Objectives: This study examines videotaped sleep in infancy in an attempt to predict the development of disturbed sleep during toddlerhood. In addition, a tentative classification scheme that quantifies night waking and sleep onset problems in young children is proposed.
Method: The sleep patterns of 33 children were assessed at two points in time. At 12 months of age (time 1), sleep was videotaped on two consecutive nights. A self-soothing/signaling index for 12-month-olds was constructed. At time 2 (mean age = 39 months), a follow-up telephone interview assessed current sleep patterns and the presence or absence of sleep problems.
Results: The data suggest that the self-soothing/signaling index obtained at 12 months of age predicts night waking approximately 2 years later.
Conclusions: The preliminary classification scheme for night waking and sleep onset problems in young children warrants further study. Night waking in toddlers might be predictable from sleep behaviors at 1 year of age.