Approximately 25% of infants wake regularly at night and need help in resettling. The purpose of this study was to implement and evaluate a brief intervention to prevent such night waking. The study used a prospective cohort design with historical controls. Information from the control group was collected at the 9-month visit. The intervention group was enrolled at the 4-month visit. The intervention consisted of information about sleep-onset associations, completion of a sleep chart, and discussion about sleep with the pediatrician. The outcome was also measured at the 9-month visit. To obscure the purpose of the study, the outcome questionnaire for both groups addressed feeding and sleeping. One hundred twenty-eight (74%) of 172 eligible infant-parent pairs comprised the control group and 164 (74%) of 222 the intervention group. The majority of families were white, married, and well-educated. The groups were similar with regard to sociodemographic variables and factors thought to be related to night waking such as current breast-feeding, thumb/pacifier sucking, maternal isolation, and parental perception of difficult child. At 9 months of age, the intervention infants were reported to experience 36% less night waking per week compared with those in the control group (2.5 vs 3.9 wakings per week, P = .02). Frequent night waking was twice as common in control infants (27% vs 14%, P = .01). It is concluded that this pediatric intervention can help parents reduce night waking in infants.
- Received March 22, 1991.
- Accepted May 15, 1991.
- Copyright © 1992 by the American Academy of Pediatrics