New research has come closer to settling the age-old argument between parents on whether there is a right way to put a baby to sleep.
Despite two of the country's most trusted child health centres now recommending parents sleep in the same room as their child, in a move away from the traditional self-settle methods, a credible study has revealed neither technique is wrong.
Infant health expert Dr Stephen Matthey, who co-authored the report published in the journal Early Human Development, compared results from 16 families to determine the effectiveness of the two approaches.
He found both treatments were effective in creating better sleep habits for the child.
But a growing use of online social networking groups for parents and a never-ending stream of information on the internet have fuelled confusion for sleep-deprived and frustrated parents over how best to get their baby to sleep.
Parental presence involves either camping out next to the baby's cot or feigning sleep until the child is no longer awake.
Controlled crying, or self- settling, requires parents to settle their babies only when they absolutely require it.
Two major Eastern States child health centres - Tresillian and Karitane - now recommend parental presence for babies over six months old while local child health centre Ngala and the WA Government's Healthy WA website both advise not to practise controlled crying.
Ngala fields 20,000 calls from parents each year, the majority of which relate to sleep queries, while they consult with another 1500 families face-to-face.
Ngala child health nurse Kim Johnson said it was important babies felt safe and were given every opportunity to develop emotionally. She recommended parents responded every time the child cried because it was the baby's way of communicating.
"Can you imagine falling asleep crying and no one seems to care? A lot of research has told us during the first few years of life we are fully dependent on our care givers to help us formulate our emotions and to learn about our world and it's really important that they learn that positively," Ms Johnson said.