crying babies at risk of brain damage
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babies who are left to cry are at greater risk of developing problems later in
life, a childcare expert said.
Long periods of crying can damage developing brains, leading to learning
difficulties later in life, said Dr Penelope Leach, author of the 1977 book
Your Baby And Child: From Birth To Age Five
"It is not an opinion but a fact that it's potentially damaging to leave babies
to cry," she said.
Leach's theory is contrary to popular child-rearing beliefs that a baby should
be allowed to cry for up to 20 minutes.
"A baby who is left crying for long enough will eventually stop, but not because
he has learned to go to sleep happily alone, but because he is exhausted and has
despaired of getting help," she said.
She added continued crying led to the increased production of the "stress
hormone" cortisol. Long periods of crying produced so much cortisol that it
could damage a baby's brain, reports
"That doesn't mean that a baby should never cry, or that parents should worry
when she does. All babies cry, some more than others. It's not the crying that
is bad for babies - but crying that gets no response," Leach said.
-IANS / Times of India