Yet another mom-friend is blasting you with, “You have to sleep when the baby does.” You’ve heard a zillion repeats of that age-old advice. Then nap-time hits. You consider the couch (and whatever’s in your Netflix queue), but the Mt. Everest of laundry baskets is calling to you. Precious sleep or quiet cleaning? Before you shut down your shut-eye plans, check out why you really need to consider sleeping when your baby does.
1. Labor is work. Hey, new mama, you just got the workout of a lifetime: Your usual cardio’s got nothing on labor or a C-section. Sure, you got a couple insurance-sponsored “vacation” days in the hospital to “rest”… but you’re still exhausted. Now you’re home with a newborn who is waking up every few hours. Right now, you have healing to do and some major life adjustments to make. And, that means you need sleep — the more, the better. Whenever baby shuts their eyes, it’s time for you to get some recharging rest too!
2. It’s safe. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep in their parents’ room as a way to reduce the risk of SIDS. This does NOT mean sleeping in their parents’ bed: Your baby should sleep on their own separate surface, such as a crib or bassinet. When they’re already sleeping in your room, you might as well crawl into bed and get some sleep while your kiddo naps nearby.
3. Sync your schedules. Baby is sleeping, but you’re up running around like a cleaning-crazed maniac. You’re putting away onesies, organizing the bounty of baby gear you got at your shower, and trying to make something other than a piece of bread wrapped around string cheese for dinner. Then baby wakes up — you drop everything, pick up your kiddo, feed them, and struggle to keep your eyes open. Bet you wish you were both well-rested right about now. Sleeping when baby sleeps gets you on the same schedule. At least, enough of the same schedule to keep you more alert than exhausted.
4. Nights aren’t always restful. That may be a bit of an understatement. At some point your little one will start sleeping through the night, but in the beginning they’ll probably wake up every few hours. Unless you want to look and feel like someone out of The Walking Dead (and we’re not talking about Maggie or Michonne), sleeping along with your baby is a must. Joining in on those daytime naps will help to offset some of the nighttime sleep that you’re desperately missing.
5. You deserve it. There’s no rule saying that being a mom grants superhuman endurance. Sure, mamas often seem to have superhero-like abilities: Who else could simultaneously feed a baby, pour a sippy cup of juice, and help a toddler finger paint? With all that work you do though, you totally deserve a break. So give yourself one! Instead of trying to get everything done in the 45 minutes your baby is napping, go ahead and close your own eyes too.
When baby naps, do you nap too? Tweet us why or why not @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)