Parents sought for help in infant sleep study

CQUNIVERSITY has launched one of the most comprehensive studies into community perspectives regarding sleep and settling strategies for infants and toddlers.

Researcher Hayley Etherton, from CQUniversity's Appleton Institute in Adelaide, said while sleep experts know that the impact of sleep and settling problems in young children is extensive (up to 40% of new parents), they know little about the strategies and methods used by parents to cope with sleep issues and the decisions to pursue some and not others.

"A range of strategies and interventions are available to treat sleep and settling problems, some more widely known and available than others. Suggestions have been made by researchers and health professionals that some parents may not be happy with some recommended strategies or interventions, and therefore may be left struggling to manage sleep and settling issues.

"Therefore, it is important that we understand caregivers' choices regarding sleep and settling in their children and reasons for or against uptake of strategies and interventions in order to maximise treatment options for parents in need and at risk."

An online survey for parents of infants and toddlers aged 6 to 18 months was launched in early December and will continue for the next six months.

Parents are encouraged to participate in the survey by visiting the research group's Facebook site.

"Our research findings will be used to understand the factors which assist parents to seek or receive help with sleep and settling issues, in order to develop strategies for improving availability, delivery, and uptake of information and interventions," Ms Etherton said.

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