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6 Reasons Why I Refuse To Apologize For Planning My Life Around My Baby's Sleep Schedule

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A sleeping newborn is one of the best types of newborns. Watching my baby snooze in her crib was easily my favorite pastime when she was an infant and I was a new mom. After a strenuous day of feeding, changing, and more feeding, naptime was essential. After all, my life revolved around my newborn. Everything I did, and every decision I made, was made to ensure she was safe, happy, and thriving. So while I refuse to apologize for planning my life around my baby's sleep schedule, it's not lost on me that people probably view my choices as obsessive and stringent.

My daughter had colic and acid reflux, so the first few months of motherhood were incredibly difficult. She hardly ever slept, especially at night, which meant I took any and all naps extremely seriously. I had a very strict schedule for her and it didn't matter if the world was about to be annihilated, my baby was still going to take her nap. Nothing would get in the way. Some of my friends constantly rolled their eyes and asked me to "just take her along" when they invited me out of the house, but that's not as easy as it sounds. Uninterrupted rest was vital, and there's no way I was going to chance it for a silly little thing called "freedom."

All babies are different and have different sleep patterns, and what works for some babies won't necessarily work for others. But sleep is beneficial for all babies, and consistency is one of those things all pediatricians and child psychology specialists constantly preach about. So, yes, I feel confident in saying that a consistent sleep schedule is probably beneficial for all children, regardless. Plus, consider how much grown men and women need sleep, then decide whether you'd like your nap interrupted just because something "kind of fun" may have come up. I know my answer is a hard "no." So with that in mind, here's why I won't be apologizing for deciding to plan my life around my kid's sleep schedule:

Because A Rested Baby Is A Happy Mom

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I don't care what anyone says, but when the baby is fully rested, the mama is much happier. No one wants to deal with a cranky baby, and since mothers are usually the ones staying home with a baby, the mama will be really unhappy if her baby doesn't take a nap. So, it's the mother's duty to put her kid to sleep on time every single day, so she can also get some rest.

Because A Happy Mom Is A Happy Family

I'm sure you've all heard the term "Happy wife, happy life," right? Well, my husband lives by that mantra. So, if the baby is well-rested and the mother is happy as a result, everyone benefits.

Because I Don't Care What Anyone Thinks

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To be quite frank, I really don't care what plans someone else has for their own children, or how my choices might differ from theirs. My priority is making sure my newborn is fed, changed, and put down for a nap. That's pretty much it. I understand the world does not stop and wait for me, but I also need others to understand I am not asking anyone to stop and wait for me. I'm fully aware the world moves on at its normal pace while I count down the minutes before my baby's nap. I just don't care if people think I'm too extreme for living my life in nap increments.

Because Sleep Is Crucial For Babies

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep is "especially important for children as it directly impacts mental and physical development." Furthermore, Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., associate director of the Sleep Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, says that the "growth hormone is primarily secreted during deep sleep," making sleep necessary for growth. Sleep also boosts learning, helps with attention spans, and is beneficial for the heart, immune system, and weight.

Because It's A Perfect Excuse

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If there's an obligatory event you really don't want to go to, a napping baby is the perfect excuse. Look, I'm not saying that my inflexibility with naps is not, like, 99.9 percent about the benefits of sleep, but I am saying that the .01 percent is great as an excuse to get out of things I really don't want to do. Judge me all you want, but social common curtesy makes it difficult for me to say no. I need all the help I can get.

Because They Can't Compensate For Lack Of Sleep

Babies can't throw back a few shots of espresso and force themselves to function for a few hours. They can't run a few miles in the morning and feel refreshed even though they only got a few hours of sleep the night before. They definitely can't drink any energy drinks, or anything infused with some acai berry to help them stay awake through a meeting. As a result, babies need to sleep, on schedule, uninterrupted, and consistently in order to not be cranky and tired.

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.