Scientist say let your baby cry

Crying baby 
By: Sarah Weiss 

Let your baby cry scientists say after a recent study.

Many parents instinctively want to rush to the side of their baby when they hear them cry, but new research suggests it would be better to leave the baby cry for a bit.

Allowing a child to calm itself does no harm and may in fact, allow both the child and the parent to sleep better at night, they said.

A study of techniques called sleep behavior, such as controlled crying, where the parent waits a certain amount of time before soothing the child, found that they had no marked or lasting negative effects.

The risk of postpartum depression can also be reduced by practicing those techniques.

Controlled crying has been a popular choice of parenting, and some believe in training their babies to establish a routine.
A parent using the method could leave their baby crying for five minutes at first, before going to calm them.
Then, they wait 10 minutes before soothing the baby again, then, 20 minutes before the next intervention, and so on.

An alternative method studied by researchers was "camping," where the parent waits in the bedroom for the baby to fall asleep.
Researchers at the University of Melbourne sampled 326 babies, who were all at least seven-months-old and followed up five years later to see if after being subjected to sleep interventions had suffered long-term damage or benefits.

It also studied the mother experience.

They concluded: "Parents and health professionals can confidently use these techniques to reduce the short and medium term burden of childhood sleep problems and maternal depression."

The scientists conducted their work after concerns that behavioral interventions on infant sleep, although proven effective in the short and medium term, ultimately could harm the children's emotional development and mental health later on in life.

Their findings, published in the journal Pediatrics, appear to contradict those of another recent study suggesting that babies who are left to cry felt stressed out, even after they calmed down.



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