Any suggestions on how to nap when babies are sleeping?

posted 5 months ago in Babies
Post # 16
1413 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Two things helped me fall asleep: Co-sleeping and headspace / expectful meditation apps

I don’t co-sleep regularly, but if I wanted to sleep while baby napped, I’d toss all the pillows from the bed, strip back the blankets, and put on a sweater and curl up with baby on my bed then turn on a meditation app (I liked Expectful for pregnancy/post-partum but pre-pregnancy I did Headspace). I’d always lie there being like “no way I’ll fall asleep” and then 45 min later wake up to me drooling in baby’s hair lol. Sorry bubs!

I think the co-sleeping did something instinct wise for me and the app helped me get out of my head to let those instincts take over. I will say that I breastfed exclusively and did find that my body automatically went into ‘co-sleeping’ mode where I’d curl around baby and not move. The human body is pretty cool!

ETA: the meditation also was good at helping me stop thinking about everything else that I *should* be doing (prepping dinner, vacuuming, walking the dog, laundry,…) and that guilt was often what stopped me from being able to fall asleep. Also I think having baby in bed next to me helped because I knew there was no way I’d sleep through him fussing if he woke up because I’m a HEAVY sleeper.

Post # 17
556 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2021

Twins are insaneeely hard. Is it at all possible for to hire some help during this time, even if it means your household budget being rearranged a little to prioritize it? 

Post # 18
2234 posts
Buzzing bee

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@workingonmynightcheese:  a girl after my own heart– Outlander has gotten me through many, MANY naps and sleepless nights! 


OP– I don’t have twins, but I do have 2 under 2. Some days I can catch a cat nap for 30min or so, and it helps. But I started working out during their nap and it actually gives me MORE energy (I really hate when workoutaholics say that, but it’s true lol). 

Post # 19
1371 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

Something I do when I struggle falling asleep is do a 2 count of my breaths.  Inhale 1, exhale 2.  This works for me for several reasons. It keeps my mind occupied and stops it from wandering. It also helps to regulate my breathing.  And by only counting 1 and 2, I don’t get distracted by what number I’m on.  Like literally keeping an ongoing count, or as PP suggested counting backwards, would be a distraction for me.  I’d be thinking about what number comes next, or how long ive been counting, or if I lose focus for a second I’d think “wait, what number was I on”?  It would drive me nuts. With a 2 count I just start right back with inhale 1, exhale 2. