Should you let your baby cry it out? Bedtime study says yes

September 10, 2012 1:23:47 PM PDT
Should you pick up your crying infant or let the them howl until sleep comes?

It's an age-old dilemma for parents: listening to the crying at bedtime or go and get that baby.

Almost half of babies over six months of age have sleeping problems, their mothers report. That also means sleepless nights for parents as well as raising the risk of depression for mothers.

A new study in the journal Pediatrics adds to previous work showing that training babies to help cry themselves to sleep trains them to soothe themselves.

Parents in the study were trained in one of two different techniques of gradually separating themselves from crying babies at varying intervals over three weeks.

The result: both children and mothers had improved sleep -- and mothers had improved mental health.

A follow-up at age 6 showed no long-term harm is done by these sleep-training methods.


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