How To Self Soothe

Self-soothing is something that can be taught to people of all ages. Self-soothing is also a innate human function, but it is often overlooked.

It can be a form of alternate parenting, and it is used as a relieving technique. In this article, we will teach you all about self soothing, and how to self soothe. 

how to self soothe

What Is Self-Soothing?

Self-soothing is a process that can help us heal ourselves and relieve anxieties. It is a way of alternate parenting, and it is something that has been widely recognized as a good method for relieving anxiety and sadness in children and adults alike.

Self-soothing is a way to soothe ourselves, and we can give ourselves happy feelings, so we can get over our pain or sadness. 

As humans, self-soothing is one of the first things we ever learn, and it is a natural thing that everyone has done since birth.

For example, a lot of children suck their thumbs as a soothing and comfortable remedy, even if they are not in stressful circumstances. From this age of infancy, we all learn how to self-soothe, and that we are capable of helping ourselves. 

A lot of parents rush to stop their children from crying, but by doing this, children sometimes do not have the chance to learn to self-soothe. They have the capability to self-soothe, but at times are not given the opportunity.

By self-soothing, you are extending your emotional intelligence and your emotional control, which is a really important skill to have as an adult. 

At What Age Should You Start To Self Soothe?

Self-soothing is an innate human behavior, and it is something that can be done to make ourselves feel better. Babies typically learn how to self-soothe at around six months of age, and they usually learn how to do this when they begin sleeping through the night.

This is because babies may be left to cry to settle to sleep, meaning they soothe themselves to sleep.

Self Soothing For Babies

As we said above, self-soothing for babies typically comes in the form of sleep. Babies are notoriously restless at night, and they may cry several times in a night. Babies often tend to wake in the middle of the night, and they may cry to go back to sleep. 

When babies sleep through the night for the first time, it is their way of self-soothing. There is no specific age when a baby will learn to self-soothe, but it is just common for it to happen at around six months of age. 

Self Soothing For Children

Self-soothing for children typically focuses on the emotional aspect of self-soothing, rather than the physical idea of self-soothing.

Children have frequently learned how to physically self-soothe by the time they are children, but they regularly need to learn how to emotionally regulate themselves.

What Are Some Techniques To Self Soothe?

We will go into more detail about self-soothing techniques, but some of the most common self-soothing techniques are swaddling, crib soothing, mindfulness, independent play, naps, and routines.

How To Self Soothe?

If you want to help along the process of self-soothing in babies, toddlers, and children, there are a few things you can do. 

For babies, you can meet the baby’s basic needs. This includes being fed, comforted, cleaned, and other basic needs. Although it sounds very simple, these are the first steps to make the baby feel loved and safe. When a baby feels safe, they will learn to self-soothe, as they do know they are safe. 

Another way to promote self-soothing within babies and toddlers is to keep the baby relatively calm once they are in their crib. Only put your baby in their crib once they have calmed and stopped crying. By doing this, they will associate their crib as a warm, safe, and happy place.

How To Self Soothe

This is a way of self-soothing, and they will be able to soothe themselves when being in the crib due to the association. 

Finally, you can help promote the idea of self-soothing in babies by swaddling. Swaddling is a sleeping technique that babies are taught when they are young, and it helps them keep safe. Babies will associate swaddling with comfort, and safety.

They will be more inclined to fall asleep, and will understand how to continuously soothe themselves. 

Self-soothing in children is often easier, but it sometimes has a slightly different meaning. Self-soothing in children usually refers to the teaching of emotional regulation, rather than the act of children helping themselves to fall asleep.

Emotional regulation teaches children how to handle their own emotions, and how to self soothe themselves emotionally when they have feelings of anxiety, sadness, or discomfort. 

One way to practice self-soothing for children is to encourage the idea of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a simple form of meditation that can be helpful for emotional control, as well as general empathy and being in touch with one’s feelings.

By practicing mindfulness, children can use it as a resetting tool for when their emotions become too much, or just to get in touch with their feelings. 

Another way to encourage self-soothing in children is to encourage independent play. The whole idea of self-soothing is to soothe yourself, so it is important to teach children that they are always with themselves, and that sometimes it is fun to be independent. 

Let them know that being alone does not always mean bad, and that they are ultimately responsible for their own emotions. Independent play will keep children engaged, but it will also teach them how to solve problems alone, and this is an essential skill for learning to self soothe. 

Making a consistent effort to encourage a routine with your child will also encourage the act of self-soothing. Routines may alleviate the feelings of anxiousness and fear by knowing that there is something consistent is coming. Routine is really essential, and it can help children ground themselves, knowing what to expect each day. 

Other ways of encouraging self-soothing in children are engaging in fun activities to encourage emotional control, modelling positive behaviors to show children how to positively deal with certain emotions, and taking naps.

Everybody loves naps, and children may become agitated if they are sad or angry, and a short nap may help children self-soothe by resetting and trying again. 

Can You Teach Your Baby To Self Soothe?

Yes, you definitely can teach self-soothing techniques, but it is usually something that comes naturally to babies, and it is further developed as children. The best time to actively teach self-soothing is when your child is a toddler or a child. 

Practicing mindfulness, routine, and fun activities will ensure that children understand how to help themselves, and how to emotionally regulate.

Is Crying A Form Of Self-Soothing?

Crying is not specifically a form of self-soothing, but the line can sometimes be blurred. When babies cry, sometimes leaving them to cry it out (CIO) is assistive in them gaining some ability to self soothe.

CIO is not always the best option, as it is difficult to know if babies and toddlers have genuine needs, or if they are just a little upset.

By crying when they are upset, children do learn to eventually calm themselves down without the assistance of a parent, which is a form of self-soothing. 

Final Thoughts

Self-soothing is an excellent way to teach children and babies how to emotionally regulate and take care of their own emotions.

When we are younger, the need for our parents to make everything better is strong, but we also need to learn how to control our own emotions and self soothe ourselves.

Joyce Bailey
Latest posts by Joyce Bailey (see all)