A couple's marital instability greatly affects the sleeping pattern of a baby. A baby may suffer sleeping problems if Mom and Dad have a troubled marriage based on a new study.

Problems in marriage like parents deciding on getting a divorce when a baby is only 9 months old will have problems in falling and staying asleep as the child reaches 18 months. That is according to a study researcher named Anne Mannering of Oregon State University.

The parent's relationship greatly matters to the quality of the parent-child relationship and the other way around. Anne Mannering said in MyHealthNewsDaily that other research implies that stress brings a negative impact to sleep. And it is true that the infancy stage is vital in the development of sleep patterns.

It can be possible the marital problems reflect stress in the family itself. In return, it directly influences the sleep problems of children. It may also be true that marital problems can make parents less responsive to child care. However, a more thorough research must be done.

You do have to bear in mind hat the measure of marital problems in this study is focused on the couple's thoughts of divorce. It doesn't necessarily pertain to the severity of conflict.  A few more researches will be needed to determine the marital conflict in a more direct manner.

So how was the research done? 350 families were followed when their babies were 9 months old up until their babies were 18 months old. The children used in this study were adopted to get rid of the possibility of sleep problems brought about by shared genes.

What researchers found out is that the result was true even though the different and difficult temperaments of children, anxiety from the parents and birth order was well accounted.

The next thing the researchers did is that they would like to see if the kid's sleep problems will last at the age of two even if their parents have marriage instability.

The study made by the researchers was published as of May 11, 2011. It is included in the journal Child Development.