An international survey has found New Zealand babies sleep better and go to bed earlier than any other babies worldwide and, crucially, wake less during the night.
The survey, commissioned by baby product developer Johnson’s Baby, examined the sleeping habits of nearly 8000 babies aged 0-36 months in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the UK and the United States. The survey also discovered babies here were less likely to be difficult to settle to sleep.
The survey said New Zealand babies woke less than average during the night (0.9 times per night), were less likely to sleep in their parents’ bedroom (18%) and were more likely to have the same bedtime routine (82%).
Dr Alex Bartle, director of the Sleep Well Clinics, said parents who were worried about their children’s sleep patterns needed to focus on routine.
‘‘Establishing a routine is the essence to getting babies to sleep better. For infants up to 6 or 9 months old, parents should try and establish a routine of half-an-hour quiet time before baby is bathed, massaged and put to bed,’’ Dr Bartle said.
‘‘For toddlers, parents can allow up to an hour’s quiet time before their bedtime routine begins. This routine should consist of pyjamas, teeth, toilet and bed. Once the toddler is in bed, parents can read them a story then lights out.’’