One of the toughest things about being a new parent is having to wake up throughout the night to soothe the crying baby.
But what if you don't have to after all?
A recent study tested the "cry-it-out" method of letting crying babies fall asleep on their own. The benefits are unclear, but children did tend to fall asleep sooner and sooner each night as they got accustomed to it.
Most importantly, researchers found no harm in the cry-it-out method.
Even five years later, the children who were allowed to cry themselves to sleep showed no difference from those who were cradled.
Of course, "no difference" doesn't sound better, per se, but the benefits to the parents are obvious! Professor Martha Weintraub says:
"Because the mothers in our study described infants with many awakenings per week as creating problems for themselves and other family members, parents might be encouraged to establish more nuanced and carefully targeted routines to help babies with self-soothing and to seek occasional respite."
We're not sure if this method works, or even if all moms would be able to let their babies cry without doing something about it, but we're glad these scientists are hard at work trying to make parents' lives easier.
Now if they could just perfect the self-changing diaper…
Tags: babies, child, cry-it-out, crying, infant, moms, parent, research, sleeping, study, waking