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Sleep Equals Smart?

By Naomi Odes |

Albert Einstein

Did Einstein Sleep?

Recently, on Strollerderby, this post appeared on how babies who sleep well are smarter. Being someone who has been through the ringer with sleep, reading something like this annoys me greatly. Telling moms that if their babies sleep well they will be smarter is the same thing as saying: If your baby doesn’t sleep well, he/she is going to be kind of a dumbass.

Now that I’ve had two babies, one of whom is a better sleeper than the other, I know for sure what I had suspected, and what everyone told me…We have limited control over how our babies sleep. I read book after book on sleep and was unable to get my child to stop waking up at night. He STILL wakes up at least once on most nights.

Fuzz wakes up too, but he goes back to sleep with relative ease. His tired signs are much more clear to me. Whether that’s because I’m a veteran parent or because he’s just easier to read, I have no idea. Maybe it’s a little of both. If I had Shnook second and Fuzzball first, the jury is out over whether or not Shnook would be a better sleeper.

What makes me so angry about this is that Shnook is well…pretty advanced for his age. I mean, we all say that about our kids, right? But really, most people are very surprised when they talk to him and he speaks in full sentences, with (mostly) correct verb tenses, articles, prepositions, and conjunctions at two point four. They can’t believe he has full letter recognition of both capitals and lowercase letters or knows the difference between a steam, a diesel and a subway train. He is certainly able to make thought-out decisions and control impulses and could probably have done that sticker task with his eyes closed and hands tied behind his back. I could go on, but then it would seem like bragging. ;-)

So, if my son is impaired by his lack of sleep, I’d love to see what his brain could do were he as well rested as those other babies. Hmph.

Photo Credit: mansionwb/Flickr

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About Naomi Odes


Naomi Odes

Naomi Odes Aytur is a blogger who's contributed on the parenting channel of Babble. She chronicles her experiences of being a new mom on her personal website, I Am Still Awake. Read bio and latest posts → Read Naomi's latest posts →

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5 thoughts on “Sleep Equals Smart?

  1. jamiebeths says:

    einstein didn’t sleep, right? wasn’t he the one who had all his best ideas in a sleep deprived fog? or a half wakeful/half asleep state? we all know your kids have no choice to be brilliant, by the way, let’s hope they use their gifts for good.

    1. Naomi says:

      Thanks, Jamie! (p.s. the world should know that your child sleeps 16 hours a day, though. ;-) )

  2. jamiebeths says:

    ha! ha! she’s down to 13 or so…. but 11 of them are still at night! no complaints.

  3. Kelly says:

    This post reminds me of something? Oh yes, me. As a mom to one kid who was formula fed and one who was breastfed, albeit not exclusively, my reaction to the “breastfeeding increases IQ” studies is similar to yours here, because both of my kids are, of course, excessively bright. :-)

    1. Naomi says:

      @Kelly – :-)

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