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Crying itself to sleep can be good for your baby study

Margaret Jack  By Margaret Jack   |   Posted in Sleep Research   |   Last updated: Friday 4th January 2013

American psychologists have found in a new study that babies should be left to go to sleep by themselves – even if this means that they cry for a little while.

The study conducted at Temple University in Philadelphia looked at the sleeping patterns of 1,200 children from birth to three years. The parents would report on their child’s awakening at 6, 15, 24 and 36 months. The psychologists found that there were types of babies; sleepers and transitional sleepers. By the 6 month mark 66% of the babies, known as the sleepers, awakened their parents only once per week. The other 33% were the transitional sleepers that woke most nights at 6 months, 2 nights by 15 months and then just 1 night a week at 24 months.

Based on the findings the University proposed that, parents who gave their children the opportunity and ensured they taught their child ‘self soothing’ were more likely to give themselves and their child a better nights sleep. ‘Self soothing’ is suggested by some specialists to help your baby get into the habit of regular sleep. However this technique isn’t recommended until they’re between 3 and 6 months old because they won’t have developed enough to just be doing it for attention and there could be a real problem.

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