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Think You're a Slacker Mom? Stop Worrying!

Get expert reality checks on everything from sugary cereal to preschoolers and pacifiers.
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You what? Still give your toddler a pacifier? Feed your kids sugary cereal? Let them stay up late? Before you wallow too deeply in parental guilt, check out our guide.

I let my toddler go to bed at 9:30 p.m.

Your excuse: My husband doesn't get home until after 7, and I want him to spend time with her. Plus, she's not tired anyway.

The expert's take: Kids this age need about 13 hours of zzz-time -- which includes naps. "There's no need to be concerned if she goes to bed at 9:30, wakes up at 8:30, and has a two-hour nap," says Parents advisor Jodi Mindell, PhD, coauthor of Take Charge of Your Child's Sleep. But if you have to wake her in the morning and she's cranky during the day, she's probably overtired. "Not getting enough sleep affects every aspect of a toddler's life including her behavior, her thinking, and her health," says Dr. Mindell. Rather than keeping your little one up, your husband may have to tweak his schedule and enjoy some block play before he goes to work in the morning.