Why I Ignore Most Parenting Studies

You may or may not have read about the latest sleep study hitting the internet and morning shows, which states that two-year-olds and older toddlers might be spoiling nighttime sleep by napping during the day.

I’m going to now address the giant elephant in the room and ask a question; the uncovering of this “mind-blowing” information required a study? I have been conducting a very similar study for the last two years with my daughter, it’s called parenthood {this is why I ignore most parenting studies}.

whyiignorparentstudies

Transitioning from sleeping all day in the newborn stage, to three naps, to two, and finally down to one takes a lot of trial and error. Amongst my circle of mom-friends, sleep is definitely one of the most heavily discussed parenting topics. My daughter in particular has always been an awesome nighttime sleeper and as a result, her naps have always been short – it wouldn’t be fair or logical for her to do both.

For example, she currently sleeps from about 7pm to 7am, and naps for approximately an hour and a half, sometimes less, but hardly ever more. I definitely think my daughter benefits from her afternoon nap because otherwise she would stop sleeping – it’s really that simple. Just as I did with her previous transitions, I would continue putting her down for a nap until she’s shown me, probably after several weeks of turmoil, that she doesn’t need the additional sleep anymore.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of the sensational parenting studies are filled with fluff and not much else. If you notice, there is always one ever-present caveat: every child is different – which is a not-so-subtle way of saying, don’t take this to seriously because it might not apply to your child. 

This particular study, which examined 26 napping-related articles, struck a cord with parents because it’s downright scary to imagine a day with a toddler and no break – I am one of those parents. But, unfortunately the day is coming and every parent knows this already. A solid night sleep has always been the primary objective, and at a certain point, anything that impedes upon it needs to be eliminated – I would take nighttime sleep any day, all year long over a nap each day.

So let’s collectively stop buying into the “parenting” studies that essentially inform us of the information we already know. Trust your parenting instincts, be confident in your ability to trouble shoot and find a solution that fits your specific needs – essentially, don’t jump ship because of one study. Instead, focus on the studies that are really beneficial, like cures for diseases and ways to keep our kids safe.

Anna

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2 Responses to Why I Ignore Most Parenting Studies

  1. Chelsea February 20, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

    Great article and I totally agree. It seems whenever a “study” comes out (and not tons, just ONE) and boasts a new finding everyone seems to really take it to heart. Lest we forget that this is just one study? In two years another one will come out that will say how important naps are for kids! In my experience, letting my daughter not have a nap results in an insane over-tired clumsy kid by 4pm. Plus, isn’t the general consensus always about how good sleep is for you? Confused! Xo Chelsea play. wash. rinse. repeat.

  2. Anna Julien February 27, 2015 at 9:26 am #

    Thanks, Chelsea! It seems these types of studies are circulated and hyped-up on the morning talk shows and then somehow it turns into “real” news – its important, like you said, to take everything with a grain of salt! xo

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