Facilitators and regulators: Infant sleep practices and maternal subjective well-being

Wendy Roncolato, Catherine McMahon*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: The aim of the current study was to verify whether maternal orientation differences are associated with specific care-giving practices and maternal subjective well-being in accordance with theory. Background: The facilitator orientation, characterised by infant-led care-giving, is proposed to promote immediate responsiveness to the infant coupled with a maternal desire to nurture, whereas the regulator orientation, typified by a mother-led care regime, is proposed to prioritise infant socialisation and maternal needs. However, empirical research linking maternal orientation to maternal care-giving practices and satisfaction in the mothering role is limited. Method: Two hundred and seventy-four mothers of infants 4-7 months old answered an online questionnaire to classify maternal orientation, explore care-giving practices specific to infant sleep, and assess each woman's current experience of mothering. Results: As predicted, more facilitator tendencies were associated with more frequent hands-on infant settling, more flexible timing for infant sleeps, and a closer mother-infant proximity at night, even after controlling for demographic influences and feeding type (breast milk and/or formula). In contrast, maternal orientation did not explain differences in maternal subjective well-being. Those with more facilitator or more regulator tendencies were equally satisfied with their mothering role. Conclusions: A need to tailor support services to each mother's philosophy to baby care is implicated.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)134-147
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


    Dive into the research topics of 'Facilitators and regulators: Infant sleep practices and maternal subjective well-being'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this