Sleep. It’s that enviable activity that childless people do. Hey, new mama, you don’t have to stumble through your days like something out of The Walking Dead (and we’re not talking about Maggie). It’s completely possible to sneak in some extra sleep — even when you’re a new parent. Sure, your baby needs you; she’s up for feedings, changings, and just because. But that doesn’t mean you need to go without sleep 24/7. Check out our tips for slipping a few extra zzz’s into your daily routine.
1. Make naptime for two. A few short months ago you’d come home, flop onto the sofa, and check emails. Now that you’re a mommy you can barely read the address on the outside of your house when you drive in after daycare pickup, let alone read the 47 emails your boss sent you five minutes after you walked out the door. Your newborn is napping like a champ these days. So go ahead and join her. Put her down in her crib, get comfy in your bed (or couch if you can’t make it that far), and take a half hour or so to power nap.
2. Share nighttime duties. It’s more like, share nighttime “doodies.” Your S.O. can’t breastfeed baby. If he could, he would (at least he claims that he would). If you’re not doing the formula or pump and bottle feed thing, the most your other half can do is change those 2am diapers. Even though you’ll still need to get up during the night for feedings, those extra few minutes of sleep you’ll get by handing over diaper duty are precious. So precious.
3. Try a house swap. Your BFF volunteered to come over and watch the baby while you get some rest. It sounds perfect, but the moment you curl up in your bed and start to fall into that sweet, sweet sleep, your baby starts wailing away. Your plans of silently sleeping for 15 minutes are ruined. Completely. If your bestie (or mother, MIL, neighbor, or anyone else who’s close to you) is coming over to babysit anyway, you might as well go out. Ask the sitter for an hour-long house swap. She comes to your house to sit, and you go to her house to sleep.
4. Relax on the commute. You’ve got a 45-minute train ride to work. That leaves plenty of time to get in a nap before or after your day. Just remember to set the alarm in your phone before dozing off. Obviously, if you drive to work, a commuter nap isn’t going to happen. When you get to work (or before you leave for home) turn the car off, crack open a window, and rest for a few moments. Again, set the alarm on your cell if you think you won’t wake up in 15 minutes or so.
5. Ask the nanny to stay. You’re home! It’s time for you to take over and the nanny to leave. Yes, you want to snuggle with that sweet little baby as soon as you walk in the door. But sleeping lets you snuggle even longer. Taking a nap immediately after work, while the nanny is still on duty, gives you time to rest and recharge. Now you’re ready to spend the rest of the night with your baby.
6. Get comfy in the nursery. Running from your room to the baby takes extra time. That’s time you could be sleeping. You want baby to sleep with you, but putting her in your bed isn’t exactly safe. So you move her into your room. The problem with that idea is her crib. You built it in the nursery and there’s no way it’s coming out. Instead of buying a new, smaller bassinet, just bunk in with her. Camp out on the floor with your favorite fluffy sleeping bag or get out the futon you spent most of your first post-college year sleeping on.
How do you sneak in extra sleep? Share your tip and tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)