Saturday 15 September 2012

Are you suffering from BabyLag ?!

Much as I love being a mum, I remember how hard the sleepless nights were, especially as I was breastfeeding so I was the only one who could get up to do the feeds ... several times a night. I can't remember doing many silly things but I remember I used to drift off halfway through conversations and forget what I wanted to say. Bursting into tears for no apparent reason was another common occurrence. For anyone going through it right now, I do sympathise and it does stop eventually, honestly !


Britain's Parents Hit By 'Babylag'

New parents are virtually sleepwalking through the daytime with extreme exhaustion caused by sleepless nights

New research shows more than three quarters of new parents (77%) are suffering from sleep deprivation as they struggle to get a good night's sleep[1]. Now, the JOHNSON'S® Baby brand and sleep expert Dr Dev Banerjee have coined a new term, 'babylag', for that feeling of extreme exhaustion new parents can suffer as a result of sleep deprivation, that's not too dissimilar to transatlantic jet lag.

The can't-keep-your-eyes-open, desperate-for-a-nap feeling only experienced by parents with young children as a result of sleep deprivation has been often indescribable, until now.

Nearly half (44%) of new parents only get their heads down for half the recommended eight hours of uninterrupted sleep or less per night, with nearly a third (31%) being woken up three times a night or more and almost half (43%) up for at least an hour each time they are woken. It seems much of the nation is walking around in a zombie-like state, suffering from 'babylag' with "heightened emotions" (36%), describing themselves as "more tired than they've ever experienced in their life before" (42%) and "as though they're on auto-pilot" (17%).

What's more, this sleep deprivation is leading to all sorts of funny behaviour with parents confessing to confusing cupboards for the fridge, hanging dry washing on the line, putting milk in the washing machine, and some even confessing to falling asleep in the shower!

Baby Lag {noun}
The indescribable, can't-keep-your-eyes-open, desperate-for-a-nap feeling only experienced by new parents. A condition recognised by the JOHNSON'S® BABY brand and leading sleep expert Dr Dev Banerjee to explain the tiredness, and other physical effects, felt by a person after several nights of baby-related disrupted sleep - akin to the effects of multiple transatlantic flights.

The effects of 'babylag'
Dr Dev Banerjee, Sleep Expert, explains: "Any parent can empathise with the experience and consequences of sleep deprivation caused by having young children or babies up during the night. Now we've delved further, recognising the true extent of sleep deprivation amongst new parents and the effects it has on them during daylight hours. The term 'babylag' seems very fitting as the symptoms experienced by parents are akin to clocking up numerous transatlantic flights and suffering extreme jet lag.

Dr Dev concludes: "When parents are woken up by baby regularly in the night they rarely enter the final stages of 'deep' sleep, denying their bodies the chance to re-charge and prepare for the day ahead. If that is happening night after night it can lead to slower reaction times, poor concentration and affect memory recall and problem solving. The JOHNSON'S® Baby research findings revealed some funny antics of sleep deprived parents but suffering these symptoms can have serious consequences too, so it is important to try to tackle baby sleep issues and help everyone get a good night's sleep."

If you want to get an idea of how "babylagged" you might be, take the fun, interactive 'babylag' test online, at, which measures three areas commonly affected by sleep deprivation- memory recall, reaction time and problem solving ability.

JOHNSON'S® Baby spokesperson James Watson, Senior Product Manager, comments:
"Becoming a new parent undoubtedly brings the most special moments of your life, but it also brings a tiredness beyond normal measure that virtually all new parents can relate to. We think this new term, 'babylag', sums up that feeling in-a-nutshell and wouldn't be surprised if it starts to creep into everyday vernacular, much like 'baby brain' has. But more importantly, we don't just want to focus on the problem but also provide a solution - we want to get Britain's parents sleeping again and know that routine is absolutely key to sleep for baby, and therefore for you too. The Johnson's Baby 3-step bedtime routine is clinically proven to help baby sleep better in just one week, so give it a try!"

Sleep solution: routine is the key

With well over half (59%) of parents admitting to having problems when getting their children off to sleep, of those who were only woken once in the night, two thirds included 'bathtime' in their baby's bedtime routine and over a third included 'quiet time'. The JOHNSON'S® Baby 3-step bedtime routine is the first and only night-time routine clinically proven to help babies sleep better in just one week. The 3-step routine of bath, massage and quiet time before bed time can help your baby fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep for longer, which means parents can get a good night's sleep too.

Sleep; worth its weight in gold (and chocolate, and clothes)

Whilst the parents surveyed wouldn't swap parenthood for the world, many confess they would be willing to spend their hard earned cash for a good night's sleep; in fact, of the sleep deprived parents surveyed, one in five (20%) would spend over £500 for what many people probably take for granted. A third (33%) would trade buying new clothes for six months, while 31% would give up chocolate for a month and the same amount would give up alcohol for a month. 

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Asda’s Little Angels Dry and Sensitive Body Wash and Shampoo review


  1. Very good article! I am quite lucky that I can get by with very little sleep & still function! (I have to with 8 kids LOL!)

    1. Oh goodness,it's hard enough with 3 !! Although I guess the older ones can help out with the younger ones, I know Sophie does ... a lot. God only knows how people cope with sextuplets or octoplets though !

  2. I fell downstairs with exhaustion, and later through a doorway. I very nearly gave up breastfeeding because friends who bottle fed had much better sleep!

    1. Yikes. It is really tough at the time, lucky it doesn't last too long ! :-/

  3. my second was a bit of a nightmare, i used to go back to bed and sleep when i had taken the oldest to school, the house was a mess it was just awful! soon passed though :)

  4. I've just read this with interest, my first baby is due in 2 weeks and I plan to breastfeed him, it will be interesting to see how much more baby lagged I am in a month compared to now.


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