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Let babies cry themselves to sleep at bedtime, study says

Researchers at Flinders University in South Australia found

Researchers at Flinders University in South Australia found babies who cry themselves to sleep fall asleep faster and wake up less during the night. Credit: Newsday / Theresa Sandler

Letting your baby cry it out at bedtime decreases the amount of time it takes for a baby to fall asleep and doesn’t result in harmful effects, according to researchers at Flinders University in South Australia.

Lead researcher Michael Gradisar said it was natural for parents to worry about their babies crying at bedtime, but avoiding the urge to cuddle them could prove more beneficial.

The study included a randomized controlled trial that involved 43 infants past 6 months of age who displayed nighttime sleep issues.

“We ran the numbers and found that those children who experienced delayed sleep or were allowed to cry longer ended up falling asleep faster. They were not waking up so much in the night either,” he said in a news release. “The significant finding in this study was there were no elevated cortisol readings in the infants. They stayed within normal limit. ”

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