How To Teach Baby To Self Soothe And Sleep Train

by | Aug 28, 2021 | Sleep

Teaching a Baby to Self Soothe

Learning how to teach baby to self soothe is the beginning of to successfully sleep train your baby later on. As a new parent, you may have the head to “get used to not sleeping” quite a bit as advice from other parents. Even in my prenatal classes, I express the need for new parents to nap when baby naps, at least once during the day during those first few weeks.

As you may be worrying about how to get your baby to fall asleep quickly and then sleep through the night as much as possible, there are three main things to consider:

Keep a consistent feeding and sleep schedule

You should offer food to your baby after they wake up from a nap. Not just when you’re trying to get them to fall asleep, so they aren’t associating sleep with food.  I also recommend starting a bedtime routine at about 3 weeks. I will talk more about this is detail later in this article.

Teach your baby to self-soothe early

Although you don’t want to be concerned about the schedule for the first few weeks, you can begin teaching your baby to fall asleep by laying your baby down when they are sleepy and still awake. I would recommend doing this at least once a day. Remember, newborns do require help falling asleep. When you place your baby in their own bed or crib and leave the room, you are allowing them to learn how to self-soothe.

Keep the crib a sleeping place only

You are definitely going to want to encourage soothing techniques other than nursing. For safety reasons, an infant should not be put to bed with pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals during the first year. Since you want your baby to associate their bed with going to sleep, I don’t recommend toys in the crib. Playtime with baby is so important but it needs to be at a different time and place. I talk more about this topic in my how to arrange a nursery and I encourage you to check it out.

For sleeping, you can provide a noise machine that would be playing comforting sounds to help lull her back to sleep when waking during the night. If you decided to use a pacifier offer it for soothing and sucking. However, be sure not to put your baby down to bed with one. Leaving a pacifier in the crib can help them actually build confidence and security, as they start to express that first bit of independence of being able to fall back asleep on their own. 

Learning how and when to teach your baby to self soothe is important to improve your sucess with sleep train your baby later on.

When Can You Sleep Train a Baby?

There are a lot of different opinions on the exact timing to start sleep train a baby. Most pediatricians recommend sleeping train a baby at about 4-6 months of age. However, you definitely can start teaching your baby to self-soothe early on to make the entire process easier on the long run.

How to Teach Baby to Self-Soothe?

You may be one of the lucky ones whose baby falls into your routine naturally and even sleeps through the night sooner than you imagined.  For those who need to address night waking, let’s talk about how you can teach your baby to self-soothe to fall asleep easier.

At about three weeks, if you haven’t already begun, it’s time to start a bedtime routine. It is very important to stick to your routine, whether that is bath time, reading a bedtime story, rocking, listening to lullabies, whatever works for your family. Don’t get frustrated if it takes longer than a few days to get through each phase. These are just suggestions, recommendations, subject to your personalization.

When your baby becomes tired, place them in their bed while they’re still awake.  For the first three days, you can put a chair next to the bed and rub their back and speak to them softly till they fall asleep. For the next four days, you will start moving your chair across the room. You still give them your soothing sounds, you’re singing or you’re humming but you stay where you are, in your chair.  If you are compelled to get up and go to them, to pat or rub their back for a minute that’s fine, just be sure to go back to your chair and continue with the words and the singing or the humming the comforting sounds that you’re offering.

On your second week you want to move your chair out of the room altogether you can still be seen in the doorway so you can have the hallway dimly lit and you want to intervene as little as possible at this point. If he cries just to assure him quietly and let him know that you’re there until he falls asleep.

By week 3 it’s time for baby to fall asleep without you. You now want to move away from the baby’s room and not be seen. You will put your chair back where it belongs. If they cry a little bit, you can try calling them from the doorway. If you have to go over to the crib, be quick and then back out into the hallway, out of their sight but close enough that they can hear your voice. At this point, you want to let them fall asleep on their own.


Teaching your newborn how to self-soothe to sleep is one of the most important aspects to ensure proper sleep for the baby and the parents. It will most definitely help you with the process to sleep train your baby later on. Basically, you want to associate the crib with sleep only and avoid or eliminate any other activities in this space. For example, nursing your baby to sleep, giving them a bottle at the bed, or a pacifier to go to sleep. By doing so, you’ll minimize the chances of your baby waking up during the night. Only you can make it happen. Finally, stand firm. You want this to be a success; you certainly don’t want all your hard work to be for naught.

The information contained on this site should not be construed as medical advice nor should it replace the advice and individual care of your health care provider. 

About Me

Hi, I’m Susan Finazzo! I’m a certified Birth Doula, Birth coach, and Childbirth Educator from Port St Lucie, Florida. In addition to that, I am also a Faith-Based Counselor. I have over 10 years experience helping women having a positive birthing experience and would love to make a difference on yours too! 

Self-soothing techniques for helping your baby to sleep

Teaching self-soothing techniques will help your baby to fall asleep faster. Helping your baby sleeping ultimately helps the parents to get enough rest and continue to have energy for themselves and the baby. These and more techniques are part of what I go through with my classes and support. 

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