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

'New parents should decide to self-soothe for themselves, not go by what a study says'

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.

Parenting advice: Self-soothing is a matter of personal opinion, our expert told us ©Rex"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."


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.”

A new study claimed self-soothing was 'critical for regular sleep' ©RexShe 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.


Our expert revealed how new parents can try self-soothing, if they decide to try it“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.”

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