Hi, I'm Janet Kennedy. I'm a licensed clinical psychologist and sleep specialist in New York City. You can find out more about me and my work on my website, nycsleepdoctor.com. Self soothing just means your baby's ability to fall asleep and settle down without your help. Some babies suck their thumbs and if you have a thumb sucker you are lucky. Don't try to prevent it. You can deal with it down the road, after your baby is a good sleeper. If your baby doesn't suck his thumb, he might take a pacifier. And pacifiers are important because sucking is very soothing. The problem with pacifiers is they fall out and you will be stuck trying to decide if it is worth it to go back in and replace it if the baby needs help. Lovies can be good because they give your baby something to hold on to suck and stroke himself with but it's important to make sure that it's safe for your babies age. As they get older a larger stuffed animal will be helpful because it gives the baby something to hug and get hold on to during the night. Babies can't self sooth in the early weeks. That ability starts to evolve somewhere in the first 3 months. So don't worry if you're still giving your baby a lot of help. Over time your baby should be able to develop the skill to self sooth.