19 per cent of London kids sleep in their parent’s bed at least twice a week

Sleep is something I never appreciated until I became a mum. Before I never needed to worry about getting enough of it. As a baby, my son was always a poor sleeper so for over four years I did not sleep much at all. Now that he is a teenager, I can finally go back to being a normal sleeper. Recently I was even gifted the most amazing personalised pillow by nanu. When you order one online, you need to fill in a questionnaire about your sleeping habits. Based on those, nanu creates a special pillow that is just perfect for your specific needs. 

Yesterday nanu published the worrying results of their new study that has found that 19 per cent of London kids sleep in their parent’s bed at least twice a week. I know more than anybody how difficult this can be. 

child sleep

The research also discovered that half of mums and dads say their bedtime routine makes them feel like a bad parent and a third state it’s negatively impacting their health.

Summary of the results:

  • 63 per cent of parents are kipping in the living room to get some shut eye as their children climb onto their bed each evening
  • 19 per cent of London kids sleep in their parent’s bed at least twice a week, leaving parents feeling tired and restless.
  • 1.29m British parents spend three nights a week in a different bed to their own, due to kids pinching their preferred sleeping spot
  • Half of mums and dads say their bedtime routine makes them feel like a bad parent and a third state it’s negatively impacting their health.

This year, sleep specialist nanu surveyed 2,000 UK parents of children aged under 11 to understand how parenthood affects the nation’s bedtime routines – and from the results it’s clear that these routines are entirely flexible, with 1.29m parents spending as many as three nights a week in a different bed to their own.

Of those polled, seven per cent have a child that comes into their bed after failing to fall asleep in their own room every night each week. This bed swapping means 38 per cent of parents spend an average of 1.5 nights each week in a different bed to their partner as they make room for their offspring. The average parent who was surveyed spends two nights a week in bed with their child rather than a significant other. 

45 per cent of parents end up regularly sharing their bed with more than one of their children at once and 27 per cent have been tucked up with three of their kids.

Surprisingly, 8 per cent of the nation’s parents aren’t falling asleep in a bed at all; instead, they’re nodding off in the car or on the sofa between five and seven nights a week.

This disordered sleep is seemingly stressing out mums and dads throughout the land. Almost half of those surveyed state that their bedtime routine makes them feel like a bad parent and 30 per cent worry that their family’s sleeping arrangements are negatively affecting their own health. Thirteen per cent of those polled worry that their nightly routine has negative implications for their child or children’s wellbeing.

Lack of sleep is something I personally relate to and now that I can enjoy good night sleep, I totally empathise with those parents who are forced to bed swapping that’s taking place in the typical British family home.  

I have learnt over time that it is essential to create a comfortable sleep environment and by adding a Himalayan salt lamp to my bedside table as well as a tailored made pillow, my sleep has improved a great deal – I have observed that through my Garmin fitness watch that also monitors my sleep patterns. 

A comfortable pillow is also important for children of all ages as well as relaxing bedtime stories. New parents have to think that all phases in their children’s development will pass. Children eventually nod off in their own room, meaning parents can finally get their ideal night’s rest in the sanctuary that is their own bed.

When I go to hotels or a different accommodation on holiday, I struggle to get the same restful night that I have at home, but by taking my personalised pillow my personalised pillow with me everywhere, I can get the best night’s sleep possible. Even celebrity mum Sam Faiers has a nanu pillow so I am in good company! 

Related features:

Help and advice on achieving quality sleep for you and your baby

Baby Sleep and Crying (by expert Alison Knights)

Baby sleep – Leading by example (by expert Jo Tantum)

My tried and tested tips for travelling with a baby

About Monica Costa

Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums

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