Stressed out: Studies show babies become anxious if ignored for even two minutes by motherBy Fiona Macrae
To investigate whether six-month-olds are capable of anticipating trouble, the Canadian researchers invited 30 mothers and babies into their laboratory and divided them into two groups.
Babies were placed in car seats and their mothers played with them and talked to them as normal.
The play was then interspersed with two-minute periods in which the mother simply stared over her child's head, keeping her face free of emotion.
The next day, she took her child back to the laboratory. Levels of cortisol were measured several times on both days. Amounts of cortisol shot up when the babies were ignored.
They then fell off, before rising again when the youngsters were taken back into the laboratory, despite them not being ignored on the second day....
Researcher Dr David Haley, of the University of Toronto, said: 'The results suggest that human infants have the capacity to produce an anticipatory stress response that is based on expectations about how their parents will treat them in a specific context.'
Professor Jay Belsky, of Birbeck College, University of London, said factors such as depression could affect a mother's relationship with her baby and send cortisol levels soaring time and time again.
This could lower a baby's immune system, while a troubled upbringing may also mean the child going on to become a less than perfect parent itself.
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Sadly, people still refuse to accept that ignoring their baby, letting him or her "Cry it out" , effects their child physically and emotionally. I know that on the two occasions that my baby monitor failed and I didn't hear my youngest- now just 6 months old- crying immediately, he show signs of distress every time I walked away from him for days afterwards. Seeing that panicked look on his face was just torture to me, and I'd spend hours holding and hugging him and consoling him- telling him over and over "I'm so sorry I didn't hear you!"....
Hopefully more and more studies of this type will be picked up by the mainstream media. Parents need to stop ignoring their protective instincts and answer their babies needs immediately, instead of listening to misguided so-called "parenting experts" who tell them not to allow that manipulative baby to get their own way and "be spoiled rotten"!
There is a reason that babies cry: it's because they need you.