Some Baby Sleep Problems Are Not Just a Phase

New research points to longer-term issues

Posted by The Baby News

Baby sleep - or lack of it - is a hot topic in new-mom conversations, and sleep deprivation is an expected part of new parenthood. But most people expect that by the time the baby starts walking, the nighttime thing will be a whole lot easier and everyone can catch up on their missed shuteye.

According to a new study, that's wishful thinking. One in 10 babies and toddlers have trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep or sleeping in their own beds; and researchers say that of these sleep-challenged babies, around one in 4 will have a sleep problem as they grow through the preschool years.

Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Ohio surveyed more than 250 moms at regular intervals when their babies were between 6 and 36 months old, asking about their children's sleep behaviors. As the children grew up, many of those who had trouble falling or staying asleep as babies developed nightmares or restlessness as preschoolers. Only the kind of sleep disturbance changed. On the other hand, most of the babies who slept well had no sleep disturbances when they grew older.

The upshot of the study, which was published in Pediatrics: If you're getting some halfway decent sleep now, chances are you can look forward to being fairly well rested in the future. And if you have a sleep resister on your hands, just remember: About 2 in every 3 or 4 babies does grow out of sleep problems! And yours will be one of them. Right?

Is your baby in the 10% or the 90%? Bad sleeper or good sleeper?


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