being a mom

Survey Says New Parents Want Sleep More Than Anything Else

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You can file this one under: DUH. A new survey from Dr. Harvey Karp and BabyCenter has revealed some not so surprising results: new parents struggle with getting enough sleep more than any other parenting challenge. No! You don’t say?!

Dr. Karp, the author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, and BabyCenter, an online parenting resource, asked parents what they miss the most from their pre-child life, and a whopping 62% put sleep at number one. Other things new parents miss are time to themselves (48%), sex (26%), work (38%), and money (34%). Parents reported that on average, they get 5.7 hours of sleep at night, and more than 75% of responding parents claimed they haven’t slept a full eight hours in months! So it’s no surprise to hear that 78 percent report feeling tired or exhausted.

Interestingly, despite being wiped out physically, parents are getting along better with each other than they were five years ago, the first year BabyCenter and Dr. Karp performed this survey. Linda Murray, BabyCenter’s global editor in chief, attributes this to sharing the parenting load. “Parents are sharing baby care more equally now than ever before. While it doesn’t completely make up for a sleep shortage, that kind of partnership means parents are less angry with each other about being tired than they were five years ago.”

Luckily (in this case), nothing lasts forever, and babies DO eventually start to sleep better. After about four months of parenting, a lot of the stressors of new parenting have calmed down.  At this point, 90 percent of new parents reported having sex again. And they say that since having children, the positive emotions far exceed the negatives. They feel more love (86 percent), joy (71 percent).

And there’s more good news: the parents surveyed said that even though they are tired and stressed, the positive expereinces of having a new baby far outweigh the negative ones.

Eighty-six percent of parents reported having more love in the house, while 71% said they are more joyful.  “That rush of love once a newborn is in the house is nature’s way of tempering the effect of sleep deprivation,” Murray explained.

Parenting: It’s not all bad!

(Image: iStock / alice-photo)

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