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Rock-a-bye Baby: Infant care and parenting around sleep

This research is a part of a wider international study which explores infant sleep amongst various ethnicities and cultures. This study has explored infant sleep practices in New Zealand, with a specific focus on Māori child rearing practices. This study aimed to firstly, explore what techniques Māori parents use to get their ppi to sleep (2 months- 2 years of age). Secondly, this study aimed to understand the various factors that influence parents’ decisions to use their particular method e.g. Parent assisted approaches (rocking, co-sleeping, bed sharing breastfeeding to sleep), or self-soothing infant sleep methods (cry it out, controlled comforting). Mixed methods were used to collect the data for this study. Overall, 562 primary caregivers/parents completed the survey component of this study with 11 percent identifying as Māori. A further 10 were taken from the survey sample and participated in face to face interviews. The results show that parent assisted techniques such as rocking, lying down with baby, and feeding to sleep were the most practiced approach to infant sleep for Māori whanau across the survey and interview findings. Participants within the interview study that used parent assisted techniques to initiate infant sleep were also more likely to bed-share with their babies. Self- soothing techniques such as controlled comforting and cry it out were practiced by a number of parents within the survey and interview groups The findings from this study suggest that a number of different factors influence parenting style. Survey data found that culture, books, magazines, online material and advice from family were the most influential factors in parenting styles. The interviews findings suggest that the convenience of an approach, whanau influence, being a parent of more than one child, environmental factors, healthcare recommendations, safety and culture all influenced aspects of their approaches to infant sleep.
Type of thesis
Jones, H. M. (2017). Rock-a-bye Baby: Infant care and parenting around sleep (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11460
University of Waikato
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