Researchers have claimed that a mother's beliefs even before her baby is born predict how well her infant will sleep at night later.
According to researchers in Israel, if an expectant mum thinks that babies who cry at night are suffering distress and need comforting and soothing back to sleep, then her newborn is likely to wake more frequently during the night than if she believes babies should learn to settle themselves.
AdvertisementIn the study, published in the latest issue of the journal Child Development, researchers found that mums-to-be who believed crying babies needed their mums - or dads - tended, once their child was born, to be more active in trying to soothe them, cuddle them, feed them or let them snuggle up in the parental bed to try to get their baby back to sleep.
As per the research, the downside was that the more a baby's mum tried to help her child sleep, the worse that child's sleep then became, reports The Independent.
"Increased parental involvement at bedtime and at night predicted a higher number of reported night wakings at 12 months," said Liat Tikotzky and Avi Sadeh.
In order to reach the conclusion, researchers followed 85 mothers through pregnancy and the first year of their baby's life.
The flipside was that expectant mothers who felt it important to "limit parental night-time involvement [and use] less active soothing" techniques would go on to have infants who slept better.