Breakdown of baby nights: mom wakes up, dad sleeps

A study carried out by the Ifop Institute reveals that nearly 8 out of 10 mothers get up more often at night than their spouse to take care of their children under 3 years old. An additional mental burden that weighs on women.

  Breakdown of baby nights: mom wakes up, dad sleeps

A new inequality between women and men who have children is causing a wave of indignation. And for good reason : 78% of mothers take care of their young offspring more often at night than fathers, or nearly 8 out of 10 mothers. This is one of the edifying results that emerges from a study Ifop, commissioned by (site specializing in bedding), and conducted between August 5 and August 20, 2022 among 1,001 women and men, parents of children under the age of three. Otherwise, 44% of them are even the only ones to get up when the child cries or wakes up at night.

A tenfold mental burden for mothers

The survey shows very clearly that women 'are, as is the case with other tasks related to the household, the first concerned when it comes to anticipating the night of their young children and getting up to meet their nocturnal needs' , indicates one of the conclusions. Also according to the study, 85% of women pay more attention to respecting bedtimes, compared to 54% of men. They are also more reactive when it comes to the well-being of their toddlers. On average, they take 4.5 minutes to get up when their child is crying at night, while fathers take eight minutes. What to increase their mental load, as Louise Jussian, in charge of studies at Ifop explains to our colleagues from C news : 'not only do mothers get up much more often than their spouses, but they also bear more of the mental burden associated with preparing for the sleep of their young children.

What are the consequences for the mothers and the couple?

This mental load, which is added to the others, is not without consequences for the mothers. And for good reason. The quality of their sleep is impacted but it is also a source of significant tension within couples. 44% of women report sleeping less well since becoming mothers, compared to 33% of men and 66% of parents have already argued about how to manage their young child's sleep. Especially since in certain situations, fathers (55%) have already confessed to having pretended to sleep hoping that their partner would get up to take care of the baby. Inequalities that persist and which once again show the heavy parental task that women take on in our time.