Sleep Training, Anxiety and Communication

 

There is a plethora of research regarding baby sleep and sleep training. The controversy regarding sleep training is centered on whether or not it is healthy to let your baby cry him/herself back to sleep.

 

Baby Says More™ is not taking a stance for or against sleep training, but we would like to hone in on the idea of crying and the anxiety that it provokes for your baby.

 

Research demonstrates that an increase in the level of the stress hormone cortisol and a decrease in growth hormone occur as a consequence of excessive separation of infants from their parents, or neglect. Such imbalances interfere with brain nerve tissue development, interrupt growth and weaken the immune system.1, 2, 3, 4

 

Furthermore, research presented at an American Academy of Pediatrics meeting by Dr. Michael Lewis illustrates that a parent’s responsiveness to his/her baby’s cues is most indicative of, and directly related to, the child’s overall intellectual development.6

 

Baby Sign is based upon the parent’s responsiveness to his/her baby’s communicative attempts, or cues. It promotes a repetitious, positive response to such cues, which is, therefore, positively correlated to intellectual development.

Baby Says More™ would like to inform you of such research in order to emphasize the adverse effects that crying can have on your baby’s social, emotional and even intellectual development. Now we are quite aware that such research reflects the effect of blatantly ignoring a baby’s cries, whether due to a specific method of sleep training or mere neglectfulness; however, if given the chance to reduce your baby’s need to cry, why not seize said opportunity?

 

No matter how you slice it, crying, although functional, is not healthy in excess, whereas signing with your baby is functional and promotes positive social, emotional, intellectual and language development.

 

It’s a no brainer!

For more information, please refer to:


* All research cited from:
Ask Dr Sears. (n.d.). Science Says: Excessive Crying Could Be Harmful. Retrieved from http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/fussy-baby/science-says-excessive-crying-could-be-harmful
1. Butler, S R, et al. Maternal Behavior as a Regulator of Polyamine Biosynthesis in Brain and Heart of Developing Rat Pups. Science 1978, 199:445-447.
2. Kuhn, C M, et al. Selective Depression of Serum Growth Hormone During Maternal Deprivation in Rat Pups. Science 1978, 201:1035-1036.
3. Coe, C L, et al. Endocrine and Immune Responses to Separation and Maternal Loss in Non-Human Primates. The Psychology of Attachment and Separation, ed. M Reite and T Fields, 1985. Pg. 163-199. New York: Academic Press.
4. Ahnert L, et al, Transition to Child Care: Associations with Infant-mother Attachment, Infant Negative Emotion, and Cortisol Elevations, Child Development, 2004, May-June; 75(3):649-650.
5. Kaufman J, Charney D. Effects of Early Stress on Brain Structure and Function: Implications for Understanding the Relationship Between Child Maltreatment and Depression, Developmental Psychopathology, 2001 Summer; 13(3):451-471.
6. Leiberman, A. F., & Zeanah, H., Disorders of Attachment in Infancy, Infant Psychiatry 1995, 4:571-587.
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