11/11/2014 10:26 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

New Parents Lose 970 Hours Of Sleep In First Year


Mums and dads lose an average of 970 hours of sleep during their first year as parents, a new survey has found. That's the equivalent of over 40 days!

Mums tended to fare worse than dads when it came to sleepless nights, losing an average of 23 minutes more sleep per night than their partners. It may not sound much, but over a year it works out to 18 days!

Sleeplessness can take a severe toll on emotional wellbeing, as any new parent can tell you. A quarter of new mums and dads admitted that their newborn's crying had driven them to tears, while 41 per cent reported arguing with their partner as a result of increased irritability brought on by exhaustion.

Even outside of the home, coping with a new baby can still strain relationships, with 25 per cent of new parents confessing that their tiredness had made them more irritable with colleagues.

Besides sleepless nights, stress is compounded by the fact that new parents spend almost an hour per day trying to work out the reason for their baby's tears - often unsuccessfully.

One of the leading causes of distress in babies is teething (accounting for 15 percent of crying in babies). Yet, surprisingly, almost half of parents are unable to recognise some common symptoms of teething, often leading to needlessly prolonged misery for both baby and parents.

The four most common signs of teething are excessive drooling, swollen gums, wanting to chew and general increased fussiness, particularly at night.

Less common symptoms include mild fever, congestion and earache - but these can be signs of other problems, so it's important to monitor a baby exhibiting these symptoms carefully and seek medical advice if they worsen.

The survey, which was commissioned by Boiron, was conducted in the run-up to National Teething Week.

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