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J Paediatr Child Health. 2012 Mar;48(3):268-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2011.02251.x. Epub 2011 Nov 22.

Infant and toddler sleep in Australia and New Zealand.

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1
Department of Sleep Medicine, Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, New South Wales, Australia. A.Teng@unsw.edu.au

Abstract

AIMS:

To characterize sleep patterns and sleep problems in a large sample of young children (birth to 36 months) in Australia (AU) and New Zealand (NZ).

METHODS:

  Parents and caregivers of 2154 infants and toddlers in AU and NZ completed an expanded version of the Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire.

RESULTS:

Overall, young children in AU and NZ go to bed relatively early (19:35), awaken on average 1.08 times per night for an average of 23 min, have a low likelihood of bed-sharing with parents (7.2%) and obtain an average of 13.24 h total sleep. However, a significant percentage of parents perceive that their child has a sleep problem (30.69%). Sleep patterns in these children demonstrate clear developmental changes, including a decrease in daytime sleep and total sleep time, as well as consolidation of sleep during the night (decrease in night wakings and nocturnal wakefulness). Parents in AU and NZ are also highly likely to encourage independence and self-soothing, especially after the age of 3 months.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings provide parents and professionals reference data for assessing sleep in young children, as well as common parenting practices related to sleep behaviours.

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