There’s been a lot of discussion lately about how to help your baby learn to sleep better, with multiple studies saying one thing or another. A new study, however, says lettering your baby cry as a way to learn to self-soothe will not cause any lasting damage.
The study, released in the journal Pediatrics, was conducted in Australia. It followed 326 children who had sleep problems in infancy over five years and compared those who were subjected to sleep-training techniques with those who weren’t. The randomized study found that by age 6, there was no long-lasting impact on psychological development, mental health or the parent-child bond.
The researchers looked at two common techniques: “controlled comforting,” where parents let babies cry for increasing intervals as they learn to fall asleep; and “camping out,” which calls for parents to sit in the room and gradually move further away as baby starts to settle.
Their conclusion: parents can feel comfortable using those kinds of measures. And, as we all know, a well-rested baby means well-rested parents … which leads to a happier family.