Problematic pre-school sleeping and feeding: is there a common link?
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Problematic feeding and sleeping is an unrelenting issue for many parents. Research has identified that childhood obesity may be related to both areas. These are two aspects of development very heavily influenced by parents. This study therefore addresses the question “is there a relationship between problematic sleeping and feeding in infants?” It further considers whether parenting style is a common link between the two. Nineteen parents of children aged between 18 and 48 months were interviewed about their parenting strategies in general, and more specifically about feeding and sleeping behaviours of their children. They also completed diaries and questionnaires. The data was analysed to ascertain whether there was a relationship between feeding and sleeping problems and whether these problems related to a number of parenting measures. Strategies utilised by parents to handle feeding and sleeping problems were also ascertained. The sample that volunteered for this study did not report sleeping and feeding problems so information about these problems was derived from diary measures. Feeding and sleeping problems were evident on these measures and parents employed numerous different strategies to handle them. There was no difference evident in the strategies adopted by parents of preschoolers with and without sleep and feeding problems. There was no evidence that problems in sleeping and feeding were correlated and there were no correlations between feeding and sleeping problems and any of the other parental measures.