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Infants not getting full-night sleep by 6 to 12 months old not more prone to issues later: study

A new study published last month in the journal “Pediatrics” said parents need not fret if their infants aren’t getting a full night’s sleep by the time they’ve reached by 6 months and one year of age, Sleep Review reported.

The study, "Uninterrupted Infant Sleep, Development, and Maternal Mood," defined a full night of sleep as between 6 and 8 hours without interruptions. The researchers studied the sleeping patterns of 388 infants at 6 months of age, and another 369 infants at one year of age.

Of the 6-month-old group, 38 percent of their mothers reported their infants not sleeping a full 6 hours, while more than half the mothers reported their infants not sleeping 8 hours, the report said. Of the 1-year-old group, 28 percent weren’t sleeping a full 6 hours, while 43 percent weren’t sleeping a full 8.

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According to the report, the researchers determined that infants who wake up in the middle of the night are not more prone to developing issues with cognitive, language, or motor development. The researchers also found no link between a mother’s postnatal mood and infants waking up in the middle of the night.

The researchers did determine a connection between infants who wake up during the night and breastfeeding – which they said offers benefits for both infants and mothers.

The study advised parents to invest more time in education about infants’ sleep-wake cycles rather than devoting energy to interventionist methods.

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