Early Bedtimes for Babies May Help Avoid Adulthood Obesity

By Samantha Finch, Parent Herald July 04, 12:00 am
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Early bedtimes for babies can help lower their chances of being overweight adults. A study by researchers from the Penn State College of Medicine in the United States found that good bedtime routines can help babies achieve a healthy weight when they grow up.

According to the research, babies with a good bedtime routine are less likely to be overweight at age one, Daily Mail reported. Babies who are obese during the first few years of their lives have difficulties shedding off that excess weight in adulthood, resulting in obesity or overweight problems.

Obese people have high risks of developing serious health illnesses. That includes hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea and breathing problems, osteoarthritis, some cancers, and mental disorders like anxiety and depression, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed.

Feeding A Crying Baby Isn't Always The Answer

Aside from early bedtimes, the research team also advised parents to let their babies cry themselves to sleep if they woke up during the night instead of feeding them. Jennifer Savage, one of the study's researchers, said feeding may be the easiest way to calm a baby, but it could give health repercussions when the child isn't hungry at all, Daily Mail added.

With this, they could over eat and end up overweight. Babies also learn to put themselves back to sleep when they don't have expectations that their parent would pick them up and feed them.

Ian Paul, one of the study's authors, said parents have misconceptions about their babies' bedtimes. Parents assume that the longer they keep their babies up the more likely they sleep longer in the night and wouldn't wake up.

Paul stressed that this belief is wrong, adding that babies who are up longer have less sleep in the night. Rather, earlier bedtimes help babies have better and longer sleep. Babies who are four to 12 months old need 12 to 16 hours of sleep, Time reported.

Babies Crying Out -Is It Always Good?

Sleep experts said babies have better sleep and wake less often during nighttime if they are left to calm themselves, according to Independent Online. The practice benefits both the babies and their parents, given that adults tend to have more sleep if they don't have to wake up a few times each night to soothe the child.

However, there are also times when it's not advisable to let babies cry it out. It should be avoided when babies are sick, if a mother is breastfeeding, if their cries sound different than usual and if they've been crying for too long periods, Romper listed.

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