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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...or should we wait and let it happen naturally at whatever age that might be?<br><br>
if so, why and how?<br><br>
if not, why not?<br><br>
looking for your opinions. and i'm not talking about cio either, just to clarify.
 

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I'm not sure, but I always do EVERYTHING i can to help soothe ds. Maybe it's excessive, maybe it's delaying his ability to self-soothe, but at this point I am his mommy and I help make things better (i like giving him that message). I'm sure there will come a time in toddlerhood when he'll want more independance and then he'll be figuring things out on his own, but for now, i don't worry much at all that he isn't "learning" to self-soothe if that makes sense (nak)
 

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having btdt with one unbelievably bad sleeper, my answer is "yes", though "help", not "force," is the operative word. I realize now how I stuck my boob in ds's mouth at the slightest whimper, when rocking might have done--or even just giving him 5 mins of whimpering to fall back asleep on his own, find his fist, etc. Not crying, mind you--just awake.<br><br>
Some kids just won't. But I think it should be tried...unless you honestly don't mind getting up every 2-odd hours to nurse for 2-odd years. It's also useful for those times when you just can't be right there--in the car, eg.
 

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I made the mistake of trying to force my eldest son to self-soothe at an early age and I think that it had everything to with his fear of the dark and severe reluctance to go to bed at night up until this last year (I was young and dumb and uninformed 11 years ago).<br><br>
My daughter was never "taught" to self-soothe, but between the age of 18 months and 2 years she started humming herself to sleep (probably from the bazillion times I sang Brahm's Lullaby when I'd rock her to sleep) and she'd lay on her tummy and "kick" her mattress to sleep. She'd just let her legs fall from a bent knee position in a thump-thump.....thump-thump......thump-thump cadence. I got so used to the humming and thump-thumping that years later if *I* couldn't get to sleep, I'd lightly kick my feet to sleep.<br><br>
Children will learn in their own time and own ways to calm themselves, as long as they have loving arms to hold them if they can't. Besides, children are only little once and for such a short short time, why try to make them grow up any faster? I know that I love the feeling of still being needed.
 

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i do not believe a baby should self soothe.<br><br>
it seems counter intuitive. they make noises to communicate needs to us, if we ignore small communications then they learn only big communications get responses.<br><br>
only call me if you reallyu need something?<br><br>
not a lesson i want my infant to learn.
 

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yeah for my own sanity I do. I don't understand why people think self-soothing automatically means not responding though? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch">:<br><br>
My first was a very laid back kind of baby. He was pretty much self soothing since birth. He started sleeping about 12 hrs straight at 9 weeks old. If he needed something he knew I'd be there.<br><br>
Dd is high needs. Self soothing is not one of her strong points. Still I've taught her to go to sleep on her own (with me laying in my bed about 4 feet away). She still wakes up all night long but she's a munchkin and really still needs the calories and such at night anyways.<br><br>
I personally don't think there's anything wrong with waiting a few moments when you hear your LO start to fuss lightly to see if they will put themselves back to sleep. Heck lots of babies fuss in their sleep and if you go rushing in there you are just going to wake them and mess with their sleep cycle. Dd actually talks in her sleep sometimes (it's really cute since it's all just babble). There's no need for me to go rushing to her, she's still asleep.
 

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Force, no. Allow, yes. I'm another who jumps at the slightest sound. Then, I had an unfortunate run-in with a nasty stomach bug. Dumb luck would have it that DS would start to stir and fuss right after I'd had to bolt to the bathroom. Fortunately, it forced me to learn that he's only fuss, not cry at all, for 1-2 minutes and then be back asleep. And deeper asleep than usual too!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Shelsi</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11544284"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">yeah for my own sanity I do. I don't understand why people think self-soothing automatically means not responding though? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch">:<br><br>
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i thought that was the meaning of the term, we do not respond to their calls (whatever they maybe whether whimper, fuss, etc) and let them soothe themselves.
 

