Navigation Links
Let crying babes lie: Study supports notion of leaving infants to cry themselves back to sleep
Date:1/2/2013

Today, mothers of newborns find themselves confronting a common dilemma: Should they let their babies "cry it out" when they wake up at night? Or should they rush to comfort their crying little one?

In fact, waking up in the middle of the night is the most common concern that parents of infants report to pediatricians. Now, a new study from Temple psychology professor Marsha Weinraub gives parents some scientific facts to help with that decision.

The study, published in Developmental Psychology, supports the idea that a majority of infants are best left to self-soothe and fall back to sleep on their own.

"By six months of age, most babies sleep through the night, awakening their mothers only about once per week. However, not all children follow this pattern of development," said Weinraub, an expert on child development and parent-child relationships.

For the study, Weinraub and her colleagues measured patterns of nighttime sleep awakenings in infants ages six to 36 months. Her findings revealed two groups: sleepers and transitional sleepers.

"If you measure them while they are sleeping, all babies like all adults move through a sleep cycle every 1 1/2 to 2 hours where they wake up and then return to sleep," said Weinraub. "Some of them do cry and call out when they awaken, and that is called 'not sleeping through the night.'"

For the study, Weinraub's team asked parents of more than 1,200 infants to report on their child's awakenings at 6, 15, 24 and 36 months. They found that by six months of age, 66 percent of babies the sleepers did not awaken, or awoke just once per week, following a flat trajectory as they grew. But a full 33 percent woke up seven nights per week at six months, dropping to two nights by 15 months and to one night per week by 24 months.

Of the babies that awoke, the majority were boys. These transitional sleepers also tended to score higher on an assessment of difficult temperament which identified traits such as irritability and distractibility. And, these babies were more likely to be breastfed. Mothers of these babies were more likely to be depressed and have greater maternal sensitivity.

The findings suggest a couple of things, said Weinraub. One is that genetic or constitutional factors such as those that might be reflected in difficult temperaments appear implicated in early sleep problems. "Families who are seeing sleep problems persist past 18 months should seek advice," Weinraub said.

Another takeaway is that it is important for babies to learn how to fall asleep on their own. "When mothers tune in to these night time awakenings and/or if a baby is in the habit of falling asleep during breastfeeding, then he or she may not be learning to how to self-soothe, something that is critical for regular sleep," she said.

According to Weinraub, the mechanism by which maternal depression is connected to infant awakenings is an area that would benefit from further research. On the one hand, Weinraub said, it's possible that mothers who are depressed at six and 36 months may have been depressed during pregnancy and that this prenatal depression could have affected neural development and sleep awakenings. At the same time, it's important to recognize that sleep deprivation can, of course, exacerbate maternal depression, she said.

"Because the mothers in our study described infants with many awakenings per week as creating problems for themselves and other family members, parents might be encouraged to establish more nuanced and carefully targeted routines to help babies with self-soothing and to seek occasional respite," said Weinraub.

"The best advice is to put infants to bed at a regular time every night, allow them to fall asleep on their own and resist the urge to respond right away to awakenings."


'/>"/>

Contact: Kim Fischer
kim.fischer@temple.edu
215-204-7479
Temple University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study Suggests Vaccine May Help Kids With Brain Cancer
2. Study reveals how cancer drug causes diabetic-like state
3. Coffee Drinking in Pregnancy Wont Lead to Sleepless Baby: Study
4. Lower GI problems plague many with rheumatoid arthritis, Mayo Clinic study finds
5. Veggies Like Broccoli, Cabbage May Help Fight Breast Cancer: Study
6. No Added Cancer Risk From Hip Replacement Materials: Study
7. Reported Decline in U.S. Pneumonia Deaths May Be False: Study
8. Early Study Finds Some Promise for Lung Cancer Vaccine
9. Narcissists Often Ace Job Interviews, Study Finds
10. Sexual objectification of female artists in music videos exists regardless of race, MU study finds
11. Soy may alleviate hot flashes in menopause, large-scale study finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... January 23, 2017 , ... Sharon Kleyne, America’s leading water researcher, ... listeners about the benefits of making new water infrastructure a number one priority. “As ... that we expect water infrastructure to become a top priority of our new political ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... January 23, 2017 , ... Steviva Ingredients, makers of all-natural ... USDA National Organic Program (NOP) for its Portland SQF Level 2 manufacturing facility. ... and handling systems to complement our current rigorous food-safety management systems,” said Yishu ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... “The Inn at the Mill”: a story of love and redemption, ... to become happy and content. , “The Inn at the Mill” is the creation ... Germany and Vermont and is now living in Berks County on Crow Hill. ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... ... is a time when many people celebrate romance and love by giving cards, candy, flowers ... ideal present, Atlanta-based Perimeter Plastic Surgery is offering a Valentine’s Day special: Spend ... get $50 free. , “A lot of people just buy the more predictable gift ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... ... January 21, 2017 , ... Caronlab Australia, an Australian ... January ECRM Trade Show in Hilton Head, SC, where it benefited from outstanding meetings ... quality of its beauty and wellness products. At this trade show, the company had ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/23/2017)... CALGARY, Alberta , January 23, 2017 ... enfermedad del riñón (r enal) ... una sola dosis de a pabetalone    ... anunciaron hoy los resultados preliminares de un ensayo en ... pacientes con discapacidad de riñón (renal) severa. Los datos ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... , January 23, 2017 Stock-Callers.com today ... Inc. (NASDAQ: CPRX ), Sophiris Bio Inc. (NASDAQ: ... MNTA ), and Agile Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: AGRX ... turned somewhat lower in late trade on Friday, January 20 ... about 0.3%, while shares of health care companies in the ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... , January 23, 2017 Longer life expectancy ... in the global market for medical device technologies. BCC Research ... the Asia-Pacific region, should see strong growth due ... rising disposable incomes. Continue Reading ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: