Infant sleeping and feeding patterning: A cultural perspective on maternal practices

Orly Sarid, Yana Shraga


Aim: To compare practices of Israeli native-born and soviet immigrant mothers in relation to the sleeping and feeding routines of their three, six and twelve month old infants.

Methods: Seventy mothers of infants up to the age of twenty-four months, half native born and half immigrant from the Former Soviet Union (FSU), reported sleep and feeding patterning for their infants at three, six and twelve months. Mothers were matched by socio-demographic characteristics of age, marital status and education. Infant’s age and gender were matched as well. Issues addressed included feeding method, adherence to feeding and bedtime schedules, age of infant when mother return to work outside the home.

Results: FSU mothers share a similar feeding and sleeping pattern for their six and twelve month old infants, while native born mothers keep diverse and flexible feeding routines.

Conclusions: We suggest that maternal practices reflect cultural norms. In the case of Soviet culture, a developmental-
educational approach emphasizes the parental role in modifying and adjusting child’s behavior, while Israeli culture encourages parental responsiveness to the individual child’s specific needs.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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