Behaviour Problems in Young Children: Assessment and Management

By Jo Douglas | Go to book overview

Chapter seven

Bedtime and sleep problems

Parents of young children often face extensive night-time disturbance. The stress caused by this problem can be very great and some parents have chronically disturbed sleep for five or more years, especially if they have more than one child. Although adults can adjust to reduced amounts of sleep their reserves of emotional energy become depleted and they are likely to be more irritable, prone to mood changes, and less patient. This can affect both the marital relationship and the parent-child relationship.


Prevalence

Frequent night waking occurs in about 20 per cent of 1-2-year-olds, 14 per cent of 3-year-olds and 8 per cent of 4-year-olds (Jenkins et al. 1980; Richman et al. 1975). Richman (1981a and b) carried out a survey of 771 children with sleep disruption and found the following rates of disturbance in the 1-2-year-age range:

56 per cent woke up to one night a week

24 per cent woke between two and four nights a week

20 per cent woke between five and seven nights a week.

Of these children, 10 per cent were considered to have a severe waking problem. This was defined as having existed for more than three months, waking five or more nights a week as well as either waking three or more times a night, being awake for more than twenty minutes in the night, or going into the parents’ bed.

There are also differences in the level of disturbance that

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Behaviour Problems in Young Children: Assessment and Management
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgements x
  • Chapter One - Introduction: Causes of Behaviour Problems 1
  • Chapter Two - Assessment of the Problem 16
  • Chapter Three - Positive Parenting 36
  • Chapter Four - Setting Limits 48
  • Chapter Five - Eating and Feeding Difficulties 67
  • Chapter Six - Toilet Training 94
  • Chapter Seven - Bedtime and Sleep Problems 116
  • Chapter Eight - Emotional Problems 135
  • Chapter Nine - The Overactive and Hyperactive Child 155
  • Chapter Ten - Crying Babies 176
  • References 191
  • Index 215
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