Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

King, Sondra L.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Family, Consumer, and Nutrition Sciences


Infants--Sleepages; Infants (Newborn)--Nutrition


Parents of young infants frequently have difficulty getting a good night’s sleep. They often seem willing to try any reasonable remedy to assist their infants to sleep through the night. This study was designed to describe and evaluate common attitudes, beliefs, and practices of participants in a ruralcounty Women, Infants, and Children Supplemental Food Program (WIC) toward the impact of infant food intake on infant sleep habits. Subjects in this study completed a questionnaire regarding their own beliefs and practices toward feeding infants. Questionnaires were selfadministered during routine infant visits to the WIC clinic. Subjects were requested to complete questionnaires prior to visiting with the WIC nurse or nutritionist. Survey participants were clients in a rural-county WIC program in central Illinois. Surveys were provided to mothers whose infants were less than 6 months of age, when attending routine WIC visits. A convenience sample was obtained with fifty-eight (58) usable surveys. Approximately half the surveys obtained were from first-time mothers, with the other half coming from mothers with older children. Data analysis techniques attempted included Chi-square, analysis of variance, frequencies, and means. The overall survey findings suggested that WIC mothers believed that food intake affects infant behavior. In particular, they believed that cereal assists infants in sleeping longer at night. In addition, mothers tended to believe in initiating solid infant foods at less than the currently recommended ages. Survey findings revealed a need for continued education regarding appropriate infant feeding practices. Such education should be sensitive to mothers’ desires to respond to the needs of their infants, while providing recommendations in a way which is most likely to be accepted. Education should also attempt to include important members of mothers’ social support system.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [35]-39)


60 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type