“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.
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.
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!
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!
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!