How Babies Learn to Self-Soothe

mom audience naptimeSubmitted by Danny Smith

The findings from a recent study conducted by Australian researchers sheds new light on a difficult child-rearing issue: when to interfere when a crying baby needs to wind down.

New parents find their heart’s wrenched by the sound of their baby crying–but it can be tricky to decide when to intervene and when to ride out the upset. We wonder what effect the stress will have on the parent-child bond, we wonder about the threshold for beginning to form attachment styles. We wonder if we are over-coddling and depriving the baby of the skills to self-soothe, or if something is actually wrong? We wonder still, and argue between each other (or maybe with a mother-in-law) about whether or not letting baby cry will start turning him/her into a future sociopath!

The issue is collectively referred to as Sleep Training and what the study found is good news and makes intuitive sense. You definitely shouldn’t let your baby cry all night long–that’s pretty obvious–but limited periods may help sleep-training in the long run (into toddlerhood and struggles with bedtime).

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