Child sleep habits and maternal perception throughout the child's first year of life
Keywords:Child, Sleep, Mothers
Introduction: in children’s health, sleep plays a significant role, especially in physical and cognitive maturation and in the abilities to deal with stress, regulate emotions and socialize.
Objective: to analyze children’s sleep habits during the first year of life and factors associated with nighttime awakenings according to maternal perceptions.
Methods: a longitudinal, prospective study, with follow-up of 144 mothers and their children in the first month, third/fourth month and 12th/13th month of age, in a medium-sized city in the interior of São Paulo, Brazil. Sleep habits were analyzed using measures of central tendency and dispersion and valid association tests Chi-square and Fisher’s exact, significance level α=0.05.
Results: the predominant place where children sleep is the same room and bed as the parental caregivers. Most children sleep in the lateral and dorsal decubitus position. Mean sleep time was 12:30h in the first month, 11:30h in the third/fourth month and 11:24h in the 12th month. Mean nighttime sleep time increased and daytime sleep decreased. From the first month to the 12th month of life, there were no changes in nocturnal awakenings. Perception of sleep as a problem increased from 4% to 9% among participants.
Conclusion: three moments in the first year of life show characteristics of children’s sleep habits, about where children sleep, sleeping position, average sleep time and nocturnal awakenings, suggesting the importance of information obtained longitudinally. Nocturnal awakenings were associated with the occurrence of weaning and the maternal perception about child sleep as a problem.
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