Taking Time for Yourself During Naptime

You bounce, coddle, rock, nurse, burp, coddle some more, soothe, and pacify. This routine may take minutes or hours. It may frustrate you to no end, but skipping it can make the rest of the day a nightmare. You read books on the best way to get it done. You commiserate with other parents on how hard it is. You listen to doctors that tell you how important it is. And the next day, you do it all over again.

Getting your child to nap during the day is often a difficult task. However, it is important for both their development and your sanity. Whether they sleep for minutes or hours, it is essential that you use the time while they are asleep to take care of yourself. For some parents, this reprieve is brief, and it can help to plan ahead in order not to miss out on this valuable window of time.

Basic

Depending on the rest of your daily schedule and the age of your child, you may need to use this time to shower, brush your teeth, eat, or perform other simple daily tasks. A luxurious shower that lasts more than five minutes can be like a full day at the spa for some busy parents. So, enjoy it!

Intermediate

Okay, so you had time to shower in the morning, and you have brushed your teeth after a quick breakfast. Now that your little one is asleep, you may qualify for a few other activities. Put the dishes in the dishwasher, start another load of laundry, work on that grocery list, or sweep the floor. While it may seem like you’re wasting the valuable “nap window” on more work, it can often be a huge relief to get these tasks out of the way without a little one hanging on you. Plus, it will free you up to spend more time playing with them when they wake up.

Advanced

Wow! You must be a pro at this napping stuff if your baby has been asleep for more than an hour. Take extra time for yourself by painting your toenails, enjoying a quiet cup of coffee, calling a friend on the phone, or reading a book. You may even want to spend part of this time taking a nap yourself!

However you spend those precious minutes or hours, use it as a way to recharge your batteries for the rest of the day. After all, that’s what your child is doing during their naptime!

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Jennifer Brown is a mama and an MD who enjoys finding fun in the chaos that comes with being a working mommy. Balancing the effort it takes to raise two adorable boys and juggle a thriving medical career, Jennifer also loves baking cookies, taking photos, reading fiction, and drinking coffee.

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