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Modern mothers suffer more stress and get less sleep

(19 Posts)
slartibartfast Thu 02-Jun-05 16:23:31

Guardian today says "Modern mothers suffer more stress and get less sleep".

including "Working fathers also felt the strain. Two-thirds felt their work was affected by lack of sleep. Yet, according to the mothers, only 19% of the fathers got up every night to help with the baby and 46% never got up."

Is it all true?

beansmum Thu 02-Jun-05 16:26:34

how can they know that babies sleep more today? They asked grandparents to say how their babies slept over 40 yrs ago, I can't even remember how much beanie slept last week!

beansmum Thu 02-Jun-05 16:29:32

sorry, slept more in the 60's. what am I talking about? I don't know. Must be the lack of sleep, bean was up vomiting all night, lovely.

emily05 Thu 02-Jun-05 16:43:53

I think that it was harder in the olden days (!) because there werent so many gadgets to help you do everything and the convience foods, play groups and help that we have now.

In the same token though I think that the expectations and what is 'good' and 'bad' for our children is alot harder and we are under alot more pressure. As for the sleep I agree - I cant remember how ds slept when he was a baby and he isnt even three!

hummingbird123 Fri 03-Jun-05 10:39:16

my grandma, when advising what to do when my baby was resltess (about a wk old) was "just wheel her into the garden in her pram she'll drift off to sleep, then go inside and get on with your house work!!" hhhmmmmmmm...... no way did she know how much her children slept - bet she didn't even hear them!!

Toothache Fri 03-Jun-05 10:48:26

Well I average about 6 hrs sleep a night... mostly unbroken sleep now. Ds is nearly 4 but only started sleeping all night recently. dd is 10mths and is a good sleeper. But we have to get up at 6am ish to get ready for work.... its really tough and I'm glad I only went back 4 days a week this time!

CountessDracula Fri 03-Jun-05 10:49:36

is it true that avg sleep is 3.5 hrs per night? There must be a lot of zombies around then! I have always managed 6 or 7 even at worst tmes

Toothache Fri 03-Jun-05 10:51:00

CD - Up unitl ds was was 2yrs old DH and I averaged 3 hours a night.... and even that was broken. We had to take it in turns to sleep in Ds's room to give the other a chance to sleep a bit better. Total NIGHTMARE! And I often had to splash my face with water to wake up come 2pm at work.

mears Fri 03-Jun-05 10:54:02

The report I read was a bit longer and also blamed the use of baby monitors as a reason for modern parents not sleeping. Mothers attend to babies at the first few whimpers when in fact babies may well drop over back to sleep. I started a thread about that a while ago because it is something I have definately seen in action.

mears Fri 03-Jun-05 10:56:48

thread 2002

expatinscotland Fri 03-Jun-05 10:57:04

I wonder if the older generation didn't have a more 'let them cry' approach. Getting sleep at night seemed to be much more important to them, I think. My mother, for example, was put outside on the porch (she was born in a very, very hot climate) to cry all night for two nights straight when she was about 1. My gran's belief was that it 'taught' her to sleep all night.

My dad's mum - a mother of six and shaman midwife - also did this.

We'd see this as child abuse and cruel now, but back then, it seemed the tough approach to childraising - and life in general - was the norm.

As my dad's mum told me, 'We didn't have vaccines or antibiotics and the like. A mother expected to lose at least one baby.'

Sad, but I wonder if 'controlled crying' made the kids sleep all night?

mears Fri 03-Jun-05 10:58:49

thread 2005 - obviously I am obsessed!

expatinscotland Fri 03-Jun-05 11:04:34

I agree completely, mears. I, for example, am a light sleeper. I always have been. Apparently, I stir and grumble in my sleep. But settle again. I wake up fully a couple of times a night, usually, but again, I re-position and fall back to sleep.

I think this is a really important skill to have.

We never used a baby monitor. My DH is a very hard sleeper, and he doesn't hear DD unless she is really and truly awake. I know, however, that she tussles and makes a lot of noise in her sleep. If we used a baby monitor, I would hear all that and be miserable.

otto Fri 03-Jun-05 11:07:32

I think the older generation had a very different approach to sleep. They were told to put babies in their cots and let them cry themselves to sleep.

Because he's at nursery full time my ds has picked up every bug going, so was ill every two weeks between Christmas and Easter. Since Easter he's cut 7 teeth including his first molars, so I am sleep deprived and just about muddle through each day. If I mention this to any older colleagues they say that I'm stupid to pick him up in the night and that I should let him cry even though he's in pain. So there is a big difference in the way most of us approach sleep.

otto Fri 03-Jun-05 11:08:46

I no longer use the baby monitor because I found that I woke at every whimper and murmer.

Clare1406 Fri 03-Jun-05 11:15:34

They say that kids today only need about 8hrs sleep. Kids in the 40's & 50's slept longer coz there was no convenience foods with added salt & sugars,& no kids TV channels. ie Cbeebies, NickJr.
I'm a culprit of sticking DS in front of TV when got loads of jobs to do, i know now, just don't switcxh it on, & he doesn't ask, goes off to play with toys.
My mum always says that i slept a full 12hrs. But we were in the fresh air most of the time, she worked for my grandparents on the land. So i was either in my pram or crawling in the mud.
My DS goes to bed between 7.30 -8pm. He will wake probably twice wanting me to get in, but i just put him back. Constantly knackered!! But my friends DS is same age as mine, 3.5, & he'll have an hour sleep in day, then go to bed at 8, & she has to wake him every morning to go to nursery. Not jealous at all!!!

Clare1406 Fri 03-Jun-05 11:19:20

Sorry, forgot you're talking about babies, not toddlers!!

bakedpotato Fri 03-Jun-05 11:23:19

mears, you are SO right

acnebride Fri 03-Jun-05 11:25:28

I must read the detail of this, but the reporting is a bit odd - ds at 3 weeks slept hardly at all at night (loads during the day), at 3 months he slept 7 - 7, at 5 months suddenly woke up loads, 6 months better, 7 months got the first of a series of viruses, etc etc. Sometimes i get plenty of sleep, sometimes I don't. Usually feel tired. Certainly I don't think I'm likely to have total recall of what it was all like in a few years, never mind 30 years.

I assume since it's a magazine survey that it's designed to give material for a year's worth of articles and/or adverts for new parent 'pampering' products (especially given that the survey was partly funded by Pampers).

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