Parenting and sleep in early childhood

Curr Opin Psychol. 2017 Jun:15:118-124. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2017.02.016. Epub 2017 Mar 18.


The development of sleep is influenced by complex interactions between biologically driven forces and diverse socio-environmental factors. Among those factors, parents have a critical role. The present review focuses on new studies regarding the links between parenting and the development of sleep in early childhood in the context of a transactional model. Recent findings from longitudinal studies and large cohort studies highlight the contribution of various parenting factors, such as parental bedtime behaviors, parental cognitions, cry tolerance, maternal mood, stress, and the parents' couple relationship, to the development of child sleep. Recent research also demonstrates the effectiveness of behavioral sleep interventions in which parents are the main agents of change in the behavioral aspects of child sleep.

Publication types

  • Review