Is it OK to let Ba­bies Cry?

And when should you be wor­ried about their sleep pat­terns? Ex­pert re­veals all...

Fiji Sun - - Sun Spectrum -

It’s a sub­ject that plagues many a new par­ent but new re­search has found let­ting ba­bies cry them­selves to sleep may not cause the at­tach­ment is­sues many worry about. Par­ents of ba­bies with sleep­ing prob­lems can now rest a lit­tle eas­ier, with doc­tors prov­ing con­trolled cry­ing can ac­tu­ally im­prove sleep­ing pat­terns of new fam­i­lies.

Let­ting ba­bies cry out could ac­tu­ally pro­vide bed­time-re­sis­tant in­fants with a bet­ter rest, ac­cord­ing to a lead­ing sleep ex­pert.

As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor Michael Gradisar, from Flin­ders Univer­sity, found that var­i­ous con­trolled cry­ing meth­ods have no detri­men­tal ef­fects on ei­ther the baby or par­ent.

He said: “It’s nat­u­ral for par­ents to worry about hav­ing their ba­bies cry at bed­time. “While it’s well doc­u­mented that sleep de­pri­va­tion can cause fam­ily dis­tress, in­clud­ing ma­ter­nal de­pres­sion, we’re hop­ing these re­sults will add an­other el­e­ment to how par­ents view their re­sponses and how they man­age their own and their ba­bies’ sleep be­hav­iour.” The study in­volved us­ing two com­mon sleep train­ing tech­niques on 43 ba­bies, age six to 16 months, with night­time sleep trou­bles. One group used con­trolled cry­ing - or grad­u­ated ex­tinc­tion - which is de­signed to let ba­bies get to sleep on their own.

Par­ents in the con­trolled-cry­ing group had to wait for a few min­utes be­fore re­spond­ing when their ba­bies cried. They were al­lowed to com­fort, but not pick up, the baby. A sec­ond method tested bed­time fad­ing, which in­volves par­ents grad­u­ally de­lay­ing bed-time in an at­tempt to help them fall asleep eas­ier. This group de­layed bed­time by 15 min­utes at first and could in­crease it if they were still hav­ing prob­lems. There was also a con­trol group, who were sim­ply given in­for­ma­tion on healthy sleep­ing habits. Af­ter three months, the re­searchers found, ba­bies in both of these sleep-train­ing groups were fall­ing asleep an av­er­age 10 to 13 min­utes faster.

Mean­while, there was lit­tle dif­fer­ence in the con­trol group.

Ba­bies in the con­trolled-cry­ing group slept bet­ter dur­ing the night, wak­ing up less an av­er­age once or twice com­pared with three times at the start of the study. Stress lev­els for moth­ers dropped in the first month and there was no sign it caused stress to the ba­bies, Pro­fes­sor Gradisar said.

Saliva sam­ples showed lev­els of the ‘stress hor­mone’ cor­ti­sol also fell slightly in ba­bies.

There were no sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences in emo­tional, be­havioural prob­lems or at­tach­ment is­sues at a fol­low-up, a year later. Pro­fes­sor Gradisar said: “Com­bi­na­tion of us­ing bed­time fad­ing first, then mov­ing on to grad­u­ated ex­tinc­tion could be an­other good ap­proach. “We hope par­ents of chil­dren 6-16 months can be­come more aware of bed­time fad­ing which helps ba­bies fall asleep at the start of the night.”

Photo: Daily Mail

Par­ents of ba­bies with sleep­ing dif­fi­cul­ties can now rest eas­ier af­ter doc­tors proved con­trolled cry­ing can help im­prove their sleep­ing pat­terns.

Photo: Daily Mail

No sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences were found in emo­tional and be­havioural prob­lems or at­tach­ment styles af­ter a 12-month fol­low-up.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Fiji

© PressReader. All rights reserved.