or even busting out some rhythmic movements like they’re in a mini dance party. 

When to Start Teaching Self-Soothing

You’ve probably got a zillion questions running through your sleep-deprived brain. Those memories still haunt me. And one of the biggies is likely, “When do I start teaching my little one to self-soothe?” Well, sorry to break it to you, but there’s no magic answer – every baby is different. Some mini humans might be ready to rock the self-soothing game at 4 months old, while others might need a little more time to get their chill on. Just keep an eye out for cues that your baby is ready to take on this skill, like if they’re starting to soothe themselves during the day, or if they’re not super reliant on you to knock out. 

Understanding the Benefits of Teaching Your Baby to Self-Soothe

You’re probably desperate for some restful nights and a chance to eat a hot meal, take a proper bath etc. Well, teaching your baby to self-soothe just might be your ticket to sweet, sweet slumber. Think of it like giving your little one a secret superpower – the ability to put themselves to sleep. Plus, it’ll give them a leg up on learning how to manage their emotions and behaviors in the long run – which, let’s face it, is a skill that some adults still haven’t mastered (we won’t name names). And the benefits for you?

Well, imagine being able to put your baby down for bed without feeling like you’re playing a game of Jenga with a ticking time bomb. Sounds pretty sweet, right? So, give self-soothing a try – who knows, it might just be the best thing since coffee.

5 Signs that Your Baby is Ready to Learn Self-Soothing

Teaching your baby to self-soothe can be a game changer when it comes to getting some much-needed rest. But how do you know if your little one is ready to start practicing their self-soothing skills? Here are five signs to look out for that can indicate your baby is ready to learn self-soothing.

They’re showing more independence and self-awareness

If your baby is starting to show more independence and self-awareness, this can be a sign that they’re ready to start practicing self-soothing. This might look like your baby playing contentedly on their own for longer periods of time, or being able to entertain themselves with a toy or activity without your constant attention.

They’re able to fall asleep on their own

Another sign that your baby is ready to learn self-soothing is if they’re able to fall asleep on their own without your help, even if it’s just for a short nap. This can indicate that they’re starting to learn how to soothe themselves and don’t need your constant assistance.

They’re sucking on their fingers or showing interest in a pacifier or lovey

If you notice your baby sucking on their fingers or thumb, or showing interest in a pacifier or lovey, this can be a sign that they’re ready to start learning self-soothing techniques. These actions can be a form of self-comfort and can help your baby learn how to soothe themselves.

They’re giving you the “I got this” look

The ultimate sign that your baby is ready to learn self-soothing is if they start giving you the “I got this” look when you try to soothe them. This can be a sideways glance or a little push away from you, indicating that they’re ready to try soothing themselves.

They’re at least 4 months old

While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to teaching your baby to self-soothe, most babies are developmentally ready to start practicing self-soothing techniques around 4 months old. Of course, every baby is different, so it’s important to pay attention to their individual cues and development to determine when to start.

How to teach baby to self soothe

Now that you understand what self-soothing is and when to start, let’s dive into some techniques for success. Here are a few tried-and-true techniques for teaching your baby to self-soothe:

  • Swaddling: Swaddling can help your baby feel secure and cozy, which can make it easier for them to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Pacifiers: Pacifiers can provide a soothing sucking sensation that can help your baby relax and fall asleep.
  • Loveys: A lovey is a soft, cuddly toy that your baby can snuggle with for comfort.
  • Rhythmic movements: Rocking, bouncing, or gently swaying your baby can create a soothing rhythm that can help them fall asleep.

Tips for Successful Self-Soothing

Here are a few tips to help make the self-soothing process as successful as possible:

  • Be patient: Teaching your baby to self-soothe can take time, so don’t expect immediate results.
  • Be consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to self-soothing. Try to stick to a consistent bedtime routine and use the same self-soothing techniques every night.
  • Pay attention to your baby’s cues: Every baby is different, so pay attention to your baby’s cues and adjust your approach accordingly.
  • Don’t give up: If a certain technique isn’t working, don’t give up. Try something else and keep experimenting until you find what works for your baby.
How to teach baby to self soothe
How to teach baby to self soothe

Mistakes to Avoid

While teaching your baby to self-soothe can be a challenge, there are also some common mistakes that parents make that can make the process even harder. Here are a few mistakes to avoid:

  • Rushing the process: Remember, teaching your baby to self-soothe takes time. Don’t rush the process or get frustrated if your baby isn’t catching on right away.
  • Ignoring your baby’s needs: While it’s important to teach your baby to self-soothe, it’s also important to respond to their needs. If your baby is crying or seems distressed, it’s okay to comfort them.
  • Overstimulation: Too much stimulation before bed can make it harder for your baby to fall asleep and self-soothe. Try to keep the environment calm and quiet before bedtime.
  • Giving up too soon: If you give up on teaching your baby to self-soothe too soon, you may miss out on the benefits of this important skill. Stick with it and be patient.


You’ve made it to the end of our guide on how to teach your baby to self-soothe. You should now have a better understanding of what self-soothing is, why it’s important, and how to recognize when your baby is ready to learn.

Remember, teaching your baby to self-soothe is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It takes time, patience, and a little bit of trial and error to figure out what works best for your baby. Don’t be afraid to try different techniques and be prepared to adjust your approach as your baby grows and develops.

Ed Asner once said, “raising kids is part joy and part guerrilla warfare”, but as mentioned before with the right tools and mindset, you can do this! Good luck, and happy self-soothing!

I would stay connected and keep you updated with parenting tips, pregnancy guides, creative ideas, easy crafts, and Free Printables. Subscribe to Colossalumbrella to get new ideas delivered to your inbox. Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.

4 Easy Ways on How to teach baby to self soothe
Share on Social Media
Scroll to top