Self-soothing issue

April 4, 2012

A crying baby may be protesting, struggling to fall asleep in a new way, or frustrated by the change, but she is not necessarily in distress or despair. When we let our babies know that we hear them and acknowledge their emotions, they’ll probably keep telling us how they feel for a while, and that’s OK.

I read this article of self-soothing to sleep. Kellia is considered a mild case when comes to sleep. She does has her usual meltdowns, struggling (literally; kicking her legs, waving her hands) to fall asleep. However she hadn’t (yet) cry for hours- longest is 45mins, and she don’t cry every night. She has no problem during her night feed as well. So I thank God for that.

However as I read this article, I think I didn’t give Kellia a chance to self-soothe. It’s not about being easy for me as a mum to let her do all the learning herself. But it is indeed a great achievement when she self-soothed to sleep. She surprised me at the age of 2 months.

Right now, she probable has her pacifier which helped a lot (!) in her self-soothing process. But as this other article mentioned, parents could be too quick to push in the pacifier thinking she needs it, just to not allow a fuss for more than a minute. I’m guilty of that, and there are times I keep pushing it even she doesn’t seem to want it.

Staying open to the possibility of self-soothing allows babies to actively take part in their care to the best of their ability. As Magda Gerber writes in Dear Parent: Caring for Infants With Respect, “Infancy is a time of great dependence. However, babies should be allowed to do some things for themselves from the very beginning.” This empowers our children and ultimately makes our job easier.

I will have to change my parenting habits to allow Kellia grow into self-soothing & dependence yet without being alone. We are here to support her with love!


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