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Mother-Baby Sleep Experts Offer Tips for Soothing Crying Babies, Giving Exhausted Mothers Alternatives to Crying It Out
Date:1/27/2013

Amarillo, TX (PRWEB) January 27, 2013

“My baby is only happy in my arms. The minute I put her down she cries.”
Exhausted new parents often wonder what to do. Should they let their babies cry? “No,” says a committee of prominent experts in mother-baby sleep. Crying babies should not be ignored. This committee, representing researchers and parenting advocates from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia, has written a free handout for parents: Simple Ways to Calm a Crying Baby. This handout discusses current research about mother and baby’s sleep and includes specific strategies for exhausted parents.

Although having a baby who is “sleeping through the night” is something most parents aspire to, the reality is that most babies wake frequently up to 12 months of age. It is the parents’ job to help their babies return to sleep quickly. To achieve that goal, parents are often advised to let their babies cry. Unfortunately, that method is not particularly effective in helping babies settle. Rather, parents who respond to, rather than ignore their babies’ cries have babies who go back to sleep more quickly.

The reason for this is that babies have immature nervous systems and need others to help them regulate their emotions. When adults hear babies crying and respond, babies develop the tools, both physiologically and emotionally, to calm themselves. Leaving babies to cry increases babies’ stress levels and often keeps them awake longer. It does not guide them emotionally or physically toward the goal of regulating their own distress and response.

The authors of Simple Ways to Calm a Crying Baby also suggest that parents learn to think about sleep differently when it comes to young babies. Waking is a normal part of an infant’s night that depends on many things, including how they are being fed. Breastfeeding infants usually wake more frequently than those who are mixed or formula feeding . Waking isn’
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