New Study Adds Fuel To ‘Let Babies Cry Themselves To Sleep’ Debate

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Unless you’ve been living in a cave that lacks Internet service, you have likely seen many moms and dads club one another (virtually, of course) of the debate as to whether or not allowing your baby to cry itself to sleep is healthy. One camp says it is awful and debilitating to the baby’s development while others feel it is the only way they will learn to sleep.

The truth might be (and likely is) in the middle. But don’t tell the Internet such an absurdity, we wouldn’t want to ruin their fun vitriol.

Well, a new research group in Australia is fanning the flames of the debate. And they are leaning towards “crying it out.” The study used 43 sets of parents and stipulated their babies be between 6 and 16 months. One group of the parents were asked to use “graduated extinction” as their bedtime method. This means the parents would hear their baby cry but wait before going into the room. Each time following, the parents would increase the wait time before entering the room.

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According to the study published in Tech Times, the “graduated extinction” process worked out pretty well.

After the three-month study, the babies in the first group — the ones who “cried it out” — slept an average of 13 minutes faster than the controls. The number of times these babies woke up in the middle of the night were also significantly less.

“A combination of using bedtime fading first, then moving on to graduated extinction could be another good approach,” said Sleep Expert and Psychologist Michael Gradisar, who is also an associate professor at Flinders University.

You can find the full source of the study here.

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