DATE PUBLISHED: 22 Nov 2014
TIRED and stressed-out parents are calling for daylight saving in Queensland as baby experts are bombarded with increased cries for help over early risers.
And research shows that little Queenslanders lose 14 hours of much-needed sleep per week from November to February.
“Mothers are in a tailspin,” said Gold Coast-based infant sleep expert Amanda Bude, who advises hundreds of women in Australia and New Zealand through her business Groovy Babies.
“Kids who normally sleep until 7am are wide awake at 4.30am. I’m getting increased numbers of calls at dawn as children are struggling to adapt to longer hours of daylight and hotter weather.
“Just because they get up earlier doesn’t mean they go to bed earlier.”
Baby whisperer Katie Forsythe, from The Baby Sleep Company in Brisbane, also reports a 70 per cent increase in parents having problems with early risers.
“It is becoming a bigger issue these days as families are so much busier and working mums in particular are stuck in a day to day timetable dictated by their jobs,” Ms Forsythe said.
The neurochemical melatonin, which helps babies sleep, is at its lowest in the morning and peaks at 9pm.
“Sunrise babies can upset the whole household.,” Ms Bude said.
“Not only are parents tired but the children are exhausted, which ignites tantrums and general household meltdowns.
Twitter, Facebook and mummy blogs are flooded with calls for help with adjusting their kids’ body clocks.
“I see parents who are so tired that they are irritable, their reaction times are slow and even suffer memory lapses. They are desperate to see daylight savings in Queensland,” Ms Bude said.
The midwife and sleep guru advises parents to treat any stirrings from children at 4.30am and 5am as “night events” and set a household wakeup time.
She also recommends the use of blackout curtains and continuous music or white noise to block out bird sounds, and to dress children appropriately for hot weather.
Jess Sacre, mum to Asten 5, Abbie, 2, and eight month-old Ayden, would love to see daylight saving on the Gold Coast.
“The kids are up with the birds at 4.30am and don’t go to bed until 7.30 pm. It’s a long tiring day and I am exhausted too. I love the winter when everything runs so much better,” she said.
Despite polls showing support for daylight saving in the southeast of the state, Premier Campbell Newman has said his Government has no plans to introduce it.