Parents Lose This Many Nights of Sleep During Baby’s First Year

Nearly half of the parents surveyed reported that they feel "massively unsupported" when it comes to baby's sleep.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Assistant Editor
Updated October 4, 2022
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Image: Irina Wilhauk | Shutterstock

All the best advice, classes and latest sleep products are sometimes no match for a cranky, restless baby. It’s an established part of parenthood and somewhat of a right of passage to lose some sleep over your newborn during that first year of life. But just how much are we really missing out on?

A recent Snuz survey of 1,300 parents found that 7 out of 10 parents lose an average of three hours of sleep every night in their baby’s first year. These three hours a night accumulate to a shocking 133 nights worth of sleep sacrificed before baby’s first birthday.

According to findings from Penn State, this level of sleep deprivation doesn’t just create bags under your eyes, it can also have some pretty big consequences. Research shows that sleep-deprived parents are more forgetful, more likely to develop depression and more likely to be involved in traffic accidents, while well-rested parents are more likely to remember important tasks and be more vigilant when it comes to child safety.

But it’s not like parents aren’t trying to get some more shut-eye. Forty-five percent of parents surveyed admitted that they tried to nap while baby napped, but they were often unable to grab a snooze during the day, with roughly 55 percent putting it down to household duties.

Outside of nap time, caregivers tried several other ways to soothe baby to sleep. Nearly a third of parents said they regularly drove baby around in their car to ease them to sleep while 46 percent said they use white or pink noise to set the mood for slumber.

Despite all the best technology and tried-and-true hacks, nearly half of the parents surveyed (44 percent) expressed feeling like they did not have the support they needed or wanted regarding their baby’s sleep.

This lack of support manifests in building stress and anxiety around sleep. In a separate poll Snuz conducted of more than 82,000 parents, 88 percent admitted baby’s sleep was a cause of stress, and 77 percent talked about the anxiety they feel even before bedtime starts as they anticipate a sleepless night. It’s clear parents need more support. If you’re struggling with baby’s sleep, don’t hesitate to reach out to your pediatrician or a pediatric sleep expert who can help.

While this phase of parenthood is likely very frustrating, know you’re not alone. Eventually both you and baby will begin to get enough rest. In the mean time, while there isn’t a magic solution to getting baby to sleep through the night, it doesn’t hurt to have a few tips and tricks up your sleeve. Learn some of the best sleep positions for baby and read up on pediatrician-recommended solutions for your biggest sleep problems.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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