The effect of preventive guidance on infants’ sleep and parents' well-being

Miriam Fink Lavi*, David Mankuta, Julia Tamir Doljansky, Yoav Kohn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Sleep problems in infants negatively affect quality of life and mental health of both babies and parents. Appropriate guidance for parents can assist in prevention. We assessed whether a preventive behavioral plan, emphasizing dissociation of feeding from sleep, can encourage independent sleep induction in newborns, enable uninterrupted sleep and reduce maternal depression. Methods: Sixty-one mothers were recruited up to one month postpartum. Thirty-two were selected randomly to receive preventive sleep guidance. Twenty-nine served as controls. Mothers kept daily records of their infants’ sleep up to 3 months postpartum. At endpoint participants filled out the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Results: There were less night awakenings among the intervention group (1.25 vs. 3.58; p<0.05). These mothers reported significantly less tiredness and lower stress levels and had a trend towards less symptoms of depression. Conclusions: We suggest that preventive sleep behavioral guidance can be effective in sleep consolidation of infants and reduction of fatigue and stress among mothers. Our results call for more studies on early intervention programs as a means to reduce the impact of continuous sleep deprivation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019

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