Infant sleep in the first year of life: common patterns, predictors and consequences
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 14:58 authored by Hannah Fiedler
Despite the known benefits of sleep for developing infants, there remains limited knowledge about the patterns, predictors and developmental consequences of sleep during infancy. This thesis used prospective data from 448 NSW mothers and offspring, across gestation and early infancy, to examine the nature, predictors and consequences of infant sleep. Measures included the Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire, the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scales, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-III. Statistical analyses included Pearson' s correlation; repeated measures ANOVA, multiple regression and structural equation modelling. The thesis provided new knowledge in three areas. First, examination of infant sleep patterns over the first year of life found that sleep reduced consistently. Second, infant sleep and maternal mental health were found to be bidirectionally related over time. Finally, higher quality and duration of infant sleep in the first 8-weeks of life predicted increased cognitive and language development scores at 12-months of age. This thesis improves the understanding of sleep in the first year of infancy and identifies numerous critical predictors and consequences of infant sleep. Implications of these findings in relation to assessment, education, and intervention of infant sleep and its related concomitant factors are discussed.