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Let Sleepless Babies Cry (For A While), If They Want To

When cranky babies won't sleep, is it OK to let them cry it out?

The short answer: Yes, within limits.

Many parents these days try to help their babies learn to sleep better by letting them cry a little.

One approach, sometimes called "Ferberizing" after the pediatrician who has popularized it, involves parents gradually lengthening how long they let their babies cry before soothing them. The other is sometimes called "camping out" and involves moving further away from the crib a night at a time until baby can get to sleep on her own.

These techniques, which were shown helpful for kids and their moms in an Australian study, don't appear to scar kids. The researchers evaluated the children who had been part of the original study five years later.

At age 6, there was no evidence of harm or, it must be said, long-term benefit for those kids whose parents used the sleep techniques.

Therefore, the researchers concluded, "parent can feel confident using, and health professionals can feel confident offering behavioral techniques such as controlled comforting and camping out for managing infant sleep."

The findings appear in the latest issue of Pediatrics. For more advice see HealthChildren.org, a website for parents from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

No Longer Omar: Actor Michael K. Williams On Lucky Breaks And Letting Go

Over the course of his career, Williams says he's learned to separate himself from his characters (like The Wire's Omar). In HBO's The Night Of, he plays a powerful prison inmate named Freddy.
NPR

#FoodPorn, Circa 1600s: Then And Now, It Was More About Status Than Appetite

A new study of old masters finds that capturing and showing off decadent and expensive meals is a decidedly old-fashioned practice. Like today's Instagrammers, it was all about projecting an image.
WAMU 88.5

The Legality Of Restoring Virginia Voting Rights

Virginia's governor is bypassing the commonwealth's Supreme Court ruling and restoring felon voting rights individually. Kojo examines Terry McAuliffe's move with a legal expert.

NPR

The Big Internet Brands Of The '90s — Where Are They Now?

Verizon's purchase of Yahoo will close the book on one of the oldest Internet companies. What happened to the other famous '90s brands, like GeoCities, Netscape and CompuServe? A nerdy remembrance.

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