Module 2: How Babies Sleep & Eat
Conversations Approach

2.5 Talk Back

We wish we could talk with you individually to hear your thoughts, concerns, reservations, or anticipated challenges in using the Conversations Approach. We have provided some common questions and concerns that have been shared about using the Conversations Approach and responses that may be useful to you.

  1. I really don’t have much time with families. How can I add even more information to my interactions?

    You can really cover this information very quickly. It is mostly important to let parents know that others may expect the baby to sleep through the night very soon, but that is not typical and that feeding extra probably won’t help. Let them know how little babies can actually eat at one time. You can then ask them how they plan to get support for themselves when they get home. If they have developed a plan before the baby is born, remind them to use it. If they have not, connect them with someone who can help them think through their support system. You do not have to work that out with them in your short time with them. Suggesting a plan is just as important as giving the recommendations for safe sleep and breastfeeding, because without some help when they are sleep deprived, they may not follow through on implementing safe sleep and breastfeeding.

  2. Is there any evidence that sleep deprivation drives decisions about safe sleep and breastfeeding?

    While there are qualitative studies where families express this concern, a more recent observational study of how and where families put their infants to sleep provides more support for this idea. Batra, (2016) actually filmed families in their homes to see where and how they put their infants to sleep. A large proportion did not implement safe sleep practices the first time they placed their babies to sleep. In addition, after being awakened during the night, even more families chose an unsafe sleep behavior. They were tired and wanted to just get back to sleep—this impacted their decisions.