Now, parents will no longer be sleep deprived as a study has revealed that letting babies cry to sleep is not as emotionally harmful as we believe.
Researchers at Adelaide’s Flinders University revealed that sleeping methods like “controlled crying” and “bedtime fading” help infants sleep better without any insufferable stress.
These methods helped babies wake up fewer times in the night.
The strategy of “controlled crying” involves letting babies sleep on their own without parental support. It helps them sleep sooner as they cry to sleep.
The second method of bedtime fading involves extending the sleep time of babies from the time they often fall asleep.
Researchers studied the sleeping complaints made by parents. They divided them into 43 sets, with babies ranging from 6 months to 16 months. Afterwards, the researchers split the families into three groups.
The first group followed controlled crying and the other two followed bedtime fading strategy.
After three months, the researcher observed that the controlled crying helped babies fall asleep 15 minutes sooner while babies in the extended bedtime dozed off 12 minutes sooner.
Ultimately, the researcher concluded that both methods did not affect the babies’ sleep and behavioural patterns with their parents. Both methods are totally safe in the long run.
“Some people … get this advice that this is something that they shouldn’t do, they feel quite guilty about it and then when they want to actually go ahead and do it, they feel really stressed even before they implement it,” Dr. Michael Gradisar, the author of the study told ABC.
“But our results show there are no chronic levels of stress for the infant, which is good news,” he added.
According to Popsugar, the study does not prove which method is better between the two. However, bedtime fading is the one that parents picked between the two.
“What our data probably do not capture is the peace of mind surrounding bedtime that we see when we work with families,” said Gradisar.