Tagged: Prenatal Depression

Another Green Light for the Cry-It-Out Method

So, after a month of sleeping through the night, Noah decided to wake back up, two to three times per night. Sometimes gabbling, sometimes crying, but always very well awake. He used to go to sleep by himself at bedtime but was not able to soothe himself back to sleep at these middle-of-the-night awakenings. Which is why I immersed myself yet again in the bottomless pit of the Cry-It-Out method studies.   I was ecstatic when I found a new study that gives the green light for parents applying the Cry-It-Out Method: an apparently harmless way to teach them to sleep and recover our sleep independence.

Lead by Weinraub, an expert on child development, the study found a couple of very interesting things not taken into consideration in other studies.  It appears that the majority of babies that awoke in the middle of the night were boys, who also had a tendency to have a difficult temperament. The findings of the study include (1) the possibility that genetic factors implicated early sleep problems (2) the need for babies to learn how to self-soothe, critical for creating healthy sleeping habits and (3) the likelihood that prenatal depression may affect neural development and sleep awakenings. It is important to note that Weinraub comments: “Families who are seeing sleep problems persist past 18 months should seek advice.”

Of the three important findings, only the second one resonated with my personal experience but I’m sure there are many parents out there trying to find solutions to their baby’s sleeping problems and I hope this study lightens up their findings. I do believe that the most important finding of the study is that we should resist the urge to comfort our babies when crying at night, (for babies over 6 months old). After we gave Noah the opportunity to self-soothe in the middle of the night, without entering his room and giving him a pat or his pacifier, he discovered he could do it on his own. For the past 4 days at least… 

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