A new study has found that new parents on average are only getting 4 hours and 44 minutes of sleep each night during the first year of their baby's life.
The study showed that in the baby's first year of life parents are sleeping 59% less than they typically would sleep before having their baby. That equates to almost 50 nights of sleep lost in just one year. Each night, a typical parent was found spending 54 minutes trying to get their baby to sleep. This adds up to almost 14 days of lost sleep within the year. In addition, the moms and dads were also having to rock and pace their baby to sleep which equates to an average of almost 73 miles. That 73 miles is like running 28 marathons over 365 days.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="900"] Via iStockphoto/Liudmila Breusova[/caption]
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A new baby requires nightly feedings and frequent diaper changes. Parents are sometimes required to heat up bottles, change diapers, change clothes, or even change bedding. All of these needs lead to almost 3 hours of lost sleep every night.
Loss of sleep can lead to many different side effects. Sleep deprivation can cause emotional and physical tolls on both parents leading to a strain in even the strongest relationships. Parents of new babies complain about fighting more, crying more, and even loss of affection. More than 2/3 of new parents claim that they get into fights with their partners solely because of the exhaustion caused by their baby. This comes as no surprise since the average new baby is waking up at least 3 times a night. The study went on to say that due to the poor sleeping habits of the infant, the parents begin to act, "slightly unusually."
Having a new baby is really hard. No parent will ever tell you that having a baby is easy and all full of smiles. The baby requires more than you could ever possibly imagine and you will finally begin to understand what sleep deprivation truly is about. Parents begin to get more sleep while their baby gets older for multiple reasons. The baby not only will begin to sleep longer hours, but parents begin to find ways that can help them get through the night. Parents begin to create a routine, and tactics for a smoother night's sleep. Don't fret tired parent, it will get better!