Make Your Baby Sleepy and Stop Crying by Just One Simple Technique
You may wonder about how to get your child to sleep through the night. Maybe you have a new baby and want to learn how to help them develop good sleep habits that will last a lifetime. Sleep problems are some of the most common problems parents face with their kids. Some children may have chronic sleep difficulties, and many children (like most adults!) are actually going through their days sleep-deprived. Infants go through a complete sleep cycle about every 50-60 minutes, so they are in light sleep and could wake up many times each night. Newborns just sleep any old time, on and off, all through the day and night.
TO say that crying is a key challenge to early parenting is an understatement, especially when it is 3 AM, you haven't gotten any sleep, and your baby is still crying. With crying, there are no firm rules--both as to what causes it and what you can do to get your baby to stop. As you get to know your baby, however, you will get better at understanding what causes your baby to cry and what will get him to stop. Soon you will be able to distinguish hungry cries from boredom cries, hurt cries from angry cries. And then of course there are times when your baby will cry seemingly for no reason at all.
Just like their stressed-out parents, babies may take comfort from a gentle massage, a research review suggests.
Infant massage has long been used in many Asian and African cultures to ease babies' colic and fussiness, help them sleep, and even aid their growth and development. There is growing interest in infant massage among parents in Western countries as well.
To assess the science behind the practice, UK researchers analyzed 23 clinical trials in which infants younger than 6 months were randomly assigned to receive massage or not.
They found that across nine of the studies, gentle massage appeared to improve infants' sleep patterns, ease crying, and strengthen mother-child bonding. Some studies found that massage lowered babies' levels of certain stress hormones.
Given this apparent hormonal effect, it's "not surprising" that massage seemed to improve sleep and crying, according to the researchers, led by Angela Underdown of the University of Warwick in Coventry, England.
On the other hand, the nine studies showed no benefits for infants' growth and development. And the researchers considered the rest of the 23 trials to have a "high risk of bias" because of concerns about their methodology; some reports, for instance, lacked information about how the study was designed and conducted.
Overall, the results offer "tentative support" for teaching parents and caregivers infant massage -- though there's not enough evidence to universally recommend the practice, the investigators note in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research.
The trials included in the review were conducted in China, North America, Great Britain and Israel, and included 598 healthy, full-term infants. In some studies, researchers provided the massage, while parents did in others. Most looked at the effects of daily massage over a period of weeks.
It's not clear how often, when or for how long babies should receive massage to get the most benefits. Underdown and her colleagues recommend that future studies examine these questions.