Babies are at risk from tired fathers

More than half of fathers said they were sleep-deprived when they drove their newborn baby home and a third said they had not felt safe, according to a survey by a child safety seat manufacturer.

Almost six out of ten (58 per cent) of new fathers said they had slept for fewer than five hours in the 48 hours before driving their baby home. A further one in ten said they had slept for an hour or less.

More than a third (36 per cent) of fathers admitted they did not feel safe driving the baby home and a quarter (26 per cent) said they could not even remember the drive home, which took 21 minutes on average.

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The survey, carried out for Britax and Loughborough University, offered advice for 
fathers-to-be including arranging for a friend or relative to drive the family home .

New fathers who must drive should plan a route home which they feel comfortable with and try to have a couple of hours sleep before picking up the mother and baby. If time is short, they should try to squeeze in a 15-minute nap before driving, and drink one or two strong cups of coffee before setting off.

It is also recommended that cool, fresh air is allowed to circulate in the car.