With many parents now using behavioral sleep interventions, a new study looks at which of the most common ones are the most effective and the least harmful.
From sleep schools and controlled crying to the more controversial use of melatonin and strict sleep routines, there are many interventions that have been suggested to help babies adopt good sleep patterns.
With so much information available, how can families decide which interventions are most effective and have the least impact on the infant-parent relationship and the parents’ postnatal mental health? ?
International studies published in pediatric journal Last year, details from over 2,000 parents with babies aged 3-18 months were included to examine the benefits and safety of behavioral sleep interventions (BSIs).
This study used the actual frequency, timing, duration, difficulty and usefulness of the following three BSI approaches used to promote sleep autoregulation in infants:
- presence of parents
- Controlled Crying (known as Modified Extinction)
- Cry it out
A majority of study participants (64% of parents) reported having had a BSI, and the mean infant age at the start of the intervention was 5.3 months.
The lead study author, Dr. Michal Kahn, is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Flinders University and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Psychological Sciences at Tel Aviv University.
she said News GP Because insomnia in children is common and can be distressing to families, the safety and efficacy of BSIs have long been controversial.
“Interventions in behavioral sleep for infants, particularly extinction-based approaches, have sparked intense debate over the last few decades,” she said.
“The main criticism focuses on the potential for these interventions to impair the infant-parent relationship.
“Despite the lack of scientific evidence to support these concerns, social media, websites, and oral sleep advice, such as ‘sleep coaches’ and ‘influencers,’ continue to voice these concerns. continue.
This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of the three BSI approaches in infant sleep, parental sleep, daytime sleepiness, depression, and parent-child relationship between parents who underwent these interventions and those who did not. were examined by comparing the ties of
Unmodified and modified extinctions were rated as ‘significantly more difficult’ to implement compared to parental presence, but were also rated as helpful in demonstrating improvement, shorter and more rapid. I got
No differences were found between the BSI groups in parental sleep, sleepiness, depression, or parent-infant bonding.
Dr. Khan acknowledges the central role of GPs in maternal health, postpartum mental health, and support for families experiencing baby sleep problems, and believes this study can provide some guidance for GPs. I am hoping for
“General practitioners who meet with parents of young infants may be asked about the safety and efficacy of infant sleep interventions and may therefore wish to be informed of the latest scientific evidence.
“Our recent study adds evidence for the efficacy of extinction-based interventions to improve sleep in infants.”
According to the authors, BSI is commonly performed outside the clinical setting and earlier than is generally recommended.
They noted that unmodified and modified extinctions were associated with longer and more robust sleep in infants.
Also, despite concerns about the potential harm of BSI, implementation of these approaches has not been associated with negative outcomes, providing additional evidence for their safety and efficacy.
“Importantly, our study found that implementation of the intervention did not adversely affect parental health status or parent-child relationships,” said Dr. Khan.
To help parents make informed decisions, primary care physicians and other pediatric health care providers can inform parents of the range of evidence-based interventions available and their benefits and costs. A modified extinction approach – and lack of evidence of adverse consequences.
“General practitioners can greatly assist parents by correcting misinformation and reducing the concerns, shame, or guilt associated with these interventions.
“Of course, it should be clearly acknowledged that behavioral interventions for infant sleep may not be appropriate for everyone. I don’t feel fit.
“As research continues to gather evidence, refine existing interventions, and develop new approaches, we, as clinicians, have a parental choice to implement any of them, or not. must be respected.”
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