Infant sleep problems and interventions: A review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Infant sleep problems have been the focus of a growing literature over the last few years. The current review is based on literature searches of Pubmed and PsycInfo for studies published over the last few years including randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses on infant sleep problems and resulting developmental effected, risk factors and interventions. Several risk/protective factors for sleep problems have been identified including health literacy, TV in the room, feeding, close contact and arousing activities at bedtime, intolerance for infant crying, co-sleeping, maternal depression and infant temperament. Cross-cultural differences have been noted both for infant sleep problems and parents’ perceived distress by those problems. A number of interventions have been tried to ameliorate infant sleep problems including consultations, teaching sessions on extinction and bedtime fading, internet-based interventions and nighttime massages by parents. Some of these studies have shown improvements and others have suggested only short-term or negligible effects. Significant methodological problems exist with this literature including the almost sole use of parent report as well as the mixed age samples and the potential confounding variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-53
Number of pages14
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
StatePublished - May 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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