Babies Pregnancy and Newborns

When the Baby is Napping…

When I was pregnant I researched like a mad woman, reading everything I possibly could so that I would be well prepared and ease into this new life adjustment smoothly (ha, well we’re all laughing a bit at that thought now aren’t we?) One of the pieces of advice I received most often – from friends, family and internet forums alike, was:

“X when the baby is napping!”

So these little bundles of joy that come into our lives are supposed to sleep a lot. During all these frequent naps they have, we’re supposed to do the mysterious X. You can replace that with whatever you want really, but the ones I most frequently were told were.

“Nap when the baby naps!”

“Do the dishes when the baby naps!”

“5 minutes of housework whilst the baby is sleeping will keep things clean!”

“Take a shower whilst the baby sleeps!”

“Do your food prep whilst he’s sleeping!”

And so on. All these lovely little productive things that we need to do on a day to day basis like sleeping, cleaning, showering, preparing food, coating sore nipples in lanolin whilst sobbing quietly to ourselves on the sofa can be done quite easily whilst the baby is having a sweet little nap if you believe the internet. You too can be a productive and efficient mummy!

Sorry ladies, it’s all a load of bollocks. Why did other mums tell me this? Have they forgotten?

My son napped irregularly at best and not at all at his worst.

When he was napping as a baby almost anything would wake him up, so cleaning around him was pretty much a no-no.

His favourite spot to nap was pinning me down so that even going to the bathroom was out of the question.

Sleep whilst he’s sleeping? Am I alone in not being able to lay my head down and fall asleep instantly and then wake up 20 minutes later feeling refreshed? It takes me a long time to fall asleep – especially in the middle of the day and then I wake up feeling groggy and disorientated.

And I was too tired to care about the dishes or the cleaning or whether I had clean clothes for tomorrow. In fact, at one point I just ordered more clothes for the baby rather than do a load of laundry. Thanks, Amazon Prime. Food prep? That’s what I call Dominos.

Just Relax – That’s what the advice should say

So my advice, when the baby is sleeping just do whatever the hell you can – but just embrace those precious few moments. Here are the things I tend to do during nap-time:

  • Stare at their sleeping face.
  • Turn on the aromatherapy diffuser.
  • Play a game on your mobile phone.
  • Do some breathing exercises.
  • Text someone.
  • Watch cute cat videos on YouTube.
  • Order something on Amazon.
  • Browse Instagram.
  • Search Deliveroo for takeout.
  • Eat a packet of biscuits.
  • Hydrate.
  • Take at least 62 photos of your sleeping beauty and send them to everyone to prove that yes, you’re doing it, you’re mothering, and you got this little devil angel to sleep!

Let the dishes pile up and the laundry overflow. You can always recruit a friend, family member or hire a cleaner if things really go down the pan. Take care of yourself mentally and do what you can – but don’t set yourself all these expectations like I did. I fell into the trap of thinking I could do so many productive things whilst he was napping and then felt frustrated and disappointed in myself when I felt I’d failed. I had set myself up to fail when in fact, I was totally succeeding just by getting him to nap in the first place. They’re alive, warm, well fed and asleep?! You’ve nailed it!

If I was doing it again, I’d tell myself that nap time is not productive time. Nap time is a few minutes of peace, quiet and relaxation. Making a cup of tea and getting to drink it is the crowning nap-time achievement!

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  • Reply Kara January 3, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    My babies always slept better with noise around them – they are used to noise in the womb, so when they were sleeping I would do all the noisy jobs LOL

  • Reply Caz January 3, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    I love your honesty with this, and the light-hearted view to it. I think I’ll have to keep all of this in mind if I am lucky enough to become a mum one day!! I do agree though that the pressures and expectations are stupid when they leaving you feeling as though you’ve failed, when you haven’t at all. x

  • Reply Yeah Lifestyle January 3, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Well each baby is different, no one mantra can be followed by any moms, I believe you have to create your own according to your own baby. Motherhood is so hard and trying but we need to persevere x

  • Reply Lynne Harper January 3, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    I never napped when mine did, like you my friends all told me to. It just never happened ha. I much preferred a cuppa or to watch some tv and relax or even have a long soak in the bath with a baby monitor nearby x

  • Reply Laura Dove January 3, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    I never napped when mine napped, mainly because by the time I had my fifth I had a 12 month, 24 month and 10 year old and nobody ever napped at the same time – if ever!!

  • Reply Jenni January 3, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    We had hideously noisy neighbours when I was pregnant and still when he was born and I think that helped him sleep through anything. He has always known noise around him. When he napped I caught up on the soaps haha x

  • Reply Ana De- Jesus January 3, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    I agree ‘nap time’ is not about being productive or sleeping but just enjoying those stolen moments watching your child sleep or getting the chance to message someone x

  • Reply Hannah January 3, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    Babies can be unpredictable when they nap. Think its always important to stay calm and relax

  • Reply Rhian Westbury January 4, 2018 at 9:26 am

    I don’t have a kid myself but from what my friends have said this is so true. There’s very little you can actually do when your kids are napping so thanks for an honest post x

  • Reply Emily Leary January 4, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    This is great advice. We shouldn’t feel pressured by what we read on the internet, it should simply be a guide that we can choose to either follow or ignore!

  • Reply Sarah Bailey January 4, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    I was just thinking I don’t have kids by my rational mind would say when a baby naps the Mum or Dad should take some time to themselves as well, relax and try and get some “them time*.

  • Reply Rebecca January 4, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Love this, it’s so true! I often felt guilty that I hadn’t achieved anything during nap time. Although I do remember one particular day when my baby was a new born that we didn’t get out of bed, I was so tired I slept whenever he did! Precious times.

  • Reply Lauretta at Home and Horizon January 5, 2018 at 2:07 am

    Blog when the baby naps! Ha ha Yes indeed. That baby nap time is the time for peace and quiet so good job making the most of it.

    • Reply Christy - WelshMum January 6, 2018 at 5:18 pm

      I do get a lot of blogging and commenting done when he naps 🙂 If he’s asleep on me I’ve taken to browsing blogs and leaving comments instead of playing phone games. It’s at least a little productive!

  • Reply Helen January 5, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    I love this. My daughter napped very rarely too, or just had odd 30 mins here and there if she did. I don’t know who these babies are that nap long enough for mum to sleep…or shower….or even get dressed!
    I totally agree that nap time is time to drink a (hopefully) warm cup of tea and just relax for a little while.

  • Reply Leigh Travers January 5, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    Aww I love this post! You should definitely take a little time out to relax when your little one is napping!

  • Reply adriana January 5, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    I can only imagine how hard it is as a new mom! I always hear it’s important to sleep, or get things done when your baby naps!

  • Reply Baby Isabella January 5, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Cleaning was a complete no-no for my mummy when I was little. Thankfully though my mummy can sleep almost anywhere at any time so the only piece of advice that rang true for us was “sleep when the baby sleeps” – if they hadn’t had done this both my folks would have been grumpy bums.

    • Reply Christy - WelshMum January 6, 2018 at 5:17 pm

      Lucky mummy. Sleeping anywhere at any time is definitely a great skill!

  • Reply Tanya Brannan January 6, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Oh I remember these nuggets of advice so so well. Then I had twins who never napped at the same time and found it impossible to do anything at all! I think your advice is much more sensible xx

    • Reply Christy - WelshMum January 6, 2018 at 5:17 pm

      Twins! Well I salute you for anything you managed to get done. I’m struggling enough with my one.

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