A new Australian study published in the journal Pediatrics has concluded that sleep training infants does not have tangible long-term benefits. While researchers noted that behavioral training techniques used to help infants fall asleep don’t cause any developmental or emotional harm, it also does not appear to have any continual benefits.
“We wanted to find out if the benefits were really long lasting and if there were any long term effects,” said lead author Anna Price, from The Royal Children’s Hospital in Victoria, Australia.
The study, which followed up on 225 infants who had participated in an earlier sleep training trial, found that 9 percent of the children who had received sleep training as infants were having problems sleeping as 6-year olds. By comparison, 7 percent of the children who did not receive sleep training were reporting sleeping difficulties at the age of 6. Researchers found this difference to be statistically insignificant, suggesting that sleep training does not promote healthy sleeping habits in later childhood.
Researchers were also unable to identify any differences in emotions or stress levels between children who received sleep training and children who did not.
Source: Vancouver Sun