Those precious minutes when your little one is napping give you a chance to recharge, regroup, and get things done. It’s easy for new moms to feel frustrated and fatigued due to not having enough time to handle everything on their “to do” lists. When their babies are catching a catnap, the time alone offers a brief – but welcome – respite from an otherwise hectic schedule. The key to keeping your sanity is maximizing those minutes.
Below, we’ll explore some ways in which you can leverage the time your baby spends napping. You’ll understand why you should consider yourself a priority and plan the time according to your body’s natural rhythm. We’ll also discuss the differences between your baby’s short and long naps in in the context of spending the time as productively as possible.
Consider Yourself A High Priority
A lot of new moms spend their babies’ naptime frantically getting things done around the house. For example, they’ll throw themselves into paying the bills and washing the dishes. They rush to toss a load of laundry into the washer or get things ready for dinner. While doing these things make it seem as if you’re being productive, they can take a greater toll on your mind and body over the long run.
Your happiness will be reflected in that of your baby. She’ll be able to detect your stress level when it’s high. When she naps, consider yourself as much a priority as the household chores. The dishes can wait while you enjoy a small bit of rest and solitude.
Plan According To Your Rhythm
Your body works according to a different rhythm than other people. Try to identify when your energy level is at its peak. Do you feel more energetic during the early morning hours or during the late afternoon? If the morning hours are your peak time, can you plan your schedule to accommodate it?
For example, consider taking showers during the evening to free up more “high energy” time during the morning hours. When your baby takes her first nap of the day, you’ll be able to devote that time to getting more done.
Short Versus Long Naps
Some of your baby’s naps will be shorter than others. The good news is that most babies are consistent in their napping habits. If your baby takes extended naps during the early afternoon, she’s likely to continue this behavior for the foreseeable future. That means you can plan around them to maximize your available time.
For instance, when your baby takes a half-hour catnap, use that time to prepare dinner, take a quick shower, wash the dishes, or return calls. When she takes a longer nap, use that time to exercise, clean the house, do a couple of loads of laundry, and take your own catnap.
Plan To Be Productive
Create a list of action items that need to addressed. This is the first step toward planning to be as productive as possible while your baby is napping. Make sure your list includes everything you need to do throughout the day. That might include returning calls, cleaning the house, washing the dishes, and scheduling an appointment with your little one’s pediatrician. Prioritize each item.
When your baby takes a catnap, simply go down the list. You’ll know instinctively some action items will require 30 minutes while others can be finished within a few minutes. You’ll be surprised by how productive such a list will make you while your infant is napping.
The responsibilities of being a new mom can rattle anyone’s nerves. Not only is there a seemingly endless list of tasks to do, but there’s little time to do them. Learn to leverage your little one’s naps. It’s the best strategy for being productive while staying happy, healthy, and sane.