Babies and Sleep : Infant Mental Health for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Infant Mental Health for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

IMH4PNP Blog

Babies and Sleep

by Sallie Porter on 06/27/12

 People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one. ~Leo J. Burke

I am reading an article that is a good start for PNPs wanting a basic introduction to sleep and children in primary care: Evaluating Sleep and Sleep Disorders in the Pediatric Primary Care Setting by Debra A. Babcock MD.  It is from the Pediatric Clinics of North America 58 (2011) 543-554. Doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2011.03.001

The article imparts that in infancy when it comes to evaluating sleep AGE AND DEVELOPMENTAL STAGE COUNT. As the infant matures their sleep needs and processes change.

The PNP should:

  • Share with parents normal sleep parameters, and the ‘physiologic processes of sleep’, and stages of sleep.
  • The importance of back to sleep positioning.
  • Discuss risks of cosleeping and impact on nighttime arousals.
  • Support parents around stress related to their baby’s sleep habits.
  • Discuss with parents how to develop good sleep habits in their older infant including set bedtimes and a pre-sleep routine.

For more information on infants and sleep: http://www.imh4pnp.com/Sleep.html

The June 2012 issue of Contemporary Pediatrics also has two articles that may be of interest to blog readers on:

1.  Adolescent Anxiety Disorders and 2.  Postpartum Depression: http://digital.healthcaregroup.advanstar.com/nxtbooks/advanstar/cntped_201206/index.php

Infant Mental Health for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Tip: Before a visit ends try to find a positive aspect of this particular mother-infant relationship to comment verbally upon. And if you can’t find something, be sure to get the family the help it needs to improve the parent-infant relationship. 

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