Study Says Babies Should Be Left To "Cry It Out" - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Study Says Babies Should Be Left To "Cry It Out"

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It's the middle of the night and your baby wakes up crying-- again!  leaving him alone to "cry it out" is hard to do.   But it's exactly what brand new research finds is best for everyone, especially the baby.

 "We'd wake up and hold him and give him a bottle just lay back down with him until he went back to sleep," said Chris Stokes who's son is now 17-months-old.  

But that's exactly what you shouldn't do according to a new study by Psychologist  Marsha Weinraub.

"Mothers who rush to their babies in the middle of the night because they are crying are doing a disservice to their babies. They're interfering with their babies ability to learn to self soothe the way the rest of us do," said Weinraub.  

Dr. Weinraub says babies who have trouble falling back to sleep are generally fussy, have overly attentive mothers and are breast are used to falling asleep in their mother's arms.  

"You wouldn't want to go to sleep in a cold bed either if you've been used to sleeping in arms."

The study found they also tend to be male. 

"It could be that boys in general are more fussy," Weinraub added. 

Whatever the reason, the doctor says babies must learn to fall back to sleep without being held or nursed and the study finds no harm to the mother-child relationship.

"It's very painful . It's tugging at your heartstrings but you have to say, 'that's my baby and she's learning a new skill,'" said Weinraub.

Stokes disagrees, "There is something inside that is just like 'no you gotta get up'."  

"Parents have to learn to hold back," insisted Weinraub.  

It's important to note that the study concludes that babies should be left to "cry it out" at age six months or older.

(original report from NBC affiliate WCAU)

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