As every documentary filmmaker knows, British accents are far more believable. So it's worth taking a listen to this NPR story from yesterday [6/5], in which UK psychologist Ian St. James-Roberts [a hyphen like that? It MUST be true!] discusses his recently published study of sleep techniques which followed three groups of moms [...].
The three groups practiced:
- "proximal care," with co-sleeping, on-demand feeding, and near-constant carrying.
- "conventional Western care," which meant fairly strict schedule-setting [these were "London Moms,"] and
- and a blend of the two, a lot of attention/carrying during the day, but no co-sleeping ["Copenhagen Moms"].
The results: proximal care led to less crying early on, but more erratic sleep and crying behavior later. London had a lot of crying, and it tapered off a bit. Copenhagen had less crying, and good sleep later [I.e., at 3 and 10 months]. And there were colicky, crying babies in every group, and nothing worked with them, so relax: it's not your fault.
[npr.org, where this has been the most emailed story for a while now]
Abstract: "Infant Crying and Sleeping in London, Copenhagen and When Parents Adopt a 'Proximal' Form of Care", Ian St. James Roberts [pediatrics, jun 6, 2006]