Ways to teach a baby to self-settle
Being a mother myself, I know how tiring and exhausting it can be. Being a mother is a wonderful experience, one that cannot be described in words, but nobody can understand how tiring it is and how it starts taking a toll on us. We have all been through those midnights when our babies have kept us awake for hours.
It is very easy for some babies, to fall asleep on their own, at night specially. This, I repeat, is a very special case and kudos to all you lucky mums out there! But if your baby is anything like mine, then I understand. I get you, mom.
However, both the cases are completely normal and there is absolutely nothing to worry about!
Self-soothing is when a baby learns to fall asleep and soothes himself on his own without depending on the mother. He or she can fall asleep on his or her own, without creating a fuss and crying about it. It might come naturally to some, but it might be a process for some that your baby has to learn and maintain. If you are a working mom or not, there comes a point where a sleeping routine is a must for the baby and yourself. Or else the exhaustion of stay awake every night starts to take a toll on your health and appearance.
How to teach my baby to Self Soothe himself/herself
It all comes down to following a proper day and night routine. Make sure you tuck your baby in bed at a specific time every night and wake him up at a specific time too. This way, at the age of 4-6 months old, the baby starts forming a pattern, will learn to catch up on this routine as well.
One way of teaching your baby to self soothe is by keeping some distance. When you see your baby is drowsy and it is near his or her bedtime, put your baby in the crib and sit nearby but do not rock the baby or hold him. He might cry, but let him deal with this on his own. Wait for 5 to 10 minutes, if he or she is still crying then hold him/her up. It is okay. Babies take time to learn and patterns take time to fall.
By following this, there will come a time where the baby will not be dependent on you to fall asleep, he might sleep at a certain position in the crib, or fall asleep while playing with the pacifier. That is how the pattern is formed.
A few things to keep in mind is that this method will only work if you stay consistent with the timings. Talk to your partner, make a plan and start implementing it. It might seem tough and the baby might not respond as much as you would like to, but give it time! Gradually you will see how your baby isn’t dependent on you and you can buy that time for yourself.