Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sleep, Baby, Sleep: Parents' Behavior Has Direct Impact On Children's Sleep Problems

Date:
April 13, 2008
Source:
University of Montreal
Summary:
Parents who want their babies to sleep through the night would be wise to avoid co-sleeping arrangements or feeding their children evening snacks beyond early infancy. The way parents put their babies to bed has a direct impact on how well children sleep when they reach 4 to 6 years old, according to a new study.

Five month old baby sleeping. Parents who want their babies to sleep through the night would be wise to avoid co-sleeping arrangements or feeding their children evening snacks beyond early infancy.
Credit: iStockphoto/Liudmila Breusova

Parents who want their babies to sleep through the night would be wise to avoid co-sleeping arrangements or feeding their children evening snacks beyond early infancy. According to a Université de Montréal study the way parents put their babies to bed has a direct impact on how well children sleep when they reach four to six years old.

Related Articles


Some 987 mothers and fathers with five-month-old tots were recruited to answer questionnaires about their children. Parents detailed their offspring's psychological characteristics, socio-demographic factors and sleep habits until they reached six years in age. They also recorded sleep habits or disturbances: bad dreams, total sleep time and delays in falling asleep.

"Few studies have investigated how parenting can affect sleep in children," explained lead researcher Valérie Simard, from the Department of Psychology at the Université de Montréal and its affiliated Sacré-Coeur Hospital, who completed her study with colleagues Toré Neilsen, Richard Tremblay, Michel Boivin and Jacques Montplaisir.

The study asked parents to report on their own behavior at their child's bedtime. For instance, whether parents lulled children to sleep, laid them down awake, or stayed with them until they slumbered. Mothers and fathers were also questioned on how they reacted to night awakenings -- did they comfort children in bed, take them out of bed, give them food or bring them to the parental bed for co-sleeping."

Predictors of sleep

The researchers found that the manner 29-to-41-month-old toddlers were put to sleep influenced how they would slumber between the ages of four to six. Parenting behaviors that most affected children's sleep included:

  • Giving children food or drink after they awoke, which provoked bad dreams, sleep of less than 10 hours or delays in falling back asleep.
  • Co-sleeping with children when they awoke delayed their falling back asleep by 15 minutes.

Staying with children at the beginning of sleep, conversely, appeared protective against delays in slumber. "Giving children food or drink -- effective parenting strategies for early sleep problems -- can later become inappropriate," said Simard. "Since mothers come to believe that infants cry only when hungry, they might adopt an inappropriate response of giving food or drink when 29 to 41-month-old toddlers awake, which in turn causes bad dreams and shorter total sleep when children reach four to six years old."

Beyond parental behavior, Simard cautions, babies can develop poor sleep patterns on their own that affect them into preschool years and beyond. "Parents often opt for co-sleeping as a reaction, but co-sleeping is not the best option to prevent future sleep difficulties. Co-sleeping and other uncommon parental behaviors have negative consequences for future sleep."

Journal reference: Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008;162[4]:360-367.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Montreal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Montreal. "Sleep, Baby, Sleep: Parents' Behavior Has Direct Impact On Children's Sleep Problems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080407160748.htm>.
University of Montreal. (2008, April 13). Sleep, Baby, Sleep: Parents' Behavior Has Direct Impact On Children's Sleep Problems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080407160748.htm
University of Montreal. "Sleep, Baby, Sleep: Parents' Behavior Has Direct Impact On Children's Sleep Problems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080407160748.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) — While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) — European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) — According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) — Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins