The recommendation to “sleep when your baby sleeps” may have additional benefits than just helping parents feel more rested. A recent study examined the association between maternal napping postpartum and mother-child interactions. There were 2 goals of this study. The first was to describe postpartum mothers’ sleep patterns at about 5 months postpartum. The second was to see if maternal napping positively affected mother-child interactions. Even though the study itself was small, with 23 mothers of babies averaging about 5 months of age, the results are intriguing. Here are the findings:
- Mothers were awake an average of 49 minutes per night after they fell asleep for the night.
- Among the 23 mothers, 57% napped, and of those who napped, they did so 2.3 times per week on average.
- Over 60% of this group reported clinically significant symptoms of fatigue during the day.
- Napping frequency was not different between mothers who stayed home vs. those that worked full- or part-time.