Sleep practices and nap quality in infants transitioning to early childhood education centres: Comparing naps in the home and centre
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Little literature currently exists on naps in infancy, particularly in Early Childhood Education (ECE) settings. This study follows previous research by Stuart (2011) on children attending ECE Centres. The objective of the current study was to examine the architecture of naps in infants who were transitioning to attendance at an ECE Centre. Four males and one female aged between 4 and 11 months contributed to five case studies. Digital video recordings were made of participants napping in two settings: the home and the ECE Centre. Baseline recordings were made in the home only, and recordings were made in both settings as infants transitioned to the ECE Centre, and once they were deemed to be “settled” at the centre. The recordings were then coded to determine sleep states and amount of caregiver interaction. The results showed that all infants displayed a reaction to the transition to ECE attendance. However, the transition to the ECE Centre had a minimal effect on most infants’ home naps. Overall, naps were longer and more efficient at home than at the ECE Centre, and infants engaged in more Active Sleep than Quiet Sleep in both settings. Caregiver interaction during naps also differed between the settings. This is an important area of study as attendance at ECE Centres in New Zealand is increasing (Ministry of Education, 2011b), and as such, suggestions for future research have been made.