Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 19, Issue 7, pp 1616–1623 | Cite as

The Relationship Between Planned and Reported Home Infant Sleep Locations Among Mothers of Late Preterm and Term Infants

  • Kristin P. Tully
  • Diane Holditch-Davis
  • Debra Brandon


To compare maternal report of planned and practiced home sleep locations of infants born late preterm (34 0/7 to 36 6/7 gestational weeks) with those infants born term (≥37 0/7 gestational weeks) over the first postpartum month. Open-ended semi-structured maternal interviews were conducted in a US hospital following birth and by phone at 1 month postpartum during 2010–2012. Participants were 56 mother–infant dyads: 26 late preterm and 30 term. Most women planned to room share at home with their infants and reported doing so for some or all of the first postpartum month. More women reported bed sharing during the first postpartum month than had planned to do so in both the late preterm and term groups. The primary reason for unplanned bed sharing was to soothe nighttime infant fussiness. Those participants who avoided bed sharing at home commonly discussed their fear for infant safety. A few parents reported their infants were sleeping propped on pillows and co-sleeping on a recliner. Some women in both the late preterm and term groups reported lack of opportunity to obtain a bassinet prior to childbirth. The discrepancy between plans for infant sleep location at home and maternally reported practices were similar in late preterm and term groups. Close maternal proximity to their infants at night was derived from the need to assess infant well-being, caring for infants, and women’s preferences. Bed sharing concerns related to infant safety and the establishment of an undesirable habit, and alternative arrangements included shared recliner sleep.


Infant sleep Bed sharing Infant safety Late preterm infant United States 



This research was supported by 2KR251106 from the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Science Institute awarded to Kristin P. Tully and Duke University School of Nursing support to Diane Holditch-Davis and Debra Brandon. The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development Training Grant T32HD007376 funded Kristin P. Tully.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristin P. Tully
    • 1
  • Diane Holditch-Davis
    • 2
  • Debra Brandon
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Developmental Science, Carolina Global Breastfeeding InstituteUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.School of NursingDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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