Research evidence is limited regarding developmentally appropriate care. Variations exits with respect to test procedure type, infant age at testing, and test relatedness.
To assess developmental continuity using multiple developmental measures from birth to 12 months in a single cohort of term infants.
A secondary analysis, longitudinal, correlational design was used to assess developmental continuity in a single cohort of infants (n 27). Measures included: sleep, using the Motility Monitoring System (first 48 hours of life); temperament, using the Infant Characteristics Questionnaire (ICQ, 6 months) and the Revised Infant Temperament Questionnaire (RITQ, 12 months); problem-solving, using the Willatts Infant Planning Test (PS, 9 and 12 months); and the Fagan Test of Infant Intelligence (FTII, 6 and 9 months).
Using Spearmen correlation, significant correlations included: (1) Sleep and ICQ: transitional sleep and “unpredictable” (r 0.455, P .017), “unadaptable” (r 0.420, P .026), and “dull” (r 0.416, P .028); (2) ICQ and FTII 6 months (r −0.512, P .008); (3) RITQ “approachability” and quiet sleep (r 0.662, P .005); (4) arousals in active sleep and PS at 9 months (r −0.528, P .016).
Implications for Practice:
Given our reported continuity between early sleep and later developmental measures, sleep-wake state should be considered in caregiving and environmental control to support sleep. Parental education on facilitating sleep-wake regulation in the home environment is essential.
Implications for Research:
These data support the existence of continuity between early sleep and later developmental milestones warranting a larger-scale investigation. Specific focus on development of care strategies for facilitating sleep immediately following birth is warranted.