New parents will steal just four hours and 44 minutes of sleep in an average night during the first year of their baby’s life, it has emerged.
That means in their tot’s first 12 months, exhausted mums and dads will sleep 59 per cent less than the recommended eight hours a night, losing the equivalent of 50 nights of kip.
It also emerged a typical parent spends 54 minutes per day trying to get their baby to sleep, adding up to almost 14 days in their first year.
Furthermore mums and dads will also pace the equivalent of two miles while rocking their baby each day and night, totting up to 730 miles – the equivalent of 28 marathons – over a 365-day period.
The study also found with the average new-born waking three times a night when they first arrive home, sleep deprivation can take an emotional toll on relationships.
More than two thirds of British parents believe they have got into arguments with their partner purely as a result of their baby’s poor sleep habits.
Steve Reid, CEO and Co-Founder for sleep technology brand Simba, which commissioned the study, said: “As a new parent myself, the fallout from sleeplessness as a parent can be overwhelming and can push you to the limits, which is why we’ve been meticulous in crafting the new Simba Hybrid® Cot Mattress.
“Sleep nourishment, plays a vital role in the recuperation, growth, immune system, brain development and learning of a child and having put the cot mattress through rigorous independent testing, the results speak for themselves.
“Nine out of 10 babies fall asleep faster on a Simba, with three out of four sleeping longer too – gifting parents with a much-needed additional hour of sleep every night.
“When your baby sleeps well, you sleep better and that sets everyone up for the day.
“Investing in the right mattress is just as important for babies as it is for adults.”
The study also found 23 per cent of those polled believe the lost sleep in their child’s first year at home led them to behave ‘slightly unusually’.
In their sleep-deprived state, 11 per cent have hallucinated something which wasn’t really there, and 44 per cent have completely forgotten what they were saying mid-sentence.
Eight per cent have even forgotten the name of their baby.
Sixty-four per cent look back on their first year as parents and are ‘amazed’ they were able to function through it all as well as they did.
In those early months, one third of new parents believe warm milk is the best remedy for settling a restless baby.
Thirty two per cent found their little one slept best when they were rocked to sleep in their arms, and one in five got their baby a comfort blanket to keep them cosy while they snoozed.
Hope Bastine, resident psychologist for Simba said, “We spend hours poring over the nutritional value of food because we know it’s essential for baby’s development.
“But how often do we pause to consider the nutritional value of a well-balanced home?
“Sleep is an equally rich nutrient in a child’s formative years. And the ingredients of your nursery and getting it ‘night-right’ can mean the difference between a happy day and a grisly one.”
Steve Reid added, “Testing has revealed the Simba Hybrid® cot mattress is 400 per cent more supportive than other leading high street cot mattresses.
“And with Simba babies waking on average once less each night, we’re also confident that your new-born will be getting quality slumber.
“Everyone deserves the best night’s sleep. We’ve applied the same big thinking and Simba engineering prowess that people love, and re-imagined it for the smallest and most sensitive members of the family, ensuring bones and bodies are completely supported right from day one.”
TOP 20 WAYS TO SEND A BABY OFF TO SLEEP
1. Warm milk
2. Sticking to routines
3. Gentle rocking motion
5. Give them a warm bath
6. Comfort blanket
8. Gentle bouncing
10. Give them a favourite toy
11. Play with my baby as much as possible during the day to tire them out
12. Calming music
13. Ambient noise – e.g. hairdryers, washing machines, turning on the hoover
14. Driving them around
15. Baby massage
16. Children’s TV
17. Putting them in hiking pack or pram and walking for miles
18. Reducing eye contact before bed
19. Putting them outside in the fresh air
20. Scenting a tissue/fabric with fragrance near the bed
10 CONFESSIONS OF SLEEP DEPRIVED PARENTS
1. Feeding my baby spaghetti Bolognese for breakfast thinking it was dinner time
2. I lost the kettle once, and found it in the fridge where the milk lives
3. I once put cat food in the washing machine dispenser instead of powder
4. I put my toiletry shopping in the fridge rather than bathroom and my milk in the oven!
5. Putting a bottle of milk in my baby’s ear instead of the mouth
6. Using baby milk in my tea
7. Walking into a store without shoes
8. Pushing the pram out and realizing the baby wasn’t in it
9. I left my car running with the keys in the ignition whilst sat at work
10. Fell asleep standing up at counter top in kitchen