If you’re reading this through bleary eyes, while clutching your sixth coffee for the day, this may be hard to take.
Studies from the US have shown that fathers of newborns are more sleep-deprived than mothers.
The two studies were carried out using wrist trackers. The first study was of 21 couples who’d just had their first baby. It showed that mothers were being woken more often – no doubt, due to feeding. But fathers were actually getting less sleep overall and were sleepier.
Meanwhile, the second study was of 72 couples in the first month after their baby’s birth. It showed that fathers were getting less sleep in each 24-hour period, as mothers were napping during the day.
That advice to sleep when the baby sleeps? Never worked for me, but it seems some mums are actually able to do it.
The findings, reported in the book The Informed Parent: A Science-Based Resource for Your Child's First Four Years, by Tara Haelle and Emily Willingham, are likely to come as a surprise to a lot of people. In fact, the authors mention another study of new parents which reveals that mothers tend to overestimate how well fathers are sleeping.