For some time now there has been a debate on the best way to get your baby to sleep. Some mothers prefer to tend to their babies when they begin to cry in their crib, while others believe that it is best to let the baby soothe themselves (or “cry it out”) in order to be lulled off to sleep. A recent study from the journal Early Human Development, however, is indicating that leaving baby to cry may not be the best way to let them fall asleep.
This study showed that even though the baby falls asleep after crying for some time, they are actually still upset. This was proven by testing hormone levels in both mom and baby as well as logging how long the babies cried before falling asleep and comparing babies that were tended to to those who were left to ‘soothe themselves.’ In the end the crying babies’ levels of cortisone were high (revealing high stress levels) while mother’s cortisone levels dropped to very low (revealing low stress levels). It was predicted that mother’s levels of cortisone dropped because their babies cried less and less each night as they adapted.