Sleep disorders in infants and children


  • Declaration of conflict of interest: None declared.

Correspondence: Associate Professor Harriet Hiscock, Centre for Community Child Health, The Royal Children's Hospital, Flemington Road, Parkville, Melbourne, Vic. 3052, Australia. Fax: 9345 5900; email:



Sleep disorders in infants and children are common and often behavioural in origin. Problems include difficulties going to sleep and/or maintaining sleep. History taking should focus on the bedtime routine, consistency of caregiver approach to settling, sleep cues and exclusion of medical problems including atopy and obstructive sleep apnoea. Management includes ascertaining parent goals, ensuring these are realistic and then offering parents a choice of evidence-based strategies, tailored to family need and capacity. Sleep diaries and parent education materials from evidence-based web sites complement the consultation.