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Mine's 12 weeks.<br><br>
If she fusses while sleeping, I leave her unless she wakes up. If she fusses while awake, sometimes I acknowledge her without solving the problem. I'll talk soothingly to her and make eye contact, but will not pick her up / automatically bounce or nurse her. If it escalates to crying, of course I pick her up. But sometimes she just wants to be paid a little extra attention. I do this to understand her boundaries -- to see what she is able to do on her own. I don't think it hurts her, but then again she is an easy baby, generally very happy. I wouldn't try to encourage self-soothing as much if she didn't respond so quickly to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>inchijen</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11545560"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">i thought that was the meaning of the term, we do not respond to their calls (whatever they maybe whether whimper, fuss, etc) and let them soothe themselves.</div>
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No, I specifically said I'm not talking about CIO, which is not responding at all. It seems like there could possibly be ways to HELP a baby LEARN to self-soothe (if it's a good thing to learn...) that don't involve fussing/crying. That's what I'm asking about. And I don't know if there is such a thing....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Not to sound like a lazy mom <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> but I try to do the minimum it takes to soothe ds. If he's actually upset, he gets every ounce of my attention and effort, but he just doesn't always need that and sometimes ends up disturbing him more.<br><br>
I don't expect him to do that, but if he's able to fall asleep on his own I'd like to let him practice it. I feel like it can only make him more confident in his environment. He's under no stress at all during this time, but I'd consider it self-soothing as he's able to calm himself to sleep without me...<br><br>
I don't think anyone was saying that they ignore their dc's cries unless they're full out screams. I think some of these wonderfully attached mamas were just acknowledging that there are noises that don't necessarily mean their lo's need immediate rescue. I it seems any issue here is just a discrepancy in what is included in "self soothe"
 

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Well I guess you could maybe help a baby try to find other ways of soothing other than the breast, like some babies will be fine with rubbing their backs, rocking them, listening to music or stories on cd or cuddling with a stuffed animal or blanket.<br><br>
I do think though that all kids are able to get back to sleep without the help of mama at some point, so no, I don't think <i><b>babies</b></i> need encouragement to do it.<br><br>
Personally, I night nursed ds until 22 mo and he started sttn at 2 ish, consistently at about 26 mo. I'm totally fine with that.
 

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well, i think that the most important thing is to learn how your baby communicates, and what different sounds mean. so when they're tiny, yeah, that's going to mean responding to every little sound to see what's going on. a lot of times, for example, DD2 fusses because she has to pee. if i ignored her, she'd pee in her diaper, which makes her very unhappy (we EC). but i wouldn't have known that had i never responded right away when she started to fuss. there are other times, that it's obvious that she's fussing cuz she's hungry, or wants attention. i think as long as you are able to recognize the differences in these communications, when it sounds like "i'm just trying to get myself back to sleep" sounds, then by all means give him/her a minute to try and get back to sleep. if s/he can't, it will quickly escalate to "i need my mama to help me get back to sleep" and that's pretty obvious too. it just takes a while to learn what they're trying to tell you, kwim?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pixiepunk</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11546034"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">well, i think that the most important thing is to learn how your baby communicates, and what different sounds mean. so when they're tiny, yeah, that's going to mean responding to every little sound to see what's going on. a lot of times, for example, DD2 fusses because she has to pee. if i ignored her, she'd pee in her diaper, which makes her very unhappy (we EC). but i wouldn't have known that had i never responded right away when she started to fuss. there are other times, that it's obvious that she's fussing cuz she's hungry, or wants attention. i think as long as you are able to recognize the differences in these communications, when it sounds like "i'm just trying to get myself back to sleep" sounds, then by all means give him/her a minute to try and get back to sleep. if s/he can't, it will quickly escalate to "i need my mama to help me get back to sleep" and that's pretty obvious too. it just takes a while to learn what they're trying to tell you, kwim?</div>
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THAT's what I was trying to say!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>DoulaLMT</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11545745"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">No, I specifically said I'm not talking about CIO, which is not responding at all. It seems like there could possibly be ways to HELP a baby LEARN to self-soothe (if it's a good thing to learn...) that don't involve fussing/crying. That's what I'm asking about. And I don't know if there is such a thing....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"></div>
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Without fussing or crying, no I don't know of any way to do that. Not with a BABY, if they are not already self soothing, you are going to hear some fussing or crying.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pixiepunk</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11546034"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">well, i think that the most important thing is to learn how your baby communicates, and what different sounds mean. so when they're tiny, yeah, that's going to mean responding to every little sound to see what's going on. a lot of times, for example, DD2 fusses because she has to pee. if i ignored her, she'd pee in her diaper, which makes her very unhappy (we EC). but i wouldn't have known that had i never responded right away when she started to fuss. there are other times, that it's obvious that she's fussing cuz she's hungry, or wants attention. i think as long as you are able to recognize the differences in these communications, when it sounds like "i'm just trying to get myself back to sleep" sounds, then by all means give him/her a minute to try and get back to sleep. if s/he can't, it will quickly escalate to "i need my mama to help me get back to sleep" and that's pretty obvious too. it just takes a while to learn what they're trying to tell you, kwim?</div>
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me too--well put
 

