Parents with a lower tolerance for crying show an "excessive involvement" in soothing infants to sleep. This prevents babies from self-soothing and leads to poor developmental sleep.
An infant's ability to self-soothe is directly related to parenting practices such as putting down awake versus feeding or assisting to sleep. Infants 6-24 weeks showed the abilities to self-soothe throughout the night.
"Infants are capable of resettling themselves back to sleep in the first 3 months of age; both autonomous resettling and prolonged sleeping are involved in “sleeping through the night” at an early age."
Stress negatively affects learning. Over-tiredness, poor and irregular sleep causes increased stress levels.
A parent's poor mental health can also put babies at a higher risk of insecure attachment.
“At 2 years, mothers in the intervention group were less likely than control mothers to report clinical depression symptoms."
Behavioral intervention significantly reduces infant sleep problems at two months. Maternal report of symptoms of depression decreased significantly at two months, and this was sustained at four months for mothers with high depression scores.
The intervention improved caregivers' assessments of infant sleep problem severity and parental depression, fatigue, sleep, and sleep cognitions compared with controls.
Mother’s stress levels decreased during sleep training which lead to a more responsive parenting relationship and a decrease of stress for babies.
Using sleep training to improve infant sleep, was effective in improving infant sleep and increased maternal emotional well-being. Mothers showed a significant decrease in depression, anxiety and stress.
"Sleep training improves infant sleep problems, with about 1 in 4 to 1 in 10 benefiting compared with no sleep training, with no adverse effects reported after 5 years. Maternal mood scales also statistically significantly improved; patients with the lowest baseline depression scores benefited the most.”
Babies who habitually sleep outside age-appropriate ranges exhibit more signs or serious health problems.
Parental use of ‘cry it out’ in infants: no adverse effects on attachment and behavioral development at 18 months.
Sleep problems in infants between 4-6 months of age were associated with increased depressive symptoms, doubt, anger, poor personal sleep quantity, and confidence.
Bedtime routine linked to children falling asleep faster, waking less, and sleeping longer.
Positive association between infant sleep patterns and memory, language, executive function and cognitive development.
Longer and more consistent sleep duration was linked with better body composition, emotional regulation and growth in children 0-4 years old.
This study found that babies with healthy, restorative sleep patterns had a direct link to higher cognition and language development. Better sleep = better development.