Meaning of self-soothing in English:


Pronunciation /ˌsɛlfˈsuːðɪŋ/


mass noun
  • 1The action of a young child ceasing to cry without being comforted by a parent or carer, in particular when left to fall asleep on their own.

    ‘in order to encourage self-soothing, parents can provide baby with a consistent night-time ritual’
    • ‘Parents might be encouraged to help babies with self-soothing, and to seek occasional respite, they say.’
    • ‘Encouraging self-soothing could help your child's sleep schedule in the long-run.’
    • ‘Giving kids melatonin to put them to sleep will discourage them from finding natural ways of self-soothing, so they can achieve sleep normally . ’
    • ‘Self-soothing is a very important skill for regular, uninterrupted sleep . ’
    • ‘Self-soothing is a valuable tool for a child, which runs counter to his recommendation that a reader continue the story even if a child falls asleep.’
    • ‘Infant self-soothing and early bedtimes are specifically important in prolonging sleep time.’
    • ‘You should wake your sleeping baby using a little technique called "wake and sleep." It gently teaches your child the important skill of self-soothing.’
    • ‘Once she's a bit older, she can snuggle with a stuffed animal for better self-soothing.’
    • ‘Rocking or walking must be replaced by self-soothing, removing the parent from the equation when it comes to sleeping.’
    • ‘We found good-to-strong endorsement of certain sleep hygiene practices for younger kids and school-age kids: regular bedtimes, reading before bed, and self-soothing.’
    1. 1.1The action of calming or comforting oneself when unhappy or distressed.
      ‘yoga methods for stress reduction and self-soothing’
      • ‘Practice self-soothing by taking some slow, deep breathes.’
      • ‘If this self-soothing works, Kate will calm down and her anxiety will dissipate.’
      • ‘"Twitter is great for the anxious narcissist who likes a bit of reassurance from time to time ," she says. "It's a form of self-soothing."’
      • ‘ Food is not the answer. It is a habit. You have acquired the habit of self-soothing with food. ’
      • ‘Going forward, these time management skills will serve you best along with healthy self-soothing.’
      • ‘I believe that was the start of her not wanting to talk about her feelings and putting everybody else first, self-soothing with food.’
      • ‘Other mobile games manage to transmit a feeling of even more passive self-soothing.’
      • ‘No amount of sugar, alcohol, spending or gambling can do the trick. What we actually need is self-nurturing and self-soothing.’
      • ‘You shouldn't worry how weird your self soothing is.’
      • ‘I'm getting stressed out by these developments, and self-soothing has been more difficult of late.’


  • 1(of a young child) able to stop crying without being comforted by a parent or carer, in particular when left to fall asleep on their own.

    ‘self-soothing babies generally sleep longer each night’
    • ‘Night-wakings of self-soothing infants go unnoticed by their parents.’
    • ‘By about 6 months of age, many babies develop the skills to become self-soothing.’
    • ‘ Most self-soothing babies learn to fall asleep on their own by about 4 to 5 months of age.’
    • ‘The self-soothing baby is the one who finds his fingers and sucks on them instead of crying out for Mom.’
    • ‘Self-soothing babies often use some kind of sleep ai, like a pacifier, doll, or some other kind of "lovey".’
    1. 1.1(of actions, behaviour, etc.) enabling a person to comfort themselves when unhappy or distressed.
      ‘clinical experience has already shown that art is self-soothing’
      • ‘We often look for ways to manage stress through self-soothing actions like eating food.’
      • ‘While it's important to seek help from your GP if you feel you need to, she has suggested the following self-soothing methods.’
      • ‘Women at Fashionista and in The New Yorker have written about skin care's self-soothing properties.’
      • ‘When you're developing your own self-soothing mechanisms, don't worry about how weird, immature, strange or embarrassing they may seem to other people.’
      • ‘Practicing self-soothing techniques is like building muscle; it will make us stronger and more resilient to crises.’
      • ‘I do have a toolbox of self-soothing techniques, but sometimes you just want to cry on your girlfriend's shoulder, you know?’
      • ‘These investments help people learn self-soothing techniques and how to change their emotional and behavioural responses to stressful situations in positive ways.’
      • ‘It's said that those who suffer from this disorder have a neurologically based predisposition to pull the hair from their head as a "self-soothing mechanism." ’
      • ‘Older kids can be taught self-soothing strategies like taking a deep breath, counting to five or ten before talking, or distracting themselves.’
      • ‘Thumb sucking is very simply another comforting or a self-soothing mechanism.’