Early nighttime parental interventions and infant sleep regulation across the first year

Sabrina T. Voltaire, Douglas M. Teti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Sleep quality in early life has implications for individual and family well-being [19]. Parenting in the early months may be highly influential on infant sleep patterns and trajectories. Method: This study used observational and survey data to investigate how sleeping arrangement and two types of nighttime interventions at one and three months (non-distress-initiated and distress-initiated) are associated with infants’ sleep development across the first nine months. Distress-initiated interventions were identified as parents’ responses to infants’ distress signals whereas non-distress initiated interventions were identified as parents’ behaviors in response to non-distressed vocalizations or while infants were asleep. Results: Analysis from 107 families revealed that infant night wakings decreased over time as expected. The link between early non-distress initiated interventions and rate of change in infant night wakings was significantly moderated by sleep arrangement such that solitary sleeping infants who experienced higher levels of non-distress-initiated interventions showed a less steep decline across time in infant night wakings compared to solitary infants who experienced low levels of non-distress-initiated interventions. Results also showed that higher levels of distress-initiated interventions at one and three months were associated with a steeper decrease in infant night wakings for both solitary and cosleeping infants. Notably, these findings were not replicated when parental interventions as predictors of infant sleep were examined at later points in the first year. Conclusions: Results inform conceptualizations of parenting competence in infant sleep contexts during the first few months of life and how best to promote infant sleep regulation across the first year.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-115
Number of pages9
JournalSleep Medicine
Volume52
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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