Objective. In an attempt to foster selfsoothing during the night, a novel sleep aid infused with maternal odor was introduced to 4 groups of infants ranging in age from 3 to 12 months. Infants' use of parent-provided sleep aids also was examined. Methodology. Nighttime sleep and waking behaviors were videotaped for 2 consecutive nights on 3 occasions over a 3-month interval. Using all-night video recording, the study examined the infant's use of a novel sleep aid and parent-provided sleep aids during sleep onset and after nighttime awakenings. Results. Results indicated that infants of different ages differed in the types of sleep aids used when falling asleep either at the beginning of the night or after awakenings in the middle of the night. More 3-month-olds used their thumbs/fingers/hands, whereas more 6-month-olds used soft objects. The 6-month-olds were most likely to use the novel sleep aid. Almost all of the infants at all 4 ages used some type of object during the night. Intra-individual analyses showed that infants tended to change their pattern of sleep aid use over the 3-month study period. Conclusions. The data provide evidence that infants during the first year of life use sleep aids frequently and interchangeably rather than a specific favorite object.
- Sleep aids
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health