Does your baby cry whenever you put him or her down to sleep? Are you constantly finding yourself consoling your infant throughout the night? A new study published in Pediatrics found that when parents comfort their crying son or daughter, their actions and presence may relieve not only the baby's distress but also the parents' concern.
Australian and British researchers collected data from more than 300 children with sleep problems. The scientists found that "controlled comforting" and "camping out" in the nursery can relieve sleep anxieties. In addition, they debunked the theory that these interventions may have a negative impact on baby development emotionally, as well as the mental health of the mother.
"Parents and health professional can confidently use these techniques to reduce the short- to medium-term burden of infant sleep problems and maternal depression," the study's authors concluded.
In addition, healthcare providers can help teach parents to manage their child's sleeping habits by comforting him or her, which may be the ideal parenting method with the best outcomes for the baby. Letting an infant cry and remain unattended can cause parents and children distress.
Get into a bedtime routine
For new moms and dads who are trying to successfully get their baby to go to sleep, the most important thing to do is establish a consistent bedtime routine. All people, adults, children or babies have internal clocks, and if you can put your baby down at the same time for naps and for bed, he or she may be more inclined to fall asleep. In addition, if you opt to give your infant a bath or read him or her a book, try to do it every night, instead of periodically.
When you put your baby down for a nap, you may want to try keeping the area well-lit. This can encourage shorter naps to avoid difficult, sleepless nights.
Keep evening activities calm
Overstimulation may be adding to why your child doesn't want to go to sleep. If he or she is all riled up before bedtime, would you blame him or her for crying? For situations where there is an event going on, or say a family get-to-together, take your baby out of the commotion before bedtime to calm him or her down.
What are your experiences with putting your child to sleep? Do you have any advice for struggling moms and dads? Leave your answers in the comments section!