8 Reasons Why 'Sleep When Baby Sleeps' Is Seriously the Best Advice

Cute baby sleeping

While pregnant, I thought to myself, Why can't I take care of one or two chores while my little guy slumbers? It can't be that bad. Then I gave birth, and I am so thankful I heeded the age-old advice from other mothers to sleep when the baby sleeps.


Seriously, when you finally get that baby to snooze, plop yourself onto the couch or your bed and get some shut-eye, whether it's five minutes or fifty. Here's why this isn't the type of advice to which you say "Oh I'll have to try that" and then totally ignore:

1. You need to recharge your battery. Whether you just gave birth or are trying to deal with an infant, you need sleep. Sure, a woman's body can go into overdrive, but that doesn't mean you should cruise on max speed 24/7 -- you'll burn out! Trust me, your body will thank you for the rest.

2. Babies are ridiculously unpredictable. "There's still 90 minutes left in baby's nap. I can finish this up." No. No. No. No -- no! Just when you think you have your child's "schedule" down, he or she will wake up 80 minutes earlier than expected. Guaranteed.

3. There are so many time sucks. If you aren't careful, that one "quick" returned phone call or text message will steal an hour out of your day. And then your baby wakes up. It's not necessary right now to update everyone on every little detail. Turn off your ringer and sleep.

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4. Nap time isn't your only chance to get things done, but it is your only chance to sleep. The dishes are dirty. Your hair needs washing. The clothes are a mess. You need to cook. There's a TV show you wanted to binge watch. Honey, there will always be a fire to put out. Do what you can while the baby is awake -- she can watch from her bouncy chair or swing or while you hold her in a carrier -- but you really do have to be awake when your baby is awake to take care of her.

5. Shorter spurts of sleep can add up. Sure, you're not going to get eight hours of sleep tonight. But some experts actually think we don't need one solid chunk of sleep to feel rested, and that it may be more natural to get it in several blocks of time. In other words, every little bit could help!

6. Your mood depends on it. Should you happen to live close to family and friends, don't be too surprised if someone comes over because they "just so happened to be in the neighborhood." Nothing can make a mom turn grouchy quite like a lack of sleep -- and having to entertain unexpected guests.

7. Parenting is often a team sport. It's great if you and your partner are both available to care for baby and so you take turns sleeping. But there are times when you're both going actually want to be awake at the same time without the baby. There's nothing wrong with both of you ignoring the dirty dishes and sleeping during those other times.

8. Babies have good days and bad days. Take it from me: Sleep while you can. You never know if tonight will be the night you don't get any sleep at all. If that's the case, you'll be so grateful you napped!


Image via Olesya Feketa/Shutterstock

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