Sleep When the Baby Sleeps: The Worst “Best” Advice

  If you’re a new mom or a mom at all, for that matter, chances are you’ve heard this tidbit of “best” advice.

Sleep when the baby sleeps. 

I’m going to go ahead and burst your bubble right here, it’s not possible.

I mean, in theory it sounds great but to think that one could actually accomplish this is kind of ridiculous. In my humble opinion.

And this is coming from someone who has very little responsibility, aside from caring for a newborn.

When am I supposed to shower? Or do my son’s insurance paperwork? Or clean? When am I supposed to work? More importantly, when do I eat?

If you’re a new mom fighting to keep this advice or if you’re a mom-to-be thinking this might actually be possible, let me relieve you of the pressure.

You can try to sleep when the baby sleeps but, most likely, you won’t.

And that’s ok.

Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty because sometimes when the baby’s sleeping you just want to sit, in silence. Or sometimes you just want to get on Facebook (gasp!).

Instead of feeling pressured to sleep when the baby sleeps, I have learned to do two these two things:

  • I take two naps during the day. I am very fortunate in that  I have help available almost all day long, however, I’m on my own at night, so generally my first nap is  at the beginning of the day. My mom will take the baby after his 6(ish)am feeding and watch him for a couple of hours. He’s not usually sleeping at this time which makes me feel a little guilty but sleep is a hot commodity when you have a newborn. So, I put my guilt aside and I sleep. I know not everyone is afforded this luxury but my advice would be instead of thinking that you need to sleep whenever the baby is sleeping, pick at least one time during the day to sleep when the baby is sleeping or when you have someone to help look after him/her. And don’t feel guilty about it! I do nap one other time during the day (sometimes more) but as far as I’m concerned that first nap is set in stone.
  • I get ready for bed well before my son’s last evening feeding. My son’s last feeding of the day is usually around 10pm, so by 9pm I get ready for bed. This way, as soon as I put him down after that feeding I’m ready to go to bed as well. I’ve already learned if I stay up I will regret it.

It takes a little discipline to catch some sleep these days. It’s so easy to find ways to fill up those precious two hours. Some things are important like keeping up with my business, others are slightly less important like Keeping up with the Kardashians.

While sleeping when the baby sleeps is a pretty lofty dream (no pun intended) and basically impossible, sleeping is important.

My advice? Just sleep!

However and whenever you can.

Let yourself walk away from dirty dishes or unfolded laundry. Call in a baby holder for an hour (certainly you have a friend that would love to do so!). Discipline yourself to go to bed as soon as your baby goes down at night.  Find what works for you… your body and your baby will thank you!

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