Caregiver perceptions of sleep problems and desired areas of change in young children

Jodi A. Mindell, Meghan Collins, Erin S. Leichman, Alex Bartle, Jun Kohyama, Rini Sekartini, Montida Veeravigrom, Robert Kwon, Daniel Y.T. Goh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To explore the prevalence of and relationship between caregiver-reported sleep problems and sleep-related desired areas of change in young children (0–36 months) in a multinational sample. Methods: Caregivers (96.5% mothers) of 2219 young children (birth to 3 years; M = 13.7 mos; 49.8% male) completed an online survey including an abbreviated Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire-Revised (BISQ-R) and questions about desired areas of change regarding their child's sleep. Data were collected in six countries (Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and United States). Results: Overall, 35% of caregivers reported a sleep problem and nearly all (96%) indicated a desired area of change, with 76% endorsing changes in 3 or more categories (bedtime/falling asleep, overnight, morning, and naps). Desiring a change in their child's sleep was universal across age group and country, with those perceiving a sleep problem more likely to endorse an area of change than those without a sleep problem. Overall, the top change categories were bedtime (80%), naps (74%), and overnight (67%). Top specific areas of change related to sleeping for longer stretches, waking up later in the morning, and having an earlier bedtime. Conclusions: Although one-third of caregivers perceived that their child had a sleep problem, nearly all caregivers identified desired areas of change related to their child's sleep, across the first three years of life and all countries. Sleep education, such as normalizing sleep challenges that are developmentally appropriate, is warranted for all families of young children, regardless of whether sleep problems are endorsed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalSleep Medicine
Volume92
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Bedtime routine
  • Infant sleep
  • International
  • Sleep goals
  • Toddler sleep

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