Tales of the Unexpected: What New Parents Don’t Know About Baby’s Sleep

If you’ve recently had a baby, you may be wondering if there is anything sinister behind your little angels refusal to sleep. Or perhaps you’re trying to equate the screaming nocturnal creature with the bundle of joy you look after by day.

Baby’s sleep is a mystery to most, causing unanticipated night time surprises no matter how many baby books you’ve poured over in order to feel somewhat prepared before the birth. Mattress Online surveyed 1000 new parents about the sleeping habits of their new-borns and even the most prepared parents were hit with some unexpected surprises.

Mothers find their baby’s personality changes at night

If you’ve ever wondered where your baby has gone when there is a beast in the cot playing havoc, you are not alone. Nearly ½ of parents admitted to not recognising the personality of their baby at bedtime, compared to the baby they looked after during the day.

In reality, these ‘sleep problems’ are all normal behaviours for a new born baby. Common problems include not sleeping, waking up, refusing to go back down after a night feed and indulging in behaviour not seen during the day. For the majority of babies, such behaviour is merely a phase, albeit a very trying one for any parent.

72% of mothers admitted they were surprised by sleep regressions

Sleep regressions – when a baby’s sleep patterns completely change after a long period of routine – proved a huge shock to the majority of new mothers’ surveyed and nearly ¾ felt they had been given little or no information about sleep regressions prior to giving birth. After the belief (and hope) that their baby has finally settled into a sleep routine, for this to only change a few, short months later, can be devastating for many parents.

87% have tried reasoning with their babies

In spite of the language barrier, an astonishing 87% of parents have attempted to reason with their babies. Such behaviour is completely understandable for those severely lacking sleep, and evidence would suggest it is nothing new. Although pre-birth, you might have seen parents reasoning with babies and thought child-care had finally turned them crazy, but it’s simply not uncommon. Many ancient lullabies contain a similar desperation, such as ‘Hush Little Baby’, with its promises of bribery, despite the fact your baby hasn’t a clue what you’re saying.

When the reasoning doesn’t appear to be working, over ¼ of parents blamed themselves for their baby’s night-time behaviour. Over ½ of those surveyed allowed their baby to sleep in their bedroom beyond the recommended 6 month period, mainly because it meant a better night’s sleep all round.

Although new parents might tell themselves that they will strictly stick to the baby’s books guidance before the birth, sometimes this advice falls to the back burner for the chance at a full nights sleep.

Messaging other mums was found to be more supportive than partners

The number 1 go-to support method noted by new mothers was messaging other mums in the middle of the night through WhatsApp – over half preferred this approach to anything else. So at least whilst you’re up in the middle of the night with a screaming baby, there will always be the comfort of knowing that you can vent your frustrations to mums in the exact same position. When looking for support, partners came second with 33% of the vote, with ‘my mum’ coming third.

So if you’re currently going through some trials and tribulations whilst trying to get your baby to sleep, fear not, because it turns out no one else expected it to be like this either.

Charlotte Giver

Charlotte is the founder and editor-in-chief at Your Coffee Break magazine. With a background in PR working in Los Angeles and Barcelona, Charlotte has been running Your Coffee Break from the YCB HQ in London’s Covent Garden for the past 8 years. She is a mother, an avid reader, runner and puts a little too much time into her morning brew.

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