“Sleep when the baby sleeps.” – Says, EVERYONE!
You finally got your baby sleeping independently in their crib. Yay! I am slow clapping over here for you but now, what? What if I told you that you could finally do something you WANT to do? You read that correctly. You can finally do something you probably have not done in a long time. For example, enjoy that hot cup of coffee.
This situation might not be realistic for every parent, because let’s face it, babies love contact naps (and so do we–more on how to help you with this later). Let’s get to what you came here for because I know time is limited.
8 Things You Can Do While Baby Naps
- SLEEP WHEN THE BABY SLEEPS. It’s true! While it might not be realistic for every parent to sleep when the baby sleeps, taking advantage of any opportunity for rest is important especially when you aren’t sleeping well during the night. Just be mindful not to fall asleep while holding your baby while they are sleeping. That could be a safety concern.
- TAKE A SHOWER. Taking a shower might seem like a luxury after having a baby and it really is. You can take a shower while they nap. But here is a hack if you want to take that shower while they are awake. If space permits, then put a pack’nplay in the bathroom and place your baby in there with a few toys (not advised for newborns) while you shower. For newborns, you can put them in a pack’nplay, a bouncer, or a portable bassinet laying flat on the floor.
- DRINK A HOT CUP OF COFFEE OR TEA. I wish someone told me I would not be having a hot cup of coffee for a long time after having my baby. Well, let me make this easier for you. You can totally have that hot cup of coffee while your baby is napping but what if I told you that you do not have to wait till they are sleeping to enjoy that hot cup of coffee? Using a Contigo coffee travel mug is literally my favorite thing since it keeps my coffee nice and hot for a very long time. Another plus point of using this is that it is spill-proof. So no more worrying if you will spill some of that coffee on your baby’s head while you are holding them or if they will knock the cup out of your hand.
- READ A BOOK OR WATCH TV. After becoming a mom, I find myself listening to books more than reading but I do love reading my books. Listening to books is also a great option if you have a chronic contact napper on your hands. Currently, I am re-reading a classic book that I always start the year reading, YOU ARE A BADASS: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. If you aren’t a book person then NETFLIX is always a hit. I just finished watching the latest season of FireFly Lane and without giving away too much, I will say that I definitely cried a lot more this season than I did during the previous ones.
- WORK OUT OR PRACTICE YOGA. Physical activity is so important, especially when you are trying to get your body back after having your baby. Just be mindful that you are not going in too hard, or too fast. It’s best to slowly get into working out once your doctor has cleared you for physical activity. If you are struggling with accepting your postpartum body then I highly recommend this read by Atlanta Mom contributor, Rebecca Coates. I personally loved pulling up the free workout videos from Body Fit by Amy and moving my body while my baby napped.
- CALL A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER. When you are at home with the baby all day every day it can be like groundhog day over and over again. We do not get much time to ourselves and talking to others seems like a luxury. Use the time your baby is napping to call your best friend or a family member. I am sure they would also love catching up with you and hearing from you as much as you need to talk with them. If you are feeling lonely in motherhood and want more information on this then be sure to read this blog.
- WORK FROM HOME. I really dislike the term stay at home mom. Who actually “stays” at home? We WORK and we work hard. So if you want to spend your free time working while your baby is napping then do it. You can do the laundry, clean the dishes, pick up around the house, or maybe start prepping dinner. And if you actually work from home then most likely you will be checking emails, hopping on phone calls with coworkers, etc. No matter what “work” you are doing, just remember you can always take that nap if your body really needs it.
- GET OUTSIDE. If you have a baby that can nap anywhere, I highly recommend getting outside if the weather permits. Put your baby in a stroller if it lays flat or a baby carrier/wrap and go outside for a walk. Remember, not all naps have to be in their sleep space.
I hope this has been helpful and serves as a reminder to use this precious time to do something for yourself! You can read a book, take a nap, get a few chores done, call a friend, watch a movie, work on a hobby, or do anything else that you enjoy. Take care of yourself and fill your cup during the small pockets of time your get throughout the day. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you take a few moments to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet!
Now, I know what you might be thinking.
“But, my baby naps only while I hold them so I get zero time to do anything. I get it. If this is you, then here are some nap tips to help make nap time more manageable.