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Thread: Self-Soothing Techniques

  1. #1
    Pazygozo's Avatar
    Pazygozo is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
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    Mar 2006

    Question Self-Soothing Techniques

    I have heard the phrase "self-soothing techniques" in several places, but I'm still a little confused about it. These are ways baby learns to keep himself calm, right? Like sucking on thumb/fingers/fist or ... Well, I don't know what else, which is why I'm posting.

    What are the different kinds of self-soothing techniques?
    Can I teach them to baby, or does he just pick them up on his own?

    My other concern is if these "techniques" are just what eventually happens if you just leave the poor kid to cry it out and he eventually stops crying. Cuz that really doesn't seem nice.

    On the other hand, if he wakes up in the night (or day) just needing to suck to get back to sleep (which he sometimes does, I think, cuz he won't take the breast but only my pinky finger on those occasions, and he usually falls asleep nursing or sucking dad's pinky to begin with), it would sure be nice if he could suck on his own fist or do something else to make himself feel better, especially when I can't get to him right away, like when we're in the car.

    If anybody has any ideas, I'd really appreciate it. TIA!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: Self-Soothing Techniques

    I have seen parents guide a baby's thumb or fingers into his mouth, to help him remain asleep when they need to move him, or something like that.

    I too am leery of the phrase "self-soothing techniques." I'm not sure where it originates, but I think it is often used as a concept to justify leaving a baby alone and uncomforted -- and especially as a way to sell gadgets that are supposed to keep the baby from noticing that he is alone and uncomforted! We don't talk of "self-toileting techniques" or "self-feeding techniques" for tiny babies, but somehow they're not supposed to need parental comfort to go to sleep or settle down from overstimulation?

    It's tough when they're fussy in the car. I was lucky; my son usually slept well in his carseat. We had a CD of piano lullabies, and by age 6 weeks or so he was practically programmed to fall asleep by track 4 -- but he was an unusually easy fall-asleeper in his early months (it didn't last, believe me!)

    When he was older and not always happy in his carseat, I either stopped to attend to his needs, or -- if it wasn't safe or practical to do that -- for safety's sake I switched into cold-hearted CIO mode. I figured it did none of us any good if I was so distracted by his crying that I drove off the road (this actually happened to a friend of mine -- she was trying to adjust her baby's blanket while driving.)


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