To those of you out there that also have a baby who spend many hours a day sleeping on you... I hope you find this helpful, or maybe amusing because you can relate. My little Sweet Pea takes a couple 2 hour naps a day, but only lasts about 30 minutes in her bassinet and the rest of the time she is on me, so I try to make the time useful. Here are some of my favorite nap time activities:
*One note: I try to put my phone on airplane mode for all the phone activities whenever internet is not required since I’m holding my phone right next to her.
1. TV. Let's get the obvious one out of the way. This is the only time I watch my shows, since I’m usually exhausted at night after we get her to bed. I try to put the volume really low so I don’t disrupt her sleep or I watch on my computer and use headphones.
Tip: I recommend watching Sweet Home Sextuplets and OutDaughtered. If you are feeling overwhelmed with being a new parent, just watch how these families manage 5+ babies in additional to their older kids. It will make your job feel like a piece of cake. Plus they are such sweet families to watch.
I occasionally watch mom YouTube channels. Again, helps to feel less alone throughout the day when you see there are a bunch of other moms doing the same thing as you.
2. Listen to podcasts (either on low volume or with headphones). One of my favorite ‘me time’ activities pre-baby was listening to podcast while driving to work, running errands or during my daily walks. I really missed this my first couple weeks, but then realized I could fit in that time when she is napping on me.
I like to listen to some fun podcasts and some education ones related to my coaching. Keeps my brain working and happy. My favorites:
Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Happier in Hollywood
The Life Coach School Podcast
Heather Dubrow’s World
3. Plan for the rest of the week. Use your notes app and plan chores, errands, groceries, etc. for the next week.
4. Organize photos. Use the time to keep your photos on your phone up to date. I get so annoyed when my phone is full of repeat photos or photos of things I don’t need anymore (pictures of receipts or instructions). Delete the unwanted photos and make albums to organize all your new baby photos. I tried using Shutterfly to order books and 4’ x 4’ prints each month, but I’m not a fan of their quality so I’ll stick with Bay Photo.
5. Write/journal. I use the notes app on my phone and write down important moments throughout the day, milestones, how I’m feeling etc. There are so many changes happening every day with a new babe, I want to remember them years from now and I know I won’t unless they are written down.
6. Read on a kindle e-reader. I tried holding a book and turning pages while holding Teagan, but she would start wiggling as I turned a page (she is a VERY light sleeper). So Kindle to the rescue.
7. Plan/dream. Use the time day dream and imagine… plan your next holiday, vacation, business ideas, bucket list, what you are looking forward to in the next year. Let your imagine wonder. I use the notes app on my phone to jot down ideas.
It’s hard to go from working all day for years to being stuck in a chair under a baby for so many hours a day. These activities have helped me relax and enjoy this time, while feeling semi-productive.