A new study has found that on average, it takes parents a whopping 90 minutes to get their kiddies off to bed, and over half of mums and dads have missed out on their own dinners because of it. We're not even surprised.
Babies, while they might scream and yell, at least have one advantage: they spend a lot of time sleeping. The older your adorable little offspring get, however, the harder it seems to be to get them to want to drift off at the end of a long day.
Once they are past the baby stage, bedtime becomes something they just don’t seem that keen on participating in.
Better Bathrooms, a leading independent bathroom retailer, recently carried out a survey of 2,000 parents, to find out how much time they spend on the bedtime routine of any children under three.
This process can regularly include giving them a bath, feeding them some milk, and that tried-and-trusted favourite, reading them a bedtime story. Many parents around the world would no doubt love for this whole process - from nagging start to blissful finish, when their little one FINALLY shuts their eyes - to take minutes. However, on average, the study found that parents take 90 minutes to get their children off to sleep!
22 minutes of this, on average, is spent reading a bedtime story. Yes, despite children’s books having deceptively large print, or being composed mainly of pictures, it seems children will fiendishly ask for the story to be read all over again from the start once it’s finished; or demand several to be read, one after the other.
The research found that the longest, most time-consuming part of the whole process was a tie between storytime and bath time; parents agreed that the ostensibly simple matter of dunking their little terrors into a bath full of water, to wash off the dirt they’d coated themselves in during the course of the day, took, well, ages.
First, there’s trying to persuade them to get in; then, there’s trying to persuade them to come out, after they start playing with their rubber duckies, plastic action figures, Elsa dolls, etc.
And 55 per cent of parents say they have missed out on their own dinner because of the time spent putting their child to bed. Going to bed with no dinner is the kind of punishment parents use to try and get kids to behave - it shouldn't be a punishment for parents trying to get them to sleep, frankly!
It’s often a two-person job, too; 45 per cent of parents say that it requires both of them to get their child off to sleep, working like a well-oiled - if slightly ratty - tag team. Is it any wonder, therefore, that 15 per cent of men, and 10 per cent of women have stayed late at the office just to avoid this fractious, somewhat tedious task?
Perhaps ill-advisedly, 14 per cent of all parents regularly (most, if not every night) let their child sleep in their bed; presumably, fed up with trying to wrangle it into its own cot or bunk, they give up and just let it do what it likes.
All we can say is, thank GOD they're absolutely adorable.