Sleep training has mental health benefits for all

Half of the parents participated in a sleep program involving either ‘controlled comforting’ where parents respond to crying at increasing intervals, or ‘camping out,’ where the parent sits by until the baby learns to fall asleep independently, gradually spending less time.

Mothers of the sleep-trained babies had reduced depression in the short and medium term, and the babies themselves showed mental health benefits up to age two – but both effects dissipated after that.

By age six there were no differences between the control and the intervention group.
Pediatrics 2012; online 10 Sept

 

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