5 Tips To Help You, "sleep when the baby sleeps." For Real.

Brooke Nalle, founder of Sleepy on Hudson and is a sleep coach for children and their tired parents.  We're thrilled to have her brilliant insight. Here Brooke shares her pressure free list of how to get that much needed sleep (you keep hearing about).  


When I think about advising new parents and babies about napping, I can’t help but remember another more seasoned mother’s advice as my husband escorted our newborn baby boy and me into our building in New York City.  She was heading out; one sticky toddler in one hand, a baby eating cheerios in the stroller, and a 5 or 6 year old lagging behind.  Her world looked like chaos; mine seemed quiet.  She looked at me and said, “Nap when the baby naps, sleep when the baby sleeps.”

This must be everyone’s favorite nugget of advice; I hear it all of the time.  I must admit; it annoys me!  If I were sleeping whenever my children slept throughout the past 8 years, I wouldn’t have paid bills, made dinner, seen my husband, called a friend..um, I don’t know...started a business!

 

That said, how about this compromise: choose one time of day to rest while your baby is sleeping.  Let’s get rid of the formal nap while he naps maxim, and instead just say – rest.  Here are a few ideas for how to make this happen:

 

1 - Choose your couch or your bed, bring the monitor, or have the baby in a crib, bassinet, or co-sleeper nearby, and just read something a little hard to focus on (a sleep or parenting advice book, not a gripping novel).

2 - If you nurse, indulge you and your baby with a nursing nap/rest.  Do the side-lying position on a safe surface and nurse and doze.  This is a great option if you and your baby need a nap at the same time.

3 - Pick your time.  You might have so much to do in the morning that you can’t fathom sleeping while your baby takes her first nap.  You will probably feel very different around 1pm or so.  Quick sleep fact – all bodies and minds tend to move into a slower more sleepy space between 1 and 3pm, naturally.  Take advantage!

4 - Have the advantage of a beautiful day?  Encourage a babysitter, friend, or your husband/wife/partner to take your little one out for a walk in the stroller or carrier.  Pick a nice place in your home to rest and let sleep happen naturally. 

5 - Finally, you’ll be surprised, for a parent, even after the worst night or nights, a 15-minute nap can really take the edge off.  So let go of the pressure to nap; you’ll be surprised just how a nap can sneak up on you after all.