"Sleep When The Baby Sleeps": 20 Things Moms Actually Do While Their Baby Naps

It's funny how our relationship with sleep changes once we become moms. When we're teenagers, we love to sleep in on weekends, and maybe that's still true when we grow up, go to college, and move in. Once we're in our 20s and are working and dating and enter a serious relationship, we still sleep in sometimes, depending on whether we're a night owl or more of a morning lover.

One thing is for sure, though, once we become parents, we're not sleeping as much as we did before. We're also pretty interested in our babies' sleep and nap schedules. Hey, we're not sleeping, but we can get them to drift off, right?! Among the many pieces of advice that new moms hear is "sleep when the baby sleeps." We totally get why people say this since it seems only logical that we would use that time to get some rest but at the same time, there are tons of reasons why new mamas wouldn't want to do that. For one thing, some people just aren't nappers and find it messes up their ability to fall asleep at night, and for another, nap time seems like a great opportunity to take care of a few things that are nagging at you.

What do moms do when their baby is sleeping during the day? Let's take a look. Here are 20 things that moms actually do when the baby naps.

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20 Time To Scroll

Many of us spend more time than we might want to actually say scrolling through our social media channels every day. This is still true when we become moms. In fact, this is something that many moms do when their baby is taking a nap.

As this mom wrote on What To Expect, looking at Instagram is a common thing to do at this time: while going through a day in the life of a mom, she said,

"12:10 p.m. You grab your phone on the way over to the sink. You take a quick peek at Instagram. What’s everyone up to today?"

19 Go For A Walk

Living and Loving suggests putting your napping baby in a stroller and going for a walk. It's a great idea since you'll get out, get some movement in, the baby can still be in dreamland, and you get some moments to yourself.

Podcasts have become trendy and it seems like no matter what we find fascinating, we can find at least a few shows to listen to. We can listen to a podcast while going for this walk, listen to some music, or take the time to just breathe and be happy to be out in nature (or out in the city if that's where we live).

18 Eat Something

Moms and new moms in particular aren't exactly sitting down to a three-course meal three times a day... or even once a day. It's more like

"Can I eat this protein bar and have it count as both breakfast and lunch? Hopefully I can because that's all I have time for,"

or "Maybe I'll eat the leftover chili from last night" but there never ends up being time for that. Belly Belly suggests eating when your baby takes a nap, which is a really smart idea. You can take a few moments to make yourself some eggs and avocado toast, actually heat up some leftovers, make a sandwich... The sky is the limit. (Okay, not really, but you'll still have at least a few minutes to eat, which will be awesome.)

17 Mom Moments


Naptime Tales says, "Do something for YOU. Paint your nails, read a book or watch a movie…"

Doesn't that sound so lovely? This might take some getting used to for new moms. You're around your baby all the time and do so much for them that even the thought of me time or doing something other than looking after them or thinking about them feels super strange. It's totally okay to feel that way but you also have to remember that you have to take care of yourself, too. It'll help you a lot. So embrace the nap time manicure or the time to watch a movie.

16 A Veggie Good Tip

Are you looking for a way to spend your baby's naptime without nodding off yourself? Everyday Family suggests that moms

"Chop vegetables for tonight’s dinner."

Moms can also do any other kind of cooking or meal prep, and while this might not be that much fun for some moms who aren't big on getting into the kitchen, others will enjoy having this time. If you count cooking as one of your hobbies, then you won't say no to this. If you don't really like it, then at least you'll know that you're getting something done that you have to do. There's always a positive way to look at a situation.

15 Every Mom Can Relate To This

Belly Belly says that moms should do the laundry when their baby is napping because there is always so much.

Yes. So much yes here. Every mom can relate to this. It seems like no matter where you are on your parenting journey and no matter how many kids you have, you can say that you're tired, you're not sleeping as much as you used to, and you're also doing a whole lot of laundry. This is definitely one of the more practical things that moms do instead of sleeping when the baby sleeps. It's smart since you'll be so glad that you got it done.

14 How About A Shower?

Romper says that moms take a shower when their baby naps. The mom writing for the publication jokes that when they take a shower during this time, their baby will wake up, which definitely seems to happen. But it's still a good thing to do.

Many moms would say that this seems like the easiest time to take a shower. We all feel better once we've showered, but every mom will laugh that this is easier said than done when we are raising little ones. There is always a lot to do, and showering isn't exactly top of the list. There isn't much that a nice long hot shower can't fix (or a short one since we don't know how long we have).

13 A Productive Hour

If we're not going to sleep when the baby sleeps, then we definitely want to get something done. Mom.me suggests several different ways to pass the time:

"Nap time is prime time for reading a book, doing the dishes, getting some work done or putting on a little makeup."

This mom continued, "If I hopped into bed every time my baby fell asleep, I'd never get a thing done." A lot of moms can relate to this sentiment since we often say that there aren't enough hours in the day to finish everything that we want to do. That becomes even truer when we have a little one to take care of and look after (and love, of course).

12 Look At The Baby

Romper says something that every mom would nod her head at: when your baby takes a nap, you look at them. You can't help but look at your baby girl or boy who you adore so much.

It's kind of like when you and your partner go out to dinner or go to a party and are without your baby for the first time. While you're happy to have a night out and you're ready to have a good time, the two of you also find yourselves talking about your kid for pretty much the entire evening. You can't help that because you're so in love and you spend so much time thinking about them.

