Background: Infants' ability to fall back to sleep without parental involvement may reduce nighttime feeding frequency. Objective: We describe the associations between infant-only wake bouts (“self-soothing”) and nighttime feeds using actigraphy from 6 to 24 weeks of age. Methods: Mother-father-infant triads (N = 20) wore sleep monitors, and mothers recorded infant night feeds, when infants were 6, 15 and 24 weeks of age. Actigraphy data were matched within-families to quantify infant-only wake bouts (infants woke; mothers/fathers remained asleep). Mixed models tested associations between infant-only wake bouts and night feeding frequency. Results: The proportion of infant-only wake bouts/night increased from 6 to 15 weeks of age (6 weeks: 52% [95% CI: 45-59]; 15 weeks: 64% [57-71]; 24 weeks: 62% [55-69]; P <.01). For every 10% increase in the proportion of infant-only wake bouts/night, there were 0.36 fewer feeds/night (P <.01) at 24 weeks; these concurrent associations were not found at 6 and 15 weeks. The proportion of infant-only wake bouts/night at 6 weeks predicted a faster rate of decline in the number of feeds/night from 6 to 24 weeks (P <.01). Conclusion: Infants' ability to fall back to sleep without parent involvement at 6 weeks was associated with the trajectory of nighttime feeding frequency across early infancy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Health Policy
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health