Never Wake a Sleeping Baby? Why Depressed Moms Don’t Follow that Advice

Sleep deprivation pretty much goes with the territory of new parenthood. The mantra, Never wake a sleeping baby, would seem to go without saying, but researchers have found that depressed and excessively anxious moms may actually be fueling their own exhaustion by waking their babies at night.

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For years, researchers have known that infants of mothers who are depressed tend to wake up more at night. But why that was happening wasn’t clear. Was there a shared genetic mechanism whereby both depressed mothers and their babies were more sensitive and easily awakened? Was something else going on? The only way to truly tell was to take a peek at nighttime parenting, which researchers at the Pennsylvania State University did. >


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