What are sleep deprived parents doing in the middle of the night?

Small babies require insurmountable amounts of energy – life at one month is all about eating, sleeping, pooing and burping. And our little ones need help doing it all!

Mums and dads are on call day and night. Hours that seemed previously obscene become normal, decent. My theory is that if I have to be awake at 2am feeding my newborn, I may as well make myself useful – do a little shopping, watch a little tele, do a little reading…

sleep deprived parents

…and a recent report by Amazon says that loads of sleep deprived parents agree with me.

Sales of baby products at Amazon.co.uk have increased by 78 per cent year-on-year between the hours of midnight and 6am.

Want to know what we’re shopping for?

Topping the list of favourite items purchased in the Baby Store between midnight and 6am for the last 12 months are Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads, the Gro Clock Sleep Trainer and Gro Anywhere Blackout Blind. Translation: we have leaky breasts and would really like our babies to sleep.

And sleep deprived parents are not only buying baby stuff – Health & Beauty, Clothing and Kindle Stores are also on the up.

As part of research into a new Family Night Guide by Amazon, it was revealed that mums are twice as likely (67 per cent) to get up during the night than dads (31 per cent) – supporting the shopping stats which suggest a more feminine shopper. (An iphone, iPad or netbook are easily operated whilst breastfeeding – ladies, we are indeed the queens of multitask!)

The study also showed that cuddling (67 per cent) and feeding (33 per cent) are the most favoured methods to help a child to sleep.  Family expert Dr Rosemary Leonard says “We often assume that a baby is restless at night because he is hungry, but this data suggests that perhaps dad might like to try and settle baby more often, particularly if mum is breastfeeding as the ‘promise’ of breast milk can be a real distraction to little ones in the middle of the night!”

When we’re not shopping or settling our babies, we do have a list of other activities in which we like to engage:

  1. Reading (34%)
  2. Browsing the internet (27%)
  3. Watching television (25%)
  4. Talking to our partner (14%)
  5. Listening to music (13%)
  6. Eating or snacking (6%)
  7. Listening to the radio (5%)
  8. Catching up on work (3%)
  9. Exercising (1%)

Back in the days of the newborn, I’d participate in number 1,2 and 3. I also played computer games on my netbook but my gyrations of frustration would often disturb my baby whilst I was feeding her so I gave up on that.

One of the most difficult things as a new parent is having to deal with the assimilation of day and night; life just rolls on by – night and day? It’s all the same. But that comes to an end (thank goodness!). Baby learns to sleep and before you know it you’ll be sleeping through the night again! In the meantime… HAPPY SHOPPING!