How much sleep should new parents expect to get in their child’s first year?

Following a recent study commissioned by sleep technology company Simba, Author Grant Bailey shares what new parents can expect sleep-wise in that all-important first year.

Four hours sleep a night

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.

Walking 28 Marathons just rocking baby to sleep

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, and 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.

Sleep deprivation affecting relationships & creating ‘odd’ behaviour

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.

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.

When a mattress company owner became a parent!

Steve Reid, is the CEO and Co-Founder for sleep technology brand Simba – and used his experience to commission research and craft a new cot mattress.  On commissioning the study, Steve 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.”

Steve Reid explains why the right mattress can help:

“Testing has revealed the Simba Hybrid® cot mattress is 400 per cent more supportive than other leading high street cot mattresses – and Simba babies wake on average once less each night.  We’re therefore confident that new-borns will get better quality slumber.”

What experienced parents learned

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.

However, while as a nation, we can all sympathise with a sleep-deprived parent, Hope Bastine, resident psychologist for Simba wonders whether we should consider the impact of poor sleep on our infants.  She says:

“We spend hours poring over the nutritional value of food because we know it’s essential for baby’s development.

“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 concludes:

“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.”