Infant sleep arrangements, infant-parent sleep, and parenting during the first six months post-partum

Douglas M. Teti, Kaitlin M. Fronberg, Heidi Fanton, Brian Crosby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The present study of 124 families examined linkages between patterns of sleep arrangement use across the first 6 months post-partum and (a) family socio-demographics, (b) nighttime sleep of infants, mothers, and fathers, and (c) coparenting distress, and mothers’ emotional availability with infants and bedtime. Families were recruited when infants were 1-month-old, and infants were classified, from video data available at 3 and 6 months post-partum, into one of three sleep arrangement pattern groups: Solitary sleep, cosleeping, and cosleeping (at 3 months)-to-solitary sleep (at 6 months). Mothers in cosleeping arrangements were more likely to be at higher socioeconomic risk, non-White, unemployed, and to have completed fewer years of education. Controlling for these variables and for duration of breast feeding and parental depressive and anxiety symptoms, subsequent 3 (sleep arrangement pattern) X 2 (infant age: 3 and 6 months) mixed-model analyses of covariance revealed that sleep arrangement patterns were more robustly linked with maternal sleep than with infant and father sleep. Mothers in cosleeping arrangements experienced more fragmented sleep and greater variability in fragmented sleep relative to mothers of infants in solitary sleep, and fathers in cosleeping arrangements showed greater variability across the week in the number of minutes of nighttime sleep. Cosleeping was associated with mother reports of less positive and more negative coparenting, and mothers in cosleeping arrangements were independently observed to be less emotionally available with their infants at bedtime compared to mothers in the other two sleep arrangement groups. These linkages were largely upheld after statistically controlling for mothers’ stated preference for sleep arrangements they were using.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101756
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
StatePublished - Nov 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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