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How do Digital Age parents cope with their infants at night?

by Helen Ball, BSc, MA, PhD
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits:
  • Learning Format: Webinar
  • Handout: Yes
  • Origin: GOLD Lactation 2015

The sleep of young babies is biologically driven, firstly by feeding patterns and the limitations of brain development, and over time by an emerging circadian clock. The sleep patterns of parents are environmentally driven, by work and social schedules, 24-hour culture and use of digital technology. How do parents ‘manage’ night-time infant care and the sleep conflicts inherent in contemporary life? How are digital media influencing parental knowledge, expectations, and behaviour? Our research finds an emerging dichotomy in maternal ‘sleep narratives’ that are reinforced by the use of phone apps to monitor and manage infant sleep, online discussions where mothers share their experiences and techniques, and websites promoting infant sleep products. The potential for using digital media to inform parents about babies’ biological needs at night will be explored using examples from our experiences of developing and implementing website, phone app, social media and video podcast information sources for infant sleep.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: To understand the basis for contemporary variation in infant and parental sleep

Objective 2: To understand how parents use digital technology to support their night-time care practices

Objective 3: To discover ways to use digital media to help parents make informed choices about infant sleep

Categories: Infant Sleep,