Do formula-fed infants sleep more than breastfed infants?

Submitted by: EZabel 110

Yes, formula-fed infants do sleep more than breastfed infants. The vast majority of studies in this list came to this conclusion.
This short answer was generated by aggregating the answers that each of the 14 studies below gave to the question (as indicated by State of K members) and adjusting for source quality and other factors. If key studies are missing or the answers attributed to individual studies are incorrect, the above answer could be wrong.

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All answers are assigned by State of K users. The label Mixed means that a study found some evidence to indicate that the answer to the question is "yes" and some evidence to indicate that the answer is "no". This label is often applied when a study uses two or more proxies to study the same phenomenon (i.e. firearm sales figures and self-reported firearm ownership rates as proxies for the prevalence of firearms) and the proxies yield different results when looking for correlations with another phenomenon (i.e. firearm-related deaths). Alternatively, the label may be applied if the phenomenon under study (i.e. whether breast milk improves cognitive function) is true for one group, but not another (i.e. true for girls, but not for boys). The label Insuff. Evidence means that a study found there was insufficient evidence to reach a conclusion regarding the question. The label No Data means that State of K wasn't able to identify the study's response to the question based on the information that was available. This label is often applied when the person creating the list does not have access to the full text and the answer isn't clear from the abstract.

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Exclusive breastfeeding at three months and infant sleep-wake behaviors at two weeks, three and six months.
"This study assessed infant sleep-wake behavior at two weeks, three and six months as function of feeding method at three months (exclusively breastfed, partially breastfed, and exclusively formula fed infants). Mothers of 163 first-born, full-term, normal birth weight, healthy infants completed socio-demographic, depression, anxiety, and infant sleep-wake behavior measures. No effects were found for sleep arrangements, depression or anxiety, on feeding methods and sleep-wake behavior at three months. At two weeks exclusively breastfed infants at three months spent more hours sleeping and less hours awake during the 24-h period than partially breastfed infants. At three months, exclusively breastfed infants had a shorter of the longest sleep period at night than exclusively formula fed infants. At six months, exclusively breastfed infants at three months spent more hours awake at night than partially breastfed infants, awake more at night than exclusively formula fed infants, and had a shorter sleep period at night than partially breastfed and exclusively formula fed infants. This study showed differences in sleep-wake behaviors at two weeks, three and six months, when exclusively breastfed infants are compared with partially breastfed and exclusively formula fed infants at three months, while no effects were found for sleep arrangements, depression or anxiety.Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved."
Bárbara Figueiredo
Cláudia Castro Dias
Tiago Miguel Pinto
Tiffany Field
2017 in Infant behavior & development
Infant sleep and night feeding patterns during later infancy: association with breastfeeding frequency, daytime complementary food intake, and infant weight.
"Infant sleep is a common concern for new parents. Although many expect a newborn infant to wake frequently, encouraging a baby to sleep through the night by a few months of age is seen as both a developmental aim and a parenting success. Many new mothers believe that their infants' diet is related to their sleep; formula milk or increased levels of solid food are often given in an attempt to promote sleep. However, the impact of these in later infancy is not understood. In the current study 715 mothers with an infant 6-12 months of age reported their infants' typical night wakings and night feeds alongside any breastfeeding and frequency of solid meals. Of infants in this age range, 78.6% still regularly woke at least once a night, with 61.4% receiving one or more milk feeds. Both night wakings and night feeds decreased with age. No difference in night wakings or night feeds was found between mothers who were currently breastfeeding or formula feeding. However, infants who received more milk or solid feeds during the day were less likely to feed at night but not less likely to wake. The findings have important implications for health professionals who support new mothers with infant sleep and diet in the first year. Increasing infant calories during the day may therefore reduce the likelihood of night feeding but will not reduce the need for parents to attend to the infant in the night. Breastfeeding has no impact on infant sleep in the second 6 months postpartum."
Amy Brown
Victoria Harries
2015 in Breastfeeding medicine : the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
Breastfeeding and infant sleep patterns: an Australian population study.