11 Get Organized


Another Far From Home suggests making a to-do list and it does seem like getting organized is an awesome way to spend your baby's nap time.

It's not always possible to feel organized when you're a mom, especially when you're a new mom. It can be tough to get on top of everything that you have to do, and there are some weeks when you don't do any laundry and don't do much at all except take care of your baby. Or maybe you work from home or work part-time and juggle that along with your mom status. There's always a lot going on, and when you have an hour or so, getting organized can feel really good.

10 Social Butterfly

When your baby is taking a nap and looking blissfully cute, you can take that time to get some socializing in. As Mother and Baby says, "Being stuck at home with a young baby means it’s extra important you stay connected with other people."

The publication suggests having a nice phone chat with a relative or having someone drop by so you can have some-face-to face time. You'll definitely love this and it could become part of your routine a few times a week. (Of course, you'll end up talking about the baby a lot, but that's okay. They are too cute not to chat about.)

9 Become A Bookworm

Why not become a bookworm while your baby sleeps during the day?

Living and Loving suggests that moms curl up with a novel at this time, and we think that this is the best idea ever. Reading is such a great way to unwind and that is so crucial when we've just become a parent and are getting used to our new routine and everything that is going on.

Reading counts as self-care and many moms agree that while they don't want to sleep while the baby sleeps, they do want to relax.

This totally counts since it can be restorative and give us a bit of a break.

8 Posting Pictures


Naptime Tales says that posting photos on social media is a good thing to do during your baby's nap:

"Upload photos. Make sure you are updating your family and friends on FaceBook, Twitter, Blogger…whatever it is you use. Who doesn’t love to see new pictures of a cute little one in their news feed?"

This is definitely another thing that moms do when their baby is taking a nap, and we can see why. After all, we do love sharing their sweet face and their adorable smiles, and we know that everyone that we know is always up for seeing new photos. Our moms and other relatives might even text us on a daily basis, asking for more pictures. It's a great time to get this done, and it's fun, too.

7 TV Time

Mother and Baby suggest watching a TV show that you love.

It's an awesome idea. Chances are, you have some things that you wish that you had more time to watch, so this can be your TV time. While you watch lots of TV with your little one and maybe with your husband or partner if you have some free moments at night before going to sleep, you don't really have a lot of time to watch your favorite shows or something that you're interested in. And when you do watch TV before bed, you might fall asleep in front of it. Hey, it happens to the best of us. So this TV trick is a great idea.

6 It's Boring But Necessary

Some moms do the dishes and clean up the kitchen when their baby is drifting off into dreamland during the day, as Belly Belly suggests.

Sure, this isn't the most fun thing ever, and yet it's so necessary. It's really smart to clean during the baby's naptime and this is for sure something that many moms do. It's also a good way to feel productive and like you've taken a load off since you don't have to sit there and think about when you're going to find the time to clean. And for many of us, there is something pretty relaxing about cleaning.

5 One Thing At A Time

It could be said that moms are the best multitaskers ever since they can literally do anything and everything while holding and/or looking after a baby. They can empty the dishwasher, clean the kitchen, clean the house, make dinner, and more.

But when your baby is napping, Policy Genius says not to multitask and that's really amazing advice.

We can see that there are some downsides to multitasking. We can feel tired and we can also feel pretty scattered and like we're not really doing anything in a satisfying way. Instead, let's focus on one thing at a time, and we'll feel much better.

4 Tired Moms

Everyday Family suggests doing this while your baby is taking a nap: "Call a friend whose baby also doesn’t sleep to talk about how tired you are."

This is a relatable and funny suggestion for sure. It's funny since all moms can basically agree that at one time or another they have dealt with a baby who wasn't sleeping or was having trouble or was switching schedules. And it's relatable since if you have a friend who is a mom or who you met through a mom's group, you definitely know someone who is tired. It's good to get some friend time in throughout the day, even if it's just a quick phone call.

3 Sit On The Couch

Scary Mommy says,

"Sometimes naptime is the only chance a full-time parent has to sit on the sofa without a little set of hands clawing at them and feel human again."

Have truer words ever been spoken?! If you literally sit on the couch or anywhere else in your house or apartment while your baby sleeps but don't do anything else, that's still a great way to use your baby's nap time. Self-care has become something that many of us are interested in, and we can think of simply sitting down as self-care. It's a really good idea and we'll love it.

2 Totally True

Romper article makes a good point: moms think that they should be productive and think about all the things that they could do, but they could also watch TV, which is so relatable. As this mom wrote for the publication, "Oh, wait. Maybe I should get a few things done before Netflixing? I start slowly inching toward my computer, or the kitchen, or the laundry room, or whatever else needs some attention."

This is another thing that moms do while their babies nap: think about what they have to do and end up doing none of it because they think a lot about it, or just watching TV. And, honestly, it's all fine. We should never feel guilty about any of this. We're doing awesome.

1 An Interesting Idea


Policy Genius recommends "doing the same thing" each time your baby naps: "Whatever it is, try to be consistent. It’s the thing you always do to transition into "you" time."

What a great tip, right? Instead of wondering what you should be doing and thinking of all the potential activities, or feeling guilty for spending time on yourself and away from your baby (even though your baby is napping and therefore totally fine), you can just do the same thing each time. This is up to you, of course, and could mean some work or some housework... or just something for you.

Sources: Whattoexpect.com, Mom.me, Romper.com, Motherandbaby.co.uk, Naptimetales.com,  Everydayfamily.comScarymommy.com.

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