Sleep is critical for child health, but factors related to poverty create barriers to the achievement of healthful sleep. In this study, we examined the associations of insufficient diaper supply, a measure of material hardship, with child sleep.
This cross-sectional study included 129 parents of very young children. Each participant responded to an online material hardship assessment and the Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire–Revised. Multiple linear regression was used to analyze the relationship between diaper need and sleep.
Controlling for family and socioeconomic variables, diaper need was associated with disrupted, shorter sleep periods (β = −11.95, p < 0.001) and lower total sleep scores (β = −6.49, p = 0.004). High diaper need was associated with parent perception of poor sleep (β = −7.28, p = 0.017).
The findings suggest that an inadequate supply of diapers adversely affects children's sleep. Further research should evaluate how screening and connecting families to resources may improve pediatric sleep.