Real-World Implementation of Infant Behavioral Sleep Interventions: Results of a Parental Survey

Sarah M. Honaker, Amy J. Schwichtenberg, Tamar A. Kreps, Jodi A. Mindell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe parental practices implementing behavioral sleep intervention (BSI) outside a clinical setting. Study design: Parents (n = 652), recruited through a Facebook group designed as a peer support group for parents using BSI, completed an online survey about their experience using BSI with their infant or toddler. Results: On average, parents implemented BSI when their infant was 5.6 (±2.77) months. Parents most often used modified (49.5%) or unmodified extinction (34.9%), with fewer using a parental presence approach (15.6%). Regardless of BSI type, more parents endorsed “a great deal of stress” during the first night (42.2%) than 1 week later (5.2%). The duration of infant crying was typically greatest the first night (reported by 45%; M = 43 minutes) and was significantly reduced after 1 week (M = 8.54 minutes). Successful implementation of BSI on the first attempt was reported by 83%, with a median and mode of 7 days until completion (79% by 2 weeks). Regardless of BSI type, after intervention parents reported their infant had less difficulty falling asleep, fewer night awakenings, and were more likely to sleep in their room and/or in their own crib/bed. Conclusions: The majority of parents report successfully implementing BSI, with significantly reduced infant crying by the end of 1 week and success within 2 weeks. Few differences were found between behavioral approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-111.e2
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • extinction
  • sleep training
  • toddler

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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