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Mother's anxiety linked to baby's sleep patterns

Research focuses on factors that can influence baby's sleep routine.
Babies born to mothers who suffer from anxiety or depression prior to conception are more likely to have trouble sleeping in early childhood, research suggests.

Findings of a study published in the official journal of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies show that infants aged six months to a year have a higher risk of waking through the night if their mother experienced anxiety before pregnancy.

The report indicated that maternal anxiety or depression could be linked to a 23 per cent higher chance of the disruptive sleep patterns during the night for babies at six months.

Relaxation is not only important for the wellbeing of expectant mums but also for their unborn baby.

A separate study conducted by the Murdoch Children's Research Centre in Melbourne found that allowing babies over six months old to cry for 20 minutes helps aid better sleep.

According to the researchers, this "controlled crying technique" - approved by Australia's Maternal and Child Health Nurses - teaches the infant to fall asleep independently.

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