Sleep and development of your children could be affected because they are not read to before bed.
A recent survey has indicated that a quarter of parents do not read to their babies before bed either.
The nationwide child sleep survey, undertaken by bed specialist Time 4 Sleep, found that 25 per cent of participants said that they never read stories to their 6 to 12 month-olds before putting them to bed.
Caroline Edwards, founder of Love2Read.co.uk, found these results surprising: “Parents give their babies and young children an advantage when they talk with them, read with them, listen and respond to their babbles, gestures and words. More conversations increase the advantage for children in terms of language development.
“It has been well researched that the majority of brain development occurs in the first three years of a child’s life. Reading to babies and young children, and giving them time to respond, will help make the most of this opportunity.”
As well as having a possible developmental impact, reading stories before bedtime can help babies get a better night’s sleep: “Babies love the sound of their parents' voices and reading aloud to them can be calming during times of distress or unease. It can be a very soothing experience and is the perfect way to settle a child at night time,” said Edwards.
Jonathan Warren from Time 4 Sleep said: “We wanted to find out more about children’s sleeping habits in order to make the public more aware of how important sleep is for a child and how parents can help.
“It was certainly surprising to discover that a quarter of parents with children under the age of one never read to them before bedtime.”
Time 4 Sleep surveyed over 1000 parents across the UK in an effort to gather information about children’s sleeping habits.