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Family Matters: Sucking to Soothe


Studies (and tons of moms and dads) have shown that most all babies use sucking as a soothing mechanism.

Whether it’s the breast, a bottle, a finger (yours or his own), pacifier or other object, sucking is reflexively soothing to your infant.

You can help facilitate baby learning to self-soothe by leaving his hands free (no mittens or hand coverings) so he can find his fingers, or by providing a pacifier for the times he’s not eating.

Besides sucking to soothe, some babies like motion, white noise or skin-to-skin contact. You might have to try all of these, sometimes in combination, to help meet your baby’s needs. He’ll eventually learn to seek out what he needs and provide it for himself.


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