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Sleep When the Baby Sleeps, and Other Advice To Ignore

Posted by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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"Sleep when the baby sleeps." "Always sleep when the baby sleeps!" "Oh, you can just sleep when the baby sleeps."

I heard it so many times, and I tried to follow the advice, I really did, but you know what? Napping in the middle of the day has always made me feel cranky and miserable, and that didn't change just because I'd had a baby.

Laying down, closing my eyes, and trying to relax for an indeterminate amount of time--could be two hours, could be twenty minutes and then surprise! diaper blow-out!--is ANTI-relaxing for me. It's like "Here, go meditate in this room and never mind the ticking bomb-shaped box in the corner, it probably won't go off for at least an hour." No thank you. I'd rather be doing anything else.

I know I can't be alone in feeling better about the world if I can use the baby's downtime for something productive. I'm not even talking productive like cleaning the kitchen or composing a sonnet, but just doing something as basic to survival as checking my email and/or taking a shower. After my second kid was born and the pregnancy weight was hanging around like a stray cat at a deli, I even used my baby's naptime to pop in an exercise DVD. Flailing in place and scoring a few crunches and leg lifts did way more for my well-being than a fitful one-eye-open nap on the couch, for sure.

And back during those early days when Baby was able to snooze on my chest all warm and sweet-smelling and snuffly and new? Why would I give up enjoying those fleeting moments for stupid old sleep?

Besides, who needs naps when there's caffeine, amirite? 

Are/Were you able to sleep when the baby sleeps? What other advice did you get from everyone and then straight-up ignore?

Photo © Pernjakovic
by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Bronze Member on Apr. 3, 2013 at 9:44 PM

 I wasn't but pure exhaution got the best of me so I was able to finally do this with my 5th. I do agree with the advice though because being too tired makes it too hard to wake up at night when you have to function and take care of a newborn lol but now at 3 months I can tough it out because I don't have to get up at night, we co-sleep and he just nurses and we both fall back asleep :)

by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 9:47 PM

"Give your baby rice cereal"

"It's okay to just let that baby cry"

"Stop doing XYZ, you're spoiling your baby"

by Member on Apr. 3, 2013 at 9:50 PM

Sometimes I was able to sleep when baby slept. As she got older though, I wasn't able to anymore. When she was first born I was in survival mode so it was pretty easy usually to pass out. If it wasn't, I'd run around and do a few chores until I was exhausted!

by New Member on Apr. 3, 2013 at 11:25 PM

I'm right there with you! I see Elliot's naptime as time to mentally recharge, but not necessarily lay down. I didn't require a lot of sleep before baby and I think that's helped a bit too in not 'needing' to feel like I should be sleeping. Recently though I remember coming home from work, my short day even (7-1) and making the conscious decision to nap rather than eat :) 

by Member on Apr. 3, 2013 at 11:28 PM
Don't wear your baby, he will never learn how to (insert any of the following here)
Self calm
Be independent
Be held by anyone but you
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by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 8:31 AM

I did sleep when he slept or just rest. Not like he took naps much 10 minutes 2 times a day lol 

by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 8:35 AM

I always sleep when baby sleeps. I am a napper  and I need it. I sleep horribly at night and when I have a baby again, I am always on alert, so sleep is  even worse. when they nap, I surely will nap too!

by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 8:50 AM
Oh heck yeah! I napped some times when DD was napping.
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by Chrissy - Admin on Apr. 4, 2013 at 8:54 AM
I always napped when he did if I could! He was up every 1 to 2 hours day and night for several months.

Advice I did ignore
Don't cloth diaper
Don't wear your baby
Don't put baby in your bed
Don't breasted
Let your baby cry
Put rice cereal in his bottle
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by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 8:57 AM
I was able to. But now when i am home during nap time, i usually have way too much coffee pumping through me that i can't sleep
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