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The Importance of Sleep

I try very hard to not be judgmental about how other parents choose to raise their kids. It’s not like I haven’t bribed my toddler with a lollipop to get through a shopping trip, so I try not to tsk-tsk when I see other parents doing things that technically they aren’t supposed to do, at least according to the experts who tell us what we should and shouldn’t do with our kids.

Who are these experts anyhow?

Little Exhausted Shoppers

There is one thing that usually prompts an involuntary tsk-tsk from me, and that’s parents who are out late at night with their young children. The other day I went to the store around 9:30 at night. I stood in line behind a young couple with a toddler who was having a full-blown meltdown. He was rubbing his eyes, screaming and crying, all while his parents shrugged at each other because they couldn’t fathom what could possible be wrong with their child. I’m no toddler behavioral expert, but my first guess would be that he was exhausted.

Your baby needs a lot of sleep, and even toddlers need substantially more sleep than you do. Babies need around 15 hours of sleep a day while toddlers need an hour or two less. Your baby will give you signs when he is sleepy if you know how to identify them.

“But my baby doesn’t sleep….”

It’s up to parents to teach their kids about a set bedtime. When it comes right down to it, remember who the boss is in the parent-child relationship – or, at least, who the boss is supposed to be. Set a bedtime that allows your baby or toddler to get the recommended amount of sleep and then stick to that bedtime. Here are some tips to help baby get to sleep.

What happens if your baby doesn’t get enough sleep? You’re going to have a cranky kiddo on your hands. Your child may also be more susceptible to illness, and when he or she gets older and stays sleep deprived, some learning difficulties may arise. Think about how difficult it is for you to learn anything new when you’re sleepy. How would you like to sit in circle time with a peppy teacher and fifteen other energetic kids when you haven’t had enough sleep?

Besides, the sooner you get your baby or toddler on a consistent sleep schedule, the more time you will have to relax and recharge so you can be the best parent possible. If you’re anything like me you’ll use that time wisely -like reading a book, spending some quiet time with your spouse, or searching the Internet for free stuff.

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