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The mothers of 180 preschool children were interviewed in their homes in a survey of feeding preferences and sleeping behaviour. We report here on the differences in current sleeping patterns and the age at which night feeds were dropped. There are clear differences in these two behaviours according to whether the baby was breast or bottle fed, and this result is not explicable in terms of social class. Night feeds disappear more slowly in the breast fed infant, and the problem of night waking both in the first year of life and when at nursery school appears to be associated with earlier breast feeding. The importance of such a finding is discussed in relation to the advice offered to mothers by health professionals.

Original publication




Journal article


Child Care Health Dev

Publication Date





309 - 319


Adult, Breast Feeding, Child Development, Child, Preschool, Circadian Rhythm, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Infant, Infant Food, Male, Sleep, Social Class, Wakefulness