Research out today by children’s reading charity BookTrust has revealed that new parents are completely sleep deprived in the child’s first couple of years, losing out on a whopping 657 hours per year, which equates to almost four weeks of less sleep a year.
BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity also found that sleep deprivation is the most stressful challenge about becoming a parent, second only to worries about children’s health. A fifth of new parents have taken a day off work in order to catch up on lost sleep.
The study found that children not following a bath, book, and bed routine are less relaxed at bedtime, and tend to get up more often during the night and get fed more frequently.
The survey polled over 1,000 families on bedtime routines and sleeping habits and revealed that half of parents who don’t follow a bath, book, bed routine would favour a night of uninterrupted sleep over romantic weekends and nights out with friends. Health, productivity and sense of humour also suffer in those who aren’t following the nightly routine with 34 percent of parents eating poorly, 24 percent nodding off during the day and 34 percent taking a knock to their sense of humour.
BookTrust’s annual Bath, Book, Bed campaign aims to solve these problems in three easy steps, encouraging parents to stick to a simple bedtime routine and asking families to share stories as a regular part of bedtime to help their little ones sleep soundly.
Jo Frost, worldwide parenting expert and BookTrust Ambassador said: “BookTrust’s Bath, Book, Bed campaign is a really straightforward approach to tackling a problem that most parents with young children face – the bedtime battle.
"Bedtime routines do not need to be complicated for especially-tired parents on their last legs. Implementing healthy sleeping habits, and a consistent bedtime routine will not only calm down the child and parents but, provide an environment so that both child and parent can read together helping them both relax and wind down. Meaning everyone will be well-rested, happier and healthier.”
Diana Gerald, the CEO of BookTrust said: “BookTrust understands how troublesome it can be for parents to get young children to sleep and we know that sometimes it can feel like a never-ending struggle, so we’re sending out 450,000 copies of our Bath, Book, Bed booklet filled with advice and tips to help families tackle bedtime head on and ensure everyone gets a good night’s sleep.”
The research and statistics are from a nationwide survey conducted in association with Mortar, of 1,000 parents with children aged three and under, looking at children’s bedtime routines and sleeping habits of families.
The Bath, Book, Bed roadshow events, which open to everyone, are being held at the Intu Trafford Centre in Manchester on 27 April and the Intu Lakeside shopping centre in Thurrock on 28 April.
Worldwide parenting expert Jo Frost will be on hand, with a special appearance from Daddy Pig, to explain to local families the importance of an evening routine, how critical it is to share stories with young children and the overall benefits of a Bath, Book, Bed routine.
The free events are a chance to get your complimentary copy of the Bath, Book, Bed booklet, enjoy fun activities, take advantage of the reading corner and get advice from Jo and the BookTrust team on how Bath, Book, Bed can benefit your family.