Research has revealed that modern mums have been enjoying an additional hour of sleep each night compared to parents from 20 years ago, thanks to the latest technological developments which have played a key role in improving baby sleep routines.
The study – which was conducted by Tommee Tippee to mark the launch of its new Perfect Prep Day & Night – found that 21st century mums are managing to enjoy a precious extra hour each night, adding up to an extra fortnight of sleep in the first year of parenthood, compared to new parents in 1997.
Bedtime routines remain important for parents trying to maximise sleep for their family, with 92% following one in 2017 and 93% in 1997. But today’s sleep-deprived mums and dads appear to be having more success in making them work, thanks in part to technological advances such as white noise apps.
Over a quarter (26%) of parents play white noise for their children (an 800% increase on the 3% who did the same in 1997), while 14% of parents now play soothing music through an iPad for their newborns (compared to 9% of the previous generation who did the same via a CD player).
Gentle parenting trends may also play a part, with 2017’s parents more likely to cuddle their babies at bedtime (69% vs 58%), while there has also been a huge boom in relaxation techniques such as baby yoga (18% vs 8%).
Crucially, parents are more concerned than ever about the negative effects from lack of sleep. Over half (56%) say their baby’s sleep pattern increases their stress levels while two in five (38%) admit it impacts on their happiness (compared to just 29% of parents in the late ‘90s).
“It’s encouraging to see that mums and dads are finding innovative ways through technology to make the nitty gritty of parenthood as easy as possible, and it’s our job to help them do this, so they can focus on the most important thing, their baby,” says Michele Gettins, global category manager at Tommee Tippee.
“Our research also found that this positive attitude and ability to use technology to help aid babies’ sleep, is down to parents speaking up and sharing their experiences: from 3am wake up calls to the 5am nappy disaster. In 1997, over a third of parents would never turn to anyone for advice about their babies’ sleep pattern. Now, 20 years on, there has been a big shift, with nearly half (43%) turning to friends with children for tips and recommendations.”