Lack of sleep – parents’ big challenge

Sleep vital for parents, not just baby.

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For half of all UK mums and dads lack of sleep is the biggest challenge of parenthood, a survey by Pampers, as part of the Golden Sleep project, has revealed. Nine out of 10 parents also claim a good night’s sleep is simply ‘priceless’. Sounds like an ad for MasterCard, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. We all know how serious a subject sleep is!

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Lack of sleep can impact negatively on the whole family. “Sleep is vital to a baby’s development, but it is also essential for the parents too, as insufficient sleep, especially over a prolonged period, can affect their relationship with their baby and each other, as well as other aspects of life including performance at work, general well-being and overall quality of life,” said Professor Stores, sleep expert on the Pampers Village Parenting Panel and Emeritus Professor of Developmental Neuropsychiatry at the University of Oxford.

The survey shows that 94% of UK mums use a bedtime routine to help get their baby to sleep. However, the evidence indicates that this routine is focused on settling a baby so they fall asleep, not on developing habits that will let a baby maintain an uninterrupted sleep. So, lots of babies wake up in the night.

“The survey findings demonstrate the need for many parents to know how best to teach their babies to go to sleep by themselves, so-called ‘self soothing’. A consistent bedtime routine that includes this – helping your baby to fall asleep without either parent having to be with them – is the number one sleep recommendation for parents,” said Professor Stores.

More than 50,000 parents across the UK, Germany and France took part in the survey, and some interesting differences in parenting approaches were discovered.

In the UK, 36% of mums fed their baby if they woke in the night, but only 10% did so in France.

Also in the UK, 15% stayed with their baby when they woke in the night. In France, this was lower again, with just 4% staying with their baby.

In Germany, 47% of babies woke in the night because of a lost toy – only 27% of UK babies and 29% of French babies did so.

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Do you have a secret sleep tip that works wonders for your baby? Let us know below…

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