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dc.contributor.authorRudzik, Alanna E. F.
dc.contributor.authorBall, Helen L.
dc.identifier.citationRudzik AEF, Ball HL. 2021. Biologically normal sleep in the mother-infant dyad. American Journal of Human Biology. 2021;e23589.
dc.description.abstractObjectives: We examine infant sleep from evolutionary, historico‐cultural, and statistical/epidemiological perspectives and explore the distinct conceptions of “normal” produced by each. We use data from the “Sleeping Like a Baby” study to illustrate how these perspectives influence the ideals and practices of new parents. Methods: The “Sleeping Like a Baby” study investigated maternal–infant sleep in north‐east England. Sleep data for exclusively breastfeeding (EBF) and formula‐feeding (EFF) dyads were captured every 2 weeks from 4 to 18 weeks postpartum through actigraphy and maternal report. Mothers also reported their infant sleep ideals and practices. Results explore objective and maternally‐reported infant sleep parameters, and concordance of maternal ideals and practices with public health guidance. Results: Comparison of sleep measures showed that mothers overestimate infant sleep duration compared with actigraphy; EFF mothers' reports were significantly more inaccurate than those of EBF mothers. For infants moved to a separate bedroom, maternally‐reported sleep increases were not borne out by actigraphy. Across the study period, concordance of maternal ideal sleep location with public health recommendations occurred on average for 54% of mothers, while concordance in practice fell from 75% at 4–8 weeks to 67% at 14–18 weeks. Discordance for EBF dyads occurred due to bedsharing, and for EFF dyads due to infants sleeping in a room alone. Conclusions: Beliefs about “normal” infant sleep influence parents' perceptions and practices. Clinical and scientific infant sleep discourses reinforce dominant societal norms and perpetuate these beliefs, but biological and evolutionary views on infant sleep norms are beginning to gain traction with parents and health practitioners.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipDurham University International Junior Research Fellowship (COFUND) program; Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research; National Science Foundationen_US
dc.rightsAttribution 4.0 International*
dc.subjectInfant sleepen_US
dc.titleBiologically normal sleep in the mother-infant dyaden_US
dc.source.journaltitleAmerican Journal of Human Biologyen_US
dc.description.institutionSUNY Oneontaen_US

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Attribution 4.0 International
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution 4.0 International