The average British parent loses two whole weeks of sleep per year because their baby won’t settle down at night, according to new research.
Mums and dads spend 2.5 full days discussing their little one’s bedtime habits every year, the poll by Silentnight Safe Nights reveals.
Hearing that a baby sleeps well is the subject that makes British parents most envious of other people’s children, even outranking major milestones such as walking, according to the research.
Data from the survey shows the average parent spends hours chatting about their baby’s sleep at a time, with 3 in 10 discussing it several times per day. The average parent spends a total of two and a half full days chatting about baby bedtimes during their child’s first year alone.
Lucy Shrimpton, professional children’s sleep consultant and founder of The Sleep Nanny®, said: “Getting your baby into a regular sleep pattern where they sleep through the night is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges that new parents face.
“If a baby has a continual period of poor nights’ sleep, this will have a huge impact on the mental wellbeing of the whole family so it’s hugely important for parents to seek help when they need and invest in simple, soothing products, such as the Silentnight Safe nights collection, that will make a difference and help provide optimum comfort and cafe.”
Sleep isn’t just a frequently discussed topic; it’s also a subject that can strike envy in the hearts of mums and dads nationwide.
Silentnight’s Safe Nights’ research identified what makes parents most jealous of other people’s babies - ‘they never wake in the night’ (41%), ‘they sleep for a long time’ (37%) and ‘they nap during the day’ (25%) all create the most parental envy.
Sleep issues even outranked some of life’s major baby milestones in importance among parents - including ‘they learnt to walk easily’ (21 per cent), ‘they’re not fussy eaters’ (34 per cent), ‘they’re rarely sick’ (24 per cent) and ‘they started talking’ (25 per cent).
Silentnight Safe Nights found that frustration at a baby struggling to sleep is leading some parents to despair - a quarter of mothers and fathers (24 per cent) cry at least once a week because baby can’t be settled into slumber.
And that means the average mum or dad loses 6.2 hours sleep per week due to their baby not nodding off. That’s a whopping two-weeks-worth of sleep missed each year!
Silentnight’s Safe Night’s collection features a full suite of products including pregnancy and nursing pillows, sleep bags, swaddle wraps, hooded bath towels and fitted sheets that are each designed to support healthy, happy sleep for babies – as well as to make parents’ lives easier by helping their little one head to the land of nod safely and without stress.
The Silentnight Safe Nights collection also researched the nation’s favourite lullabies. While classics like Rocka Bye Baby and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star retain their popularity, a quarter of parents now opt for Beyoncé or Ed Sheeran while serenading their baby to sleep.
Lucy Shrimpton added: “Gentle, soothing lullabies can certainly help calm a baby into sleep but my biggest piece of advice would be to get into a consistent bedtime routine with products that support you and your baby and stick to it.
“Don’t be tempted to put them to sleep later as this will only lead to over tiredness which is the root of all sleep problems.
“Helping your baby settle to sleep without doing it entirely for them is a great way to support their development of healthy sleep for the long term. Keep nap times consistent during the day and continue these naps until they are around three to four years old.
“Keep positive and don’t beat yourself up by comparing yourself to other parents; remember every child is different and needs their own unique sleep solution, for instance a sleep bag or a swaddle wraps, to help them get a great night’s sleep.”
For more information on Silentnight’s Safe Nights collection, please click here.
The collection has also partnered with Netmums and Lucy Shrimpton to provide a sleep bible for parents seeking advice on all things baby sleep. Please click here for further information.
Top 10 Most Discussed Parental Topics
1. Children’s bedtime
2. The amount of and quality of baby’s sleep
3. Children’s diet
4. Weaning and feeding
6. Napping schedules
7. Walking and crawling
8. Developmental milestones
9. Mum and dad’s lack of sleep
The Top 10 Bedtime Lullabies
1. Twinkle twinkle little star
2. Rocka Bye Baby
3. Hush Little Baby
4. Baa baa black sleep
5. You Are My Sunshine
6. Row, Row, Row Your Boat
7. A pop song by Beyonce Or Ed Sheeran
8. Over The Rainbow
9. Brahm’s Lullaby
10. Frere Jacque