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Pediatrics. 1988 Jun;81(6):762-71.

Infant temperament, sleep organization, and nighttime parental interventions.

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  • 1Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Brown University Program in Medicine, Providence, Rhode Island.


Objective measures of sleep-wake organization derived from time-lapse video recordings were compared with parental perceptions of infant temperament in 23 infants 6 months of age. Although both mothers' and fathers' ratings of infant temperament were correlated with variables reflecting sleep continuity, results for fathers were much more striking. Infants who required care giving during the night were rated as significantly more difficult and arrhythmic by fathers than by mothers. All infants awakened during the night. Some of them soothed themselves and returned to sleep; however, others signaled and required care giving interventions from their parents before returning to sleep. No differences in variables reflecting the biology of sleep distinguished "signaling" infants and "self-soothing" infants, although feedings at bedtime (breast or bottle) were more common in the signaling group.

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