"Objective: Our purpose was to determine if babies breastfed at 6 months of age were more likely to wake at night and less likely to sleep alone than formula-fed babies.Patients And Methods: Data were drawn from the first wave of The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, an ongoing, nationally representative study of the growth and development of Australia's children. The 4507 participants met the criteria for this study. The measures examined infant sleep problems as the outcome and breastfeeding at 6 months of age as the exposure in addition to the demographic data, maternal mental health, infant birthweight and gestational age at delivery.Results: After adjustment for covariates, reports by mothers of infants that breastfed at 6 months of age suggested infants were 66% more likely to wake during the night and 72% more likely to report difficulty sleeping alone. However, breastfeeding had a strongly protective effect on wheezing, coughing, snoring and breathing problems, and it was not associated with restless sleep or problems getting to sleep for the infant.Conclusions: Breastfeeding was found to be associated with increased night waking and this is consistent with other studies. There are biological reasons why this might be required to ensure breastfeeding continues to 6 months and beyond. The current low rates of sustained breastfeeding in many Western countries needs to be reconsidered in relation to parental and public health practices promoting prolonged nocturnal infant sleep patterns."
Megan Galbally
Andrew J Lewis
Kerri McEgan
Katherine Scalzo
Fm Amirul Islam
2013 in Journal of paediatrics and child health
Effect of current breastfeeding on sleep patterns in infants from Asia-Pacific region.
"Aim:   The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between breastfeeding and sleep patterns in infants from Asia-Pacific region.Methods:   Parents of 10 321 infants (0-11 months) from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam completed an expanded version of the Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire.Results:   Overall, 4714 (45.72%) were currently being breastfed; 61.3% of those between 0 and 5 months and 36.6% of those between 6 and 11 months. Currently breastfed infants, when compared with not currently breastfed infants, had a significant increase in the number and duration of night-time wakings and less consolidated sleep. Interestingly, currently breastfed infants less than 6 months also showed longer duration of daytime sleep and obtained more sleep overall. Of note, of those who were currently breastfed, those infants who were nursed back to sleep during night, woke up more often at night (2.41 vs. 1.67 times) and had shorter continuous night-time sleep period (5.58 vs. 6.88 h; P < 0.001). There was no significant difference between breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding infants in the number of night wakings, when the nursing to sleep variable was controlled for in the analysis of variance.Conclusion:   Breastfeeding is associated with reduced sleep consolidation in infants. This relationship, however, may be moderated by parenting practices of nursing to sleep and back to sleep during the night. Thus, parents of infants with night waking problems should be encouraged to limit the association between nursing and falling to sleep, to improve sleep while maintaining breastfeeding."
Mahesh Babu Ramamurthy
Rini Sekartini
Nichara Ruangdaraganon
Duy Houng T Huynh
Avi Sadeh
Jodi A Mindell
2012 in Journal of paediatrics and child health
Breastfeeding may improve nocturnal sleep and reduce infantile colic: potential role of breast milk melatonin.
"Unlabelled: Melatonin is secreted during the night in adults but not in infants. It has a hypnotic effect as well as a relaxing effect on the smooth muscle of the gastrointestinal tract. It is plausible that breast milk, which consists of melatonin, may have an effect on improving infants' sleep and reducing infantile colic. Our first goal was to assess the differences in the prevalence and severity of infantile colic and nocturnal sleep between breast-fed infants and supplement-fed infants. The second was to characterize the profile of melatonin secretion in human breast milk compared to artificial formulas. Ninety-four mothers of healthy 2 to 4-month-old infants filled a questionnaire regarding irritability/potential infantile colic and sleep characteristics. For the second part, we measured melatonin levels in breast milk of five women every 2 h during 24 h and in three samples of commonly used artificial formulas. Exclusively breast-fed infants had a significantly lower incidence of colic attacks (p = 0.04), lower severity of irritability attacks (p = 0.03), and a trend for longer nocturnal sleep duration (p = 0.06). Melatonin in human milk showed a clear circadian curve and was unmeasurable in all artificial milks.Conclusions: Exclusive breastfeeding is associated with reduced irritability/colic and a tendency toward longer nocturnal sleep. Breast milk (nocturnal) consists of substantial melatonin levels, whereas artificial formulas do not. We speculate that melatonin which is supplied to the infant via breast milk plays a role in improving sleep and reducing colic in breast-fed infants compared to formula-fed ones."
Anat Cohen Engler
Amir Hadash
Naim Shehadeh
Giora Pillar
2012 in European journal of pediatrics
Night waking in Thai infants at 3 months of age: association between parental practices and infant sleep.
