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Extra fortnight of sleep a year for 21st century mums

New research reveals today’s mums enjoy an additional hour of sleep each night compared to those from 20 years ago
Technology has played a key role in improving baby sleep routines
Tommee Tippee conducted the study to mark the launch of its new Perfect Prep Day & Night

21st century mums are getting a fortnight more sleep1 in the first year of parenthood than their counterparts were 20 years ago, according to new research.

The study from Tommee Tippee2, conducted to mark the launch of its new Perfect Prep Day & Night product, investigated the night-time experiences of new parents in 2017 and those in 1997. The results show that – although still getting less than the recommended amount of sleep3 – today’s mums with new little ones are getting a precious extra hour, adding up to over 15 days’ more rest across the challenging first year of parenthood.

The research shows that bedtime routines are a timeless approach for parents trying to maximise sleep for themselves and their child, with 92% following one in 2017 and 93% in 1997. But today’s sleep-deprived mums and dads appear to be savvier in making it work.

Technology is used more today than it was two decades ago. Playing white noise – available now through mobile and tablet apps, as well as via washing machines and tumble dryers – has become one of the most successful techniques in getting little ones to sleep, with over a quarter (26%) of parents adopting the tactic, an 800% increase since 1997 (3%). Meanwhile, 14% of parents now play soothing music through an iPad for their newborns, compared to 9% of the previous generation who did the same on a CD player.

However, 2017’s parents are far from reliant on technology. They’re more likely to cuddle their babies at bedtime (69% vs 58%), while there has also been a huge boom in those deploying baby yoga (18% vs 8%). Singing lullabies has stood the test of time (29% sang to their babies in 2017 compared to 27% in 1997) – with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Rock-A-Bye Baby the top two picks for both groups.

Within an increasingly fast-paced society, mums and dads are more concerned than ever about the negative effects from a lack of sleep. Over half (56%) of parents today say their baby’s sleep pattern increases their stress levels and two in five (38%) admit it impacts on their happiness, compared to just 29% of parents in the late ‘90s.

Michele Gettins, Global Category Manager at Tommee Tippee, commented: “We understand that becoming a parent for the first time is an exciting journey but that it’s also a monumental lifestyle change. In the first year, anxious mums and dads will want to do all they can to keep their baby healthy and happy. 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.

“Our research 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.”

To help parents reclaim their sleep, Tommee Tippee has launched the next generation of the parent-recommended, Perfect Prep, which helps to save up to 28 minutes on night feeds.

Nicknamed Your Dream Machine, Perfect Prep Day & Night is available from all major parenting retailers4 and provides the peace of mind that comes from knowing a baby’s bottle will be perfect every time, right around the clock. The new machine comes with features including an LED display and a volume control to help minimise disturbance if it’s required late at night. Perfect Prep Day & Night is available in four shades (White, Black, Grey and Red) and is available to pre-order now and on full sale 18th March.

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