A new survey out this week shows that nearly 70 per cent of parents are rocking their babies to sleep in order to get some well-earned rest.

Parenting on Female First

Parenting on Female First

This hands-on approach was by far the preferred option of new parents ahead of pushing the pram round the house, driving the car around the block and singing nursery rhymes to their little angels. But the findings, by social website www.babyhuddle.com, are not music to the ears of professional sleep experts such as Jo Tantum.

Sleep Author Jo who has written  the book ‘Baby Secrets’ says: “Rocking a new baby to sleep is beneficial for bonding and breastfeeding, but as your baby gets older it leads to the baby needing that same sleep prop every time they want a nap in the day, or in order to sleep at night.

“If they wake up in the night, they will need that rocking again then, and since the parent is the one who has provided it, it usually leads to sleep deprivation and exhaustion in Mum and Dad, not to mention a bad back as your baby gets older and heavier!” Jo says.

Most parents underestimate the amount of sleep a newborn baby needs, which is around 15 – 18 hours a day. Jo explains: “Keeping a new baby awake for two hours is just too long as they are tired after just one hour of being awake. Often if a baby cries the mother assumes they are hungry and so they put their baby on the breast for feeding, and this inevitably leads to rocking.

“But if they learn to distinguish the baby’s ‘tired signs’, and allow her to settle themselves in the cot calmly before they become overtired, without them crying or getting upset they are teaching good sleep habits that will continue through toddlerhood and beyond,” Jo adds.

In the survey of nearly 165 new parents conducted in September 2012, 70 per cent of parents said they rocked their baby to sleep regularly. Other means included pushing their baby in a pushchair or pram around the house, singing nursery rhymes or silly songs, and driving them round the block in the car. Furthermore, 31 per cent confessed to it taking “a few hours” to get their child off to sleep.

www.babyhuddle.com is the UK's first social baby shop where parents can create lists of their favourite products, ask questions and buy products too.

More on the survey can be found on blog.babyhuddle.com. You can follow @Babyhuddle on Twitter or www.facebook/babyhuddle. To find more on ‘Jo Tantum’s Spaced Soothing Technique’ visit www.babysecretsltd.com or follow @jotantum for free advice on Twitter.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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