Self-soothing: 'Parents should make a personal choice for their baby'

Nicola McCafferty
Yahoo Lifestyle
4 January 2013


Self-soothing is a parenting technique that divides many new mums.

And as a new study urges parents to resist comforting their children when they cry at night, we spoke to Emma Laing - midwifery manager at baby charity Tommys - who believes it's a personal decision to make.

"She told us: "Self-soothing is very hard for mums. It's a very personal decision.

"You should feel what's right for you and a baby, not [go by] what a study says."


[Related: Is this the most amazing childbirth picture ever?]



Experts revealed this week that self-soothing – which many mums feel is cruel on infants – is “critical for regular sleep," but Emma says it’s “absolutely fine” if you don’t want to do it.

“Women shouldn’t feel they have to do something,” she told Yahoo! Lifestyle.

“There are lots of recommendations [to help you develop a routine with your baby] to try. Getting into a routine in the evening is very important, [but] it’s all very individual.”

She said: “[Lots of mums try a routine like] giving their baby a bath, keeping everything quiet and calm, reading a story, giving them some milk perhaps.”

And for those who want to try self-soothing with their infant, Emma revealed her tips to introduce it gradually into their baby's routine.

“To self-soothe, try putting baby down and leaving the room for one minute.

“Then come back to the baby, reassure them but don’t pick them up.

“[You can] just gently reassure them by speaking calmly and settling them by perhaps stroking their tummy. Then leave again for around two minutes. Repeat the cycle for up to five minutes.

“And if they’re still not settling, then go back to one minute and start the routine again.”

Emma said it is however very important to never let the process surpass that five minute mark.

[Related: The most popular baby names in 2012 have been revealed]



“We recommend with any newborn baby not to leave them crying for more five minutes,” she told us.

“There is a lack of oxygen to the brain for any longer.”

Ultimately, Emma said the decision whether to self-soothe your child is up to how you feel as a parent - and you know your baby better than anyone.

“[At the end of the day], you know what you can do and what you can’t do,” Emma explained.

“Listen to what you feel you’re able to do with your baby. No one knows your baby like you do."

She added: “Studies are there to provide research but actually it doesn’t impact on your daily life.”

Do you believe in self-soothing? Tell us over on Twitter now.

What to read next

Want to Start Dating?

Hey! Are you a part of the 1 in 3 Americans that are single? This Dating site is completely free to check it out! Give it a try!

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 3.25% (3.405% APR) 30 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

How much can you actually save by refinancing?

Rates now at 3.11% APR 5/1 ARM- $250K for $972/mo. LendingTree's simple online tool to help determine how much you could be saving by refinancing.

The Amex Platinum Card®

40,000 Points Offer & Transform Your Travel Experience. Apply Now!

Single and over 45?

There are thousands of singles online now! Find your next date here. Click to browse profiles and pics for free!