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Controlled crying poses no risk to babies and infants

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 13:16

Melbourne: In a new study, Australian researchers have found that controlled crying poses no long-term risk to the health of babies and infants.

The study by Murdoch Children`s Research Institute looked at the effects of early behavioural parenting techniques on a group of six-year-olds.

The institute`s scientist Anna Price said that they found controlled crying, where parents leave tired children by themselves for short periods at a time, was beneficial for children and parents alike, ABC reported.

"A brief sleep programme offered to parents who wanted help in managing their baby`s sleep could improve baby`s sleep, could improve mum`s sleep and her mental health," Price said.

"The techniques work and they are safe to use. There were no differences between families who were and were not offered the programme across a whole range of things; children`s mental health, their behaviour, their stress levels, parents` mental health and sleep," she said, adding if it does not work after a week, parents may need extra help to get the technique right.

For those who do not like to leave their children to cry, Price suggested an alternative called camping out.

"It involves the parent sitting in a chair next to their cot or lying in a camp bed and slowly moving the chair or cot out of the room over two to three weeks," she said.

"It takes longer. Controlled comforting takes only a few days, but camping out for parents who find it too hard listening to their baby cry is a great option," she added.


First Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 13:16

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