Ignored babies suffer stress

Babies who don’t get any attention for two minutes become anxious, according to a US study

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A study has found that babies produce higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol if they are completely ignored for two minutes or longer.

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But it doesn’t mean that you have to have constant contact with your baby 24 hours of the day!

The research by the University of Toronto found that babies from the age of six-months feel stressed and anxious when they were ignored. The results were based on a study with 30 mums and babies. The babies were put in car seats and played with by their mums but interspersed with two-minute periods, where the mums completely ignored the babies.

When the baby’s cortisol levels were measured, they found that they were higher after the baby was ignored. However, the results were based on mums playing with the baby and then stopping suddenly, which perhaps understandably left the baby feeling confused and upset.

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“The results suggest that infants have the capacity to become stressed based on expectations about how their parents will treat them,” Dr David Haley who led the study said.

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