Poor Infant Sleep Habits Linked to Negative Toddler Behavior & Attention Problems

Most people know that poor sleep habits in adulthood can be detrimental to health and mental well being. As you might suspect, poor sleeping habits are bad for babies too.

Baby SleepingA scientific study conducted and published by Developmental Neuropsychology indicates that lower quality of sleep in infancy significantly predicted compromised attention regulation and behavior problem in toddlers.

What counts as lower quality of sleep? This can include things like broken sleep patterns and frequently waking, Its important to research and track normal sleeping habits for babies so you know what to look for, and what to avoid doing.

Avi Sadeh, lead author and professor of Tel Aviv University’s School of Psychological Sciences, stated, “Our findings…support the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of sleep problems in infants and young children. Early interventions for infant sleep problems, very effective in improving sleep quality, could potentially improve later attention and behavior regulation.”

In the study, a sample of 87 babies were observed. One year old infants were examined and their sleep was tracked through a wrist device that monitored sleeping patterns. When the babies turned 3 to 4 years of age their behavior and attention was assessed through a computerized test, along with self-reports from parents. Although a small scale study, it showed a significant correlation to poor sleep habits and negative behavior & attention problems.

Never underestimate the important of good sleeping habits when taking care of your baby.