Parenting

Parenting: Cry it out, baby!

Monday, September 17, 2012

It would have been great to present the findings of this study back when my wife and I had a newborn. Like the stereotypical husband, I had a hard time hearing our infant children cry in the middle of the night.

Maybe I am a hard sleeper. Maybe there is something in a man's DNA that doesn't trigger as much of a response when cries of a child fill the bedroom.

Yes, I should have been more attentive in my dreamy hours and helped out more, but it might not have been such a bad idea to allow some crying to go unaddressed very now and then.

In any event, a study by Pediatrics is giving me (and any other dads out there like me) a pass.

Using two control groups involving 225 babies, researchers in Australia discovered that babies who are allowed to "cry it out" when they are put to bed, tend to find ways to get to sleep on their own.

A group of parents was taught one of two sleep intervention techniques: "controlled crying" which is where they responded to the baby's crying over longer and longer intervals during the night. There was also "adult fading" where the parents stayed with the child during a crying event but in increasingly shorter periods of time each night.

The other group was given no direction at all and that group had the most problems.

Meanwhile, the "cry it out" group saw improved sleep amongst their babies, and fewer problems with the moms in terms of sleep deprivation and depression. Makes sense, doesn't it?

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matt o'donnell parenting reports, parenting, matt o'donnell
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