Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorBedtime for babies can be nightmare-time for parents. And after four kids, I can include myself in this broken eardrum fraternity.

You put an infant to bed, and then are treated to hours of air raid/tornado sirens.

So what are you supposed to do? Run in and pick up your baby every 32 seconds? Or risk some permanent psychological damage by letting he/she cry it out?

A new study in the journal Pediatrics says compromise is the key — with the main message being it’s okay to let your child do some crying.

Researchers followed children for years long after their years of crib crying, and say that those parents who followed one of two techniques seemed to have the kids who did the best years later.

The first technique is “Controlled Comforting.” Basically an approach where you let your baby cry, then go in and comfort — while gradually increasing the time between races to the crib to pick up the baby.

The second technique is “Camping Out.” You sit with the baby in the room, say in a rocking chair, and then gradually scoot the rocker towards the door quietly and gradually …

Neither says exactly how long to do these things is best, yet there are instructional sites where you can get some guidelines (which my kids as babies would have wadded up and thrown at me):


Main Message: don’t feel guilty if you take a few weeks of sleep training for your baby, and some crying is involved. You’re not being a mean parent.

And even though you may feel like it the one thing NOT to do is close the door at bedtime, and not return until the morning. That’s more than a touch on the harsh side.


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