Thursday, August 26, 2010

Emotionally Available Parents Produce Sound Sleepers

Warm caring parents wake less to the sound of a baby blaring. Disposition and parental style appears to influence how infants and toddlers sleep, research shows.

Parental instincts come into play. Basic emotional communication such as talking quietly and gently and responding to a child’s cues helps ease them to sleep. Investigators at Penn State University believe this behavioral lets the children know they are in a safe environment.

Distant, unresponsive or stern parents may find themselves waking to tend a child who is not sleeping.

You don’t have to spend hours tending to your child to be an emotionally receptive parent. Researchers report quality matters, not quantity.

Research assistants rated mothers’ parenting styles and their children’s sleep quality. A group of 35 families participated in the program.

The results are available online at the website for the Journal of Family Psychology.

There’s still no best way to get a baby to sleep. The matter comes down to an ongoing debate between the “cry it out” camp and those who believe in “attachment parenting” similar to what was demonstrated in the study.

The Sleep Education Blog recommends any parenting style should involve a relaxing bedtime routine.

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