It may tug on your heartstrings, but allowing children to cry is an important part of their development, says Julie Mallon, a UK-qualified midwife, health visitor and sleep consultant who works for the UAE-based childcare and parenting-support service Babies and Beyond.

In an era of gentle parenting, we often assume that crying is one of the worst things for our children, and seek to put a stop to it as soon as possible. But this denies children of the ability to express their feelings fully, says Julie, which can lead to significant problems in later life. Instead we should offer reassurance and comfort, but without the intention of stopping the crying (although she does not recommend this strategy for babies under the age of six months).

What do you think? Watch her video explanation here: