Sunday, 29 July 2012

Mums Lose Over a Month’s Sleep in Baby’s First Year!

A new study from the UK’s leading discount website has found that, on average, mothers lose 2.05 hours sleep a night throughout the first year of their baby’s life. However, two fifths of mothers said that it ‘wasn’t as bad’ as they had predicted it to be when pregnant.

 As part of ongoing research into the parenting habits of Britons, the UK’s leading discount website has conducted a study of 1,091 mothers across the UK with children aged 1-2 years, in order to discover how many hours of sleep were lost in the first year of their baby’s life.

The study, conducted by, initially asked the respondents if they experienced ‘broken sleep’ throughout the first year of their baby’s life, to which 98% said ‘yes’. The remaining 2% of respondents claimed that they had not.

The 98% of mothers who stated that they did experience broken sleep throughout the first year of their child’s life were asked to estimate how many times their baby woke, on average, per night. The average response from mothers taking part was ‘3.9 times’, with all answers taken into account. When asked how long they were awake for whilst tending to their baby on each occasion, the study found that, on average, the respondents were awake for 31.6 minutes each time.
According to the research, prior to having children the respondents slept for an average of 7.8 hours a night. Therefore, if the average mother woke 3.9 times each night for 31.6 minutes at a time, they lost an average of 2.05 hours sleep a night; subsequently sleeping, on average, for just 5.75 hours a night.

In order to discover how many hours sleep parents lost in the first year of their baby’s life, the average number of 2.05 hours sleep lost per night was multiplied by 365 days. According to the results, in the course of one year, mothers would have lost 748.25 hours sleep; totalling 31.8 days.

Though this equation established that mothers lose 31.8 days of sleep a year through tending to their baby throughout the night, the study found that more than two thirds, 67%, of the mothers asked felt that they ‘got used’ to the broken sleep.

More than half, 53%, of the mothers polled stated that they shared the responsibility of nursing their baby back to sleep with their partner.  A further 44% stated that the reduced hours of sleep was something that they found ‘difficult’; however 39% said that it was ‘better’ than what they predicted it would be whilst they were pregnant.

Mark Pearson, Chairman of, said the following about the findings:

“When starting to conduct this study, I was confident that the amount of hours sleep that was lost by parents would have been high, but to see that a whole month of sleep is lost per year by mothers really puts it in perspective! Having a baby can be a big shock to parents, not only due to lack of sleep but the cost and the shift of priorities. No matter how hard parents prepare and how much they research, no one can ever really predict how a baby will behave until it’s with you- particularly how much the baby will want to sleep!”

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


Despite the break from school runs and  homework duties, a survey has revealed that 60% of parents are ‘secretly relieved’ when the summer holidays are over and their children go back to school, with almost 80% claiming that they feel under pressure to keep their children ‘constantly entertained’ over the summer break.

A total of 2,000 parents were questioned for the survey, carried out in June by family deals website LittleBird, which also revealed that one third of parents put themselves under pressure to keep their children constantly entertained, with pester power and pressure from other parents and the media accounting for a further 37% of responses.

Naomi Bloomstein, co-founder of LittleBird and mum of two says:  “As parents, we can feel that we have to fill each day of the holidays with as many exciting activities as possible.  It’s understandable that parents want their children to have a memorable summer, but a few well-chosen days out and activities will achieve this.  It’s good to balance planned activities with ‘chill-out’ time so that children learn how to make their own entertainment and parents can keep costs down.  Studies have shown that ‘boredom’ actually helps children to develop their creativity and imagination.

More than three quarters of survey respondents said they also worried about the cost of keeping children entertained over the holidays with over 65% spending up to £150 on an average day out.  However, in general, parents are becoming more financially savvy with 57% saying they budgeted for days out and activities in advance and 86% taking advantage of discount offers available for museums, parks and attractions by actively seeking out vouchers before deciding on their day out.

Naomi adds:  “When you do decide to have a family day out, try to plan ahead as early as possible and always shop around for bargains and discount vouchers beforehand in order to keep costs down.  The money parents can potentially save is definitely worth the extra effort involved.” 

Monday, 23 July 2012

There are Super Heroes – and then there’s the £1Million Super Bear…

Children’s book author Grandpa Super Bear (AKA Bruce King) aims to raise £1 million for children’s charities by giving away free copies of his best selling book …

The children’s book ‘How To Be A Super Bear’ was published in the UK in March 2012 and in Sweden in May where it shot to No 1 on several best selling book charts.

The author is Bruce King who has previously written several best selling business and personal development books for adults. He decided to write books to inspire children and to raise money for children’s charities after undergoing a heart by pass operation in 2011. Now he aims to raise £1 million by just giving the book away.

Here is how he explains why this approach should be so successful in helping reach his target:

“By giving away the eBook version, by promoting the offer on YouTube and through social media, and by encouraging people to pass on the message that the book is free, I expect the  YouTube promo video and the free offer to go viral.  When people visit our website to download the free copy, there is an option to make a small, voluntary donation and I am sure most will give something. They have so far and with so many millions of people in the English speaking world and the extraordinary reach of the internet, I really think our target is realistic. We just need all the help we can get to let as many people as possible know about it.”

How To Be A Super Bear consists of seven heart-warming stories in one volume, each written in a friendly and cuddly style and to teach children some really important life lessons. The free copy is downloadable at

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Water Babies - Making a Splash for Charity!

Water Babies in Sussex West is getting ready to celebrate the nation’s finest summer of sport with a special charity event to raise money for Tommy’s, the baby charity, and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.  

The Water Babies Games will take place on Friday 20th July and Saturday 21st July and will involve special themed lessons with a sporting twist, including baby windsurfing, horse riding, long jump, relay races and cycling.   

“These themed lessons are all about parents and babies having fun together and it’s a fantastic chance for us to celebrate the exciting summer ahead and raise money for a great cause,” explains Caroline Braund who has been running Water Babies swimming lessons in West Sussex for ten months. “You never know, we may even discover the next Tom Daley or Rebecca Adlington as the babies splish and splash around in the water!”

The Water Babies programme is designed to make the most of babies’ natural affinity with water and teaches confidence and safety, using specialist techniques that see many swimming short distances from as young as 30 months.

Despite the emphasis on parents and babies having fun, the course does have a very serious safety point to it. “Tragically, drowning is still the third highest cause of accidental death in the UK,” explains Caroline. “In most cases it’s the shock of sudden submersion that causes children to panic. We believe that by introducing babies to water as early as possible, they’ll be less likely to experience fear if they do fall in.”

“With progressive training, babies can be taught life saving skills very early on, such as turning onto their backs or swimming to the nearest solid object following a sudden submersion,” she adds. “It’s fantastic what vital skills children can learn, and it’s really important that they are happy and confident in the water from a young age.”

This year Water Babies is celebrating its 10th anniversary since it was co-founded in 2002 by Paul Thompson. What started out as a small family-run business is now the world’s leading baby swim school, teaching over 29,000 babies to swim each week across the UK, Ireland and Australia.

The Water Babies Games will take place at the Mary Rose School, Gisors Road, Southsea, PO4 8GT on Friday 20th July from 3.15-5.45pm (for 2 months to 3 years) and on Saturday 21st July from 8-10am (from 1 to 3.5 years).  

For more information please call Caroline on 07894242420 or visit