Study sheds light on how to cope with crying babies

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by MORGAN CHESKY / KVUE News and photojournalist MATTIE OLSEN

KMOV.com

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 7:50 AM

Updated Monday, Sep 17 at 7:53 AM

AUSTIN -- One year, two months, and healthy as can be. For Andie and Alex Iverson, their son Knox has made the parental ride pretty easy. Still, they've had their not so quiet moments with Knox too.

"There came a time when we would put him down to bed and he started crying," said mother Andie.

The Iversons met the unavoidable sound with their own strategy, listen and check if it sounded serious. If it didn't sound serious, the parents let Knox cry it out.

"After about a week and a half, it ended," said Andie. "He sleeps great now. We've never had to worry about it and as hard as it is for a new mom you have to do it, it works."

A study released Monday in Pediatrics Journal agrees.

Researchers examined sleep techniques for babies from seven months to six years old. One parent group responded to crying at increasing time intervals. The other stayed with infants until they fell asleep but left earlier each night.

Results showed better sleep patterns with both techniques with no emotional side effects from either form of sleep training.

"As infants they cry to tell us what they need and we respond to them and sometimes they just need attention," said Sara Johnson, founder of Emerson Academy.

At their childcare facility and school, Johnson and her staff have a different approach.

"Our teachers are trained to respond to a child's needs immediately," said Johnson, who said their form of attachment parenting creates a more emotionally balanced child.

Still, even she hesitates to treat babies with a one-size-fits-all approach.

"I think the important thing is for parents to trust their instincts and that they pay attention to their children's cues," said Johnson.

The Iversons' echoed her sentiment, "Every parent has parental instincts," said Andie. "You just got to know to trust those and follow those."

An approach where reading your baby sometimes beats any book.

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