A new baby sleep study is opening eyes for parents -- while baby's eyes close. Credit: Getty Images
"Sleep, baby, sleep" is a mantra for many moms and dads who share one thing in common: They aren't getting any sleep, themselves.
If you've tried feedings on demand, pre-bed bath rituals, massages, two-hour drives around the neighborhood and the "crying it out" technique -- all to no avail -- you are not alone.
But take a tip from the nocturnal teen crowd and head to your laptop in the wee hours of the morning. You just may find the secret to sweet dreams for your baby -- and you.
A new study and online-based program is opening parents' eyes, and closing those of their babies, offering advice on getting infants and young children to sleep through the night, Time
promises its three-step nightly routine is clinically tested to promote better sleep for babies and children, according to the Johnson & Johnson website.
The sleep intervention program is the brainchild of researchers in the United States and Israel who report in the journal Sleep
that it can effectively reduce sleep disturbances in the 20 to 30 percent of infants and young children who are restless at night.
Based on research with almost 5,000 infants and toddlers, Jodi Mindell, associate director of the Sleep Center at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia
, and her colleagues created an interactive database of the children's sleeping habits. That information went into creating the Customized Sleep Profile used on the Johnson's site, which includes what parents and infants did in the minutes and hours before going to sleep, coupled with studies on the most effective practices for inducing sleep.
Here's how it works: Plug in our baby's name and age and you'll be guided through a series of questions about the child's sleeping habits. Do you rock the baby to sleep, or give her a bath? Read a book? Feed her or drive her around in the car trying to lull her to sleep?
In just a few seconds, a personalized, just-what-the-experts ordered customized program appears on your screen tailored to address specific sleep behaviors for you and your baby.
"One thing that I was astonished about, in just one week, we saw dramatic improvements," Mindell tells Time.
Previously fussy babies reduced the number of times they awoke at night and the length of time they were awake by up to 50 percent and also took less time to fall asleep, she adds.
"Whatever the parent inputs, the recommendations provided are based on that input," Mindell tells Time.
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