“Safe to leave your baby to cry to sleep”
Controlled crying - leaving your baby for a short spell to see if they will settle on their own − does no harm, say experts who have looked at sleep techniques for young ones.
Many parents instinctively want to rush to comfort their baby when they hear it crying but research reveals this may be counterproductive.
It can leave the mum exhausted and depressed, and make the child more clingy I don't like the use of word clingy. How about demanding or dependent.
Instead, allowing your baby to cry it out for 5-10 minutes might be worth a try.
A study in the journal Paediatrics found controlled crying can work and has no long-lasting negative effects.
The investigators from the University of Melbourne in Australia and Exeter University in the UK followed 225 children and their families over a period of five years to assess the consequences.
The babies who were left to cry were no worse off and were just as likely to form good emotional bonds with their parents as other babies.
The researchers say that parents can now confidently try using these techniques.
Every child is different, so do only what you feel comfortable with and what you think suits your child.
By the time your child is six months old, it is reasonable to expect them to sleep through most nights.
But up to half of all children under five go through periods of night waking.
Some will just go back to sleep on their own; others will cry or want company. If this happens, try to work out why your child is waking up. They might be too hot, cold, have a wet nappy or be hungry.
Source © Trio Media 2012
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