Crying, feeding and sleeping patterns in 1 to 12-month-old infants

Child Care Health Dev. 1990 Mar-Apr;16(2):99-111. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.1990.tb00642.x.


The crying, feeding and sleeping patterns of 270 infants 0-12 months old were studied using a 24-hour schedule included in a questionnaire given to mothers visiting four well-baby clinics in Finland in 1987-88. Of these infants 78 were under 3, 84 were 3-5, 65 were 6-8 and 43 were over 9 months old. The results showed that the infants less than 3 months old slept on average 15.2 hours per day, whereas those over 9 months slept 13.4 hours. The sleeping periods were longer at night. Continuous night-time sleep for at least 6 hours was noted in 35% of the infants under 3 months old and the proportion increased to 72% by the age of 9-12 months. The youngest infants were fed on average 6-7 times per day at 2- to 3-hour intervals in the daytime and at 4- to 6-hour intervals at night. The number of feedings decreased slightly with age. The average total crying time decreased from 1.6 hours per day for the youngest group to 1.1 hours for the 9-12 months old. At the time of the study, 23 mothers felt the need for help because of excessive crying or night waking. The help needed ranged from information about colic and child care, help with housework or the baby and encouragement. Of the mothers who needed help, a significantly higher proportion had a first-born baby compared with those not in need of help. There were also significant differences in the mothers' perception of the cry and feelings towards it.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arousal
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Crying*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Infant*
  • Reference Values
  • Sleep*