If baby is having sleep problems, you’re not resting much, either. You’ve probably tried all the tips your family and friends have given you: lullaby-singing, breastfeeding, rocking, white noise machines. You might have even read Go The F—k to Sleep in one last, desperate attempt to get baby to catch some zzz’s. In all of this, you’ve probably worried about how this lack of sleep could affect your newborn’s development. But have you been worrying about how it might affect your health?
Parents are more likely to be depressed and anxious about their parenting skills if baby can’t sleep, according to a study published on Thursday in the journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. Researchers found that, apart from parents being generally tired, parents who were more worried that they couldn’t help baby’s sleep problems tended to have higher levels of depression. It’s a new look at the issue of infant sleep problems that can have important consequences, a press release says.
“We have a fairly good idea how parental depression can negatively impact children’s development and parental attachment,” says lead author Wendy Hall. “But we know less about how kids’ sleep can affect their parents’ mental health.”
The survey looked at 253 families from British Columbia whose infants weren’t sleeping well and parents didn’t already experience depression. They tested a sleep intervention program in which public health nurses helped parents navigate information about infants’ sleep and problem-solve when issues arose. They found that parents tended to…