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Sleep, baby, sleep: parents' behavior has direct impact on children’s slumber
Date:4/8/2008

Montreal, April 7, 2008 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 Universit de Montral study published in the April issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 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.

Some 987 mothers and fathers with five-month-old tots were recruited to answer questionnaires about their children. Parents detailed their offsprings 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 Valrie Simard, from the Department of Psychology at the Universit de Montral and its affiliated Sacr-Coeur Hospital, who completed her study with colleagues Tor Neilsen, Richard Tremblay, Michel Boivin and Jacques Montplaisir.

The study asked parents to report on their own behavior at their childs 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 childrens 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 w
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Contact: Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins
sylvain-jacques.desjardins@umontreal.ca
514-343-7593
University of Montreal
Source:Eurekalert

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