Baby | Mum life

10 reasons why I don’t sleep when my baby sleeps

12 January 2018 | By
Breathing the coffee aromas

“Sleep when your baby sleeps!”

…says basically everyone ever.

Okay, maybe that’s a little exaggeration, but I’ve literally been told this soooo many times!

And I get it. Really, I do.

Moms are sleep deprived. Solve sleep deprivation by sleeping. Baby doesn’t need your undivided attention while sleeping… So go take a nap at the same time.

If only it was that simple.

"Make sure you sleep when baby sleeps" Great advice, should I clean when baby cleans and cook when baby cooks too?


Realistically, something’s gotta give. Yes, of course you can sleep when your baby sleeps, but make sure you’re okay with other things not getting done instead. In the end, it’s a personal preference. For me? I choose not to not sleep while my baby naps.

And here are 10 reasons why:

Things around the house needed doing

Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely a good idea to get help with doing chores. But still…

1. Doing chores makes me feel almost normal again. I’ll admit, it’s a pretty odd feeling, particularly in the first few weeks after bub was born. On one hand, I was exhausted, drained from nights filled with broken sleep. On the other hand, I liked doing things around the house. From basically lying in the hospital for days after the birth, to coming home and craving the homemaking duties, I think it was subconsciously just a reach for the normality of home life. And these kind of things could only be done when baby was asleep!

2. Dishes aren’t going to wash themselves. I actually don’t mind doing the dishes. It’s kind of therapeutic… Is that weird?

3. Laundry isn’t going to hang itself. The feeling of wearing clean, fresh clothes outweighs the tediousness of doing the laundry. So it gets done.

4. House isn’t going to tidy itself. Trust me, the more cluttered and untidy your home becomes, the more uneasy and distracted you become. I find it’s better to consistently keep things in order, because once things build up it can feel overwhelming to even try and get started! Don’t let it get to that state.

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There are other things I enjoy spending time doing

“Me time” is super important for all mothers out there! Particularly if your partner is away at work all day, it can be really hard to find an opportunity to do things for yourself. Unless your baby is asleep…?

5. Blogging! Or simply browsing the internet. Or maybe a bit of online shopping. Shhhh. It’s relaxing in its own way, a bit of downtime to myself while baby snoozes.

6. Cooking (and eating). Gotta keep the energy up! While baby is napping, it’s a perfect time to sneak in a quick meal or snack that you can enjoy eating with both hands available.

7. Watching Netflix. It’s just one of those things that I like to laze around and do, even with my husband. I actually think we made it through a surprising number of different TV shows during the first few months of bub’s life!

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: How to maximise your sleep with a newborn

Napping just isn’t really my kind of thing

8. I’m not nocturnal. Surprise! I’m simply not that great at sleeping during the hours when the sun is shining brightly, people are up and about, basically when it’s daytime.

9. Baby naps are totally unpredictable. They could last for an hour or two, or maybe just 10 minutes before they crave your attention and care again. To be honest, I don’t want to tease myself with possibly only 5 minutes of sleep.

10. There are other ways of getting some extra shut-eye. My favourite one is “get the husband to help with the night shift”. If they can give baby a bottle during even at least one of the night-time wakings, it can be surprisingly rejuvenating. Like, 4 hours straight of uninterrupted sleep. Bliss!

My little starfish baby

11. Yep, I take cute selfies while he naps…

So next time someone tells you to just “sleep when your baby sleeps”? Appreciate that it’s being said with well-meaning intentions, but don’t feel obliged to take that advice. Take that extra nap if you need to, or simply savour the peace and alone time while it lasts!

Do you sleep while your baby sleeps? What are your opinions on this common tip for new mothers? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!

Isabelle xx

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  1. I hear you! I don’t often sleep when my baby sleeps either (partly because he’s #3). But even with my first kid, I couldn’t usually sleep because I always worried he’d wake up as soon as I laid down. Getting woken up too soon was worse than not napping at all. So, like you, I made a plan to use one nap a day for cleaning and house work, and then used the other naps to do things that I loved. It was a great way to relax and feed my own soul.

  2. Sleep when the baby sleep didn’t work for the first few months because we were struggling with low supply issues, so I couldn’t sleep if I had to pump, which I could only do when the baby was sleeping! We ended up switching to formula at 3 months. This made a world of difference. The baby began sleeping better and since I didn’t have to pump, I actually did sleep when the baby slept! Having that 1 nap a day for me helped me feel better, but I know naps aren’t for everyone. We have a dishwasher, so yay! And I stopped carrying about laundry haha, my husband actually still puts his clothes away, I just pull out of the basket! All in all, I think it’s great advice, but like you said it’s “advice” so it’s not something you have to listen to, you do what works for you!

  3. Oh my goodness! This sounds like me! I remember being told that with all 3 of mine, and you know what? This momma never took up on it haha! Now I did a little with my first and during the very first few days…I mean I couldn’t do much any ways haha. I don’t do well napping and I feel so good getting caught up with things around the house.

  4. I was never able to sleep when my babies slept! With my oldest, he would take hours-long naps and when he went down for one I would think “omg, I’m so tired, time to sleep”…and he would only sleep for 10 minutes. My second will ONLY sleep if someone is holding him, so my baby carrier has been a lifesaver. I’m also a fan of the silence when they are both asleep, and I want to be around to appreciate it.

    Great post!

  5. I’ve always thought that too. I’d much rather have some quiet time to myself to read or write (maybe not dishes though)!

  6. I am the same way. Sleep always comes at some point, and no matter what, being tired will always be there too. However, getting things caught up without having to worry about the baby is really nice.

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