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Mother-baby dyad interaction and sleep-wake cycle development: a longitudinal study of the newborn during the first year of life.


Introduction: Sleep is an active state, responsible in the early years of life for the Central Nervous System maturation processes. Sleep is so important in young infants that its need is increased in this age group. Thus, few aspects of child health have as significant an impact on well-being as sleep disorders, especially considering the characteristics of modern life and its effect on the family environment.


Objective: To monitor the development of the sleep-wake cycle of infants (from birth to twelve months) and to correlate the results for two groups of mother-baby dyads: a study group, composed of emotionally fragile mothers, due to prenatal diagnosis of a structural alteration in their childs; and a control group of dyads with no diagnosed changes.


Methods: We followed 50 mother-baby dyads at six different stages of their lives: first as a newborn and then at two, four, six, nine and twelve months old. The mothers completed both the Infant Behavior Questionnaire - Revised and the Sleep Habit Questionnaire for Babies Under 12 Months - CSHQ-I when their infants were nine months of age. The former questionnaire allows the assessment of a variety of domains (such as Feeding and Sleeping) by checking how often certain behaviors tend to manifest.


Results: The infants kept the inclusion criteria with typical development according to the screening and evaluation protocols used. In addition, there was a significant difference between some statistical variables, but these did not include variables that verified the quality of the Sleep construct. Finally, there was no significant difference regarding the analysis of the grouped variables of all domains.


Conclusion: The presence of structural alteration in the baby had no negative effect on sleep-wake cycle development. Some babies had difficulties such as frequent nighttime awakenings, sleeping resistance, infant dependence to fall asleep alone, and excess electronic devices, but these characteristics did not reach statistical significance between the groups. Therefore, the development of the sleep-wake cycle in the first year of life deserves especially individualized attention and care, considering its immense importance in the child's future development.


Key words: sleep-wake cycle, sleep in infants, mother-baby dyad.


Área Básica


Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais - Minas Gerais - Brasil


Vera Cristina Alexandre Souza, Thyene de Vilhena, Vinícius Barbosa de Oliveira Silva, Pedro Henrique de Vilhena, Alexei Manso Correa Machado, Alexei Manso Correa Machado, Lêni Márcia Achieta, Lêni Márcia Achieta, Erika Maria Parlato-Oliveira, Erika Maria Parlato-Oliveira