Naps. As an adult, they are glorious. 22 and had a “rough” weekend? Nap! 24 and working 2 jobs but have a day off? Nap! 27 and have the flu? Nap! Cranky at any age? Nap!
Naps are great for kids, too. Luckily newborns sleep for a fair amount of time. Most older babies take a couple of naps per day. Even some toddlers take naps. At least twice a week I can get my 3-year-old to nap (if I’m lucky, maybe even 3 times, though today appears to NOT be one of those days)!
With the nap discussion, there are always those few who have the sage advice to “nap when baby naps.” Sounds great, right? It seems like a smart idea, no? Well, let me tell you! If every mother napped when their baby napped, every single time, there would be no need for those “tired mom” memes or phrases. There’d be no tired mom jokes. Coffee sales would plummet. And what kind of world would it be without memes, jokes, and coffee?
Seriously though, napping when baby naps is a great idea… in theory. Sure, it may be doable when you first come home with your first baby. Those first couple weeks are utterly exhausting, and I know I personally did not give a single crap about the state my house was in during those weeks. But what about after those first weeks? What if you already have one child and this is your second? What if you’re like me – you brought the second babe home at the same time Big Brother was starting to refuse naps? Where is everyone’s sage advice then?
Well what I have for you isn’t sage, and I’m not sure you’d even call it advice – it’s just what I have gotten out of my own personal experience.
Nap. When. You. Can.
Really. If you can nap, by all means, take advantage of it! Sometimes it’s just not possible – new babies (and new moms) have numerous appointments to go to in those first few weeks. Even without those appointments, you need time to eat, you eventually need to shower, and you might actually feel okay enough to do laundry. Either way, if you are tired and the baby is asleep or someone else that you trust is home, even twenty to thirty minutes of sleep can make a difference.
If you have more than one child already, it gets harder. But the saying “nap when you can” still applies! When I brought my second baby home, my toddler was still napping about 4 days a week. If I could get them both to nap at the same time, you bet I joined them in dreamland! Now he refuses naps most days of the week, and the one-year-old takes one long nap mid-day. Unless I get them both to sleep at or around the same time, a nap for me is basically nonexistent. Coffee is my best friend!
Let your village help you nap.
Sometimes you need to ask for help. If people offer their help, and they truly mean it, they will be more than happy to come help you. If they offer their help, TAKE IT! Plenty of people like babies and really don’t mind cuddling them so the parents can get some rest.
If you don’t have a village, build one! I built my village, and they are some of the best people in mine and my children’s lives. If I need a nap, I can ask these people and they are more than happy to entertain my children. I always wanted to try to be Super Mom, I wanted to handle everything on my own. All it did was make me even more tired than I already was and it added more stress than I needed. I couldn’t be Super Mom if I was tired and stressed! So I broke down, built my village, and accepted their help. I am a better mom for it!
Please, nap when you can. Even though it seems like you’re so tired you just might die, you won’t. I was pretty convinced I would, yet here I am, listening to my son yell through the monitor, “I don’t need to nap anymore Mommy!”
I really wish he would though. I’m 34 and need a nap!