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Well first off IF my dd actually nursed to sleep I would probably just do that because, frankly, that's so super easy and takes less effort over all. However my dd has never nursed to sleep. *Maybe* in the first few weeks after she was born...that's always a time that is a blur...but I don't ever remember her falling asleep. There is no such thing as her falling asleep with my nipple in her mouth. That meant we had to find other ways immediately. In the beginning it was lots of rocking/bouncing while she nursed and then sucked on her paci.<br><br>
She's high needs for sure. Up until a few weeks ago I would nurse her until she was really drowsy, then she would snuggle up against me and I would rock her until she was totally asleep...then I would very very carefully put her in the crib and try to tiptoe away.<br><br>
So anyways I really felt it was time to remove the "nursing to get drowsy" association as it was starting not to work and it's always been a very long process. Our routine now is she gets a bath, then diaper and PJs, I sit and offer to nurse to make sure she's not hungry, then read a story, turn off the light, let our eyes adjust while I rock her for just 1-2 mins and then I put her in her crib and sit either next to it or lay in my bed about 4 feet away. The first night she started to cry as I put her down but right away I said, "it's ok! I'm right here! I'm not going to leave you, I'm just going to sit right here!" and she immediately changed to babbling. She stared at me for a bit and then I told her to lay down, it was time to go to sleep, and she laid down and finally fell asleep. Almost every night is that easy. Tonight was a little harder for her, I think perhaps she is teething, and I had to rub her back and hold her hand for her to fall asleep.<br><br>
I think though that if I had tried this with her 2 mos ago it wouldn't have worked and she would have cried. I think all babies have a point in which they can learn to fall asleep WITHOUT crying/fear/stress/anxiety, etc. For my ds it was around 10 mos old (he slept through the night starting at 9 weeks believe it or not but he could not get himself to sleep initially).<br><br>
I have noticed that dd can now self soothe in other situations. She's always been a car seat screamer and now I notice she can actually calm herself down! Personally I think that as long as self soothing is not forced in an extreme way (like CIO) then it's just a skill we can teach them like many other skills. My dd acts pretty proud of herself for certain accomplishments (like her scary skill of climbing my couch and then catapulting herself off of it on purpose just for kicks) and she has a proud smile on her face sometimes as she falls asleep which is so stinking cute, btw.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pixiepunk</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11546034"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">well, i think that the most important thing is to learn how your baby communicates, and what different sounds mean. so when they're tiny, yeah, that's going to mean responding to every little sound to see what's going on. a lot of times, for example, DD2 fusses because she has to pee. if i ignored her, she'd pee in her diaper, which makes her very unhappy (we EC). but i wouldn't have known that had i never responded right away when she started to fuss. there are other times, that it's obvious that she's fussing cuz she's hungry, or wants attention. i think as long as you are able to recognize the differences in these communications, when it sounds like "i'm just trying to get myself back to sleep" sounds, then by all means give him/her a minute to try and get back to sleep. if s/he can't, it will quickly escalate to "i need my mama to help me get back to sleep" and that's pretty obvious too. it just takes a while to learn what they're trying to tell you, kwim?</div>
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Yes, this is good. We need to recognize what they are communicating....I do think that all <i>babies</i> should be soothed and that any learning should be done when a mother really feels her toddler understands what she may tell him about a situation.
 

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I believe you should just take cues from your baby in regards to self soothing. I personally am not doing anything to encourage it because it doesn't feel right at the moment. He always nurses to sleep, he likes to be held almost all the time, and doesn't like to be placed lower than me (like, if he's on the floor, i have to be too). He never has been a thumb sucker and isn't easily rocked to sleep. But I'm not sure about other babies. I saw a woman rocking a baby in a bassinet to sleep at church the other day and was AMAZED. hahaha.. my son would NEEEVER allow that. He'd be screaming.
 

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Like with most things, I dont think they need any encouragment - they seem to do things pretty well on their own in their own time. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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