Quality of naps in infants across home and early childhood education centre settings
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Education
Limited research has been done on naps, particularly in early childhood education centres (ECECs). The present study followed a study by Torok (2009) with sleep-disturbed infants in ECECs. The objective of the current study was to examine the quality of naps in infants described as “typical sleepers” across two settings: the home and the early childhood education centre (ECEC). Two males and two females, ranging in age from 15- to 17-months contributed to four case studies. These were: i) an infant transitioning to the ECEC; ii) and iii) infants described as “settled” in an ECEC; and iv) an infant reported to have sleeping difficulties at home after the occurrence of a major earthquake. Observations from digital recordings were coded to determine sleep states and patterns. The findings across each case study were: i) naps varied in both settings during the infant’s transition to an ECEC but settled in both settings once the infant was “settled” at the ECEC; ii) naps tended to be consistent across both settings in the “typical sleepers” who were settled at the ECEC; and iii) naps at home were varied in the infant reported to have reacted to the earthquake while her naps at the ECEC were consistent. Overall findings suggested that total nap periods tended to be longer at home, sleep efficiency tended to be higher at the ECEC, and that participants tended to engage in more active sleep than quiet sleep. Caregiver presence was a major difference between the home and ECEC setting. This study demonstrated differences and similarities across both settings with infants described as “typical sleepers”. This is an important area due to the increasing number of infants attending ECECs (Statistics NZ, 2010). Several directions for future research have been presented.