➡️ The Science Behind Dr. Sears.. Does It Stand Up?
“Most troubling is the way Sears seems to conflate the circumstances of severely abused or neglected babies with those whose parents merely let them cry occasionally. Psychologist Alicia Lieberman of the University of California, San Francisco, whose 1995 study Sears cites, takes particular exception to that.
The paper’s content, she said in an e-mail to TIME, “is not relevant to the argument he makes because my work involves babies and young children whose parents are in the pathological range of neglect and maltreatment … not children with normative, ‘good-enough’ parenting.”
Psychologist Joan Kaufman of Yale University, whose 2001 paper was also cited by Sears, echoes that. “Our paper,” she wrote via e-mail, “is not referring to routine, brief stressful experiences, but to abuse and neglect. It is a mis-citation of our work to support a non-scientifically justified idea.”
➡️ Long-term Mother and Child Mental Health Effects of a Population-Based Infant Sleep Intervention: Cluster-Randomized, Controlled Trial
“The sleep intervention in infancy resulted in sustained positive effects on maternal depression symptoms and found no evidence of longer-term adverse effects on either mothers’ parenting practices or children’s mental health.
This intervention demonstrated the capacity of a functioning primary care system to deliver effective, universally offered secondary prevention.”
➡️ The Middlemiss Study Tells Us Nothing About Sleep Training
Here’s the infamous study that has made mothers everywhere feel guilty and sleep deprived.
The study lacked a control group. Without a group of control babies who were put to sleep by nurses in the hospital, but who did not experience sleep training, we cannot say whether sleep training affected infants’ cortisol levels, or whether something else about the program, like being put to sleep in an unfamiliar room in a hospital or being put to sleep by a stranger, affected infants’ cortisol levels.
Middlemiss does not report a baseline cortisol level for the babies. We do not actually know whether infants’ cortisol levels were “high” or “low” or “normal”. She calls them high. But we have no way to know that they’re high; they stay constant throughout the study.
There are many reasons (see this article) why this study does not hold up with sleep training done in short time periods at home with a caring mother.
➡️ Pacifier Use and SIDS: Evidence for a Consistently Reduced Risk
Furthermore, pacifier use decreased SIDS risk more when mothers were ≥20 years of age, married, nonsmokers, had adequate prenatal care, and if the infant was ever breastfed.
Pacifier use also decreased the risk of SIDS more when the infant was sleeping in the prone/side position, bedsharing, and when soft bedding was present.
Similar studies here, here, and here.
➡️ The findings suggest that specific early childhood sleep problems are differentially associated with later psychopathologic symptoms.
Babies sleep were recorded for years and compiled with psychiatric information in adolescence and the results were statistically significant.
➡️ Infants with significant sleep issues have increased risk for mental illness at the age of 10
Lack of sleep in infancy is directly correlated to mental issues later in life.
➡️ Lack of sleep affects peer relationships.
Children who sleep less and are exhausted process emotions differently.