"Background And Purpose: Night waking is common among infants and can create sleep deficit in both parents and infants. Sleep practices are influenced by cultural variations which may affect the prevalence and associated factors of frequent night waking. Our objective was to determine whether differences in parental practices related to infant sleep are associated with frequent night waking in Thai infants.Methods: A cross-sectional survey based on interviews with parents of infants aged three months, birth weight greater than 2500 g, conducted under the Prospective Cohort study of Thai Children (PCTC).Results: Of the total sample, 82.9% (3172 of 3826) of parents provided completed night waking information. The mean number (+/-standard deviation [SD]) of awakenings per night was 2.7+/-1.1, 47.3% awoke 1-2 times per night, and 46.9% awoke 3-4 times per night. The group of frequent night wakers (more than 14 night wakings per week, n=1634) was compared with the group of infrequent night wakers (n=1538). Significant and independent associations were present between frequent night waking and male gender (odds ratio [OR] of 1.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3-1.8), more than three naps per day (OR, 1.3; CI, 1.1-1.5), use of a swinging or rocking cradle (OR, 1.5; CI, 1.2-1.98), falling asleep while feeding (OR, 1.3; CI, 1.1-1.5), and breastfeeding only (OR, 1.2; CI, 1.1-1.4). No significant association was noted between frequent night waking and parental age, education, occupation, household income, type of parental response to infant's nighttime crying, or type of diaper.Conclusion: An association with frequent night waking was demonstrated with various factors of parental practice related to infant sleep, such as number of naps, use of a swinging or rocking cradle, breastfeeding only, and falling asleep while feeding. Further documentation of these associations may be clinically important. Implementing preventive interventions may be able to reduce frequent night waking in early infancy."
Wanaporn Anuntaseree
Ladda Mo-suwan
Punnee Vasiknanonte
Surachai Kuasirikul
Arinda Ma-a-lee
Chanpen Choprapawan
2008 in Sleep medicine
Intrinsic and extrinsic factors associated with night waking in 9-month-old infants.
"This study examined relations between infant night waking and both daytime behaviors reflective of poor behavioral and emotional regulation (intrinsic factors) and parent behaviors that may contribute to infant night waking (extrinsic factors) in 41 infants. Mothers completed questionnaires and an infant sleep and crying diary. More time awake at night was related to separation distress, frequent daytime crying, dysregulation, co-sleeping with parents, breast feeding, and being put to bed asleep. More frequent waking was related to separation distress, frequent daytime crying, co-sleeping, and breast feeding. The combination of intrinsic and extrinsic factors predicted night waking better than behaviors from one category alone. Implications for parenting are discussed."
Cheryl W DeLeon
Katherine Hildebrandt Karraker
2007 in Infant behavior & development
Breastfeeding, bed-sharing, and infant sleep.
"Background: Expectations for infant sleep development and for the appropriate degree of parental proximity for infant sleep are culturally weighted and historically shifting aspects of parenting behavior, and are known to affect breastfeeding prevalence and duration. This paper examined how new parents managed night-time feeding in the first 4 months, with a particular focus on the relationship between breastfeeding, infant sleep location, and sleep bout duration.Methods: Sleep logs and semistructured interviews were used with a sample of 253 families in North Tees, United Kingdom, to explore how parents responded to their infant's sleep patterns, how breastfeeding parents managed night-time feeding, and whether bed-sharing was a common strategy.Results: A clear relationship between breastfeeding and parent-infant bed-sharing was demonstrated. Some evidence indicated that bed-sharing may promote breastfeeding.Conclusions: An understanding of the role of infant feeding practice on infant sleep and parental caregiving at night is a crucial element in breastfeeding promotion and enhancement of infant health. Health professionals should discuss safe bed-sharing practices with all parents."
Helen L Ball
2003 in Birth (Berkeley, Calif.)
Differential effects of breast- and formula-feeding on preterm infants' sleep-wake patterns.
"Objective: To compare sleep-wake patterns of breastfed and formula-fed preterm infants.Design: Data were taken from an exploratory study of infant biorhythm maturation. Parents completed a 24-hour diary of infant Sleep, Awake, and Cry states and feedings, recorded at 30-minute intervals. Infant health data were collected from medical records and parents' reports.Setting: Infants were studied in the home after discharge from a neonatal intensive-care unit.Participants: The convenience sample included 12 breastfed and 25 formula-fed preterm infants (gestational age, 26-33 weeks; corrected postnatal age, 4-6 weeks). Groups were comparable in terms of gestational age, postnatal age, Apgar scores, maternal age, and home environment.Main Outcome Measure: The 24-hour recording period was divided into day (0600-1800) and night (1800-0600). Study variables were Day, Night, and 24-hour Sleep, Awake, and Cry.Results: Breastfed preterm infants exhibited more Day Cry and 24-hour Cry than did formula-fed infants. Infants demonstrated a diurnal pattern in Cry, Awake, and Sleep. Breastfed preterm infants cried approximately 1 hour per day more than formula-fed infants.Conclusion: Preterm breastfed infants experienced more cry than did formula-fed infants. The relationship between feeding method and sleep-wake pattern has implications for supporting lactation as well as for research design."
K A Thomas
2000 in Journal of obstetric, gynecologic, and neonatal nursing : JOGNN
Crying, fussing and colic behaviour in breast- and bottle-fed infants.
"Persistent infant crying and "colic" have been linked in some studies to feeding, but this association has not been tested in a planned longitudinal study comparing breast- with formula fed babies. We used validated maternal diaries of infant behaviours, kept for three days at both two and six weeks of infant age, in a comparative study of 97 breast- or formula fed babies. The total duration of overall crying rose significantly between 2 and 6 weeks in breast-fed infants and fell in those fed formula. At 6 weeks, breast-fed infants cried an average of almost 40 minutes more per day than formula fed infants; and 31% cried for more than three hours per day, compared with only 12% of the formula fed group. At six weeks, breast-fed infants also slept almost 80 minutes less per day than the formula fed babies. While six weeks is the established peak age for infant crying, those fed formula peaked much earlier and at 2 weeks intense crying/colic behaviour occurred in 43% of formula fed babies and just 16% of those fed by breast. These findings link the timing of the infant crying peak to the mode of feeding. Our data indicate that any regimen designed to reduce crying should commence in the neonatal period in formula fed infants."
A Lucas
I St James-Roberts
1998 in Early human development
Disturbed nights and 3-4 month old infants: the effects of feeding and thermal environment.
"Parents completed a prospective diary of a night's sleep for 87, 3-4 month old infants at home whose body temperatures were continuously recorded. We found that about half of the babies disturbed their parents in the night. Breast fed babies were more likely to wake parents in the middle of the night. The babies who disturbed their parents in the middle of the night were significantly more heavily wrapped in significantly warmer rooms. We suggest that discomfort from efforts at active thermoregulation in warm environments may lead some babies to disturb their parents at 'unsocial hours'."
M P Wailoo
S A Petersen
H Whitaker
1990 in Archives of disease in childhood
Sleep patterns of infants in the first year of life.
"A prospective study of 132 infants aged from 1 month to 1 year found that infants who were breast fed or breast plus bottle fed were significantly more likely to wake at night throughout the first year. Social class of the family, parity of the mother, and the weight gain of the infant had no consistent effects. This increased waking was not due to mothers of wakeful infants prolonging breast feeding to soothe their infants."
J Eaton-Evans
A E Dugdale
1988 in Archives of disease in childhood
Sleep/wake patterns of breast-fed infants in the first 2 years of life.
"Published norms for infant sleep/wake patterns during the first 2 years of life include an increase in length of maximum sleep bout from four to five to eight to ten hours by 4 months but little decrease in total sleep in 24 hours from 13 to 15 hours. Thirty-two breast-fed infants were followed for 2 years and data collected on 24-hour patterns of nursing and sleep. Infants who were breast-fed into the second year did not develop sleep/wake patterns in conformance with the norms. Instead of having long unbroken night sleep, they continued to sleep in short bouts with frequent wakings. Their total sleep in 24 hours was less than that of weaned infants. This pattern was most pronounced in infants who both nursed and shared a bed with the mother, common practices in many nonwestern cultures. The sleep/wake development accepted as the physiologic norm may be attributable to the early weaning and separated sleeping practiced in western culture. As prolonged breast-feeding becomes more popular in our society, the norms of sleep/wake patterns in infancy will have to be revised."
M F Elias
N A Nicolson
C Bora
J Johnston
1986 in Pediatrics
Waking at night: the effect of early feeding experience.
"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."
P Wright
H A MacLeod
M J Cooper
1983 in Child: care, health and development