Self Soothing and Sleep

In class we discussed emotional coaching.  It can start at age 5, and has many rewarding results.  I was curious to see if there was any sort of coaching that could take place earlier on in their lives.  While I could not find any specific ways to coach emotions, I did find some information about promoting self soothing.  A study at the University of California showed that there is a connection between self soothing infants and infants that sleep better.  While you can’t actually teach them how to soothe themselves, I found that there are ways to encourage them learn.  Most of the suggestions to encourage self soothing are about having patterns or routines.  While many babies fall asleep shortly after being fed, I read that it is encouraged to avoid this.  Breastfeeding is something that can be easily attached to, and it discourages self soothing.  The article I read instead suggested having a bedtime routine, and a set bedtime.   The specific bed time will allow for an infant to begin developing a sleep clock, so their body will be more programmed to go to bed at a certain time.  As jet lag in adulthood shows, sleep clocks can be very sensitive.  The bedtime routine is intended to be an alternative to feeding the baby to sleep.  It just consists of doing a pattern of soothing activities to make the baby ready for bed, and then allow them to fall asleep on their own.

I found that there are not specific ways to coach their emotions of a child in infancy, but there are definitely ways to allow for them to teach themselves.

-Eric Harris


~ by ericharris on October 18, 2009.

One Response to “Self Soothing and Sleep”

  1. I wonder if it isn’t really the age of the child that matters; but how mature the child is, or how capable they are of learning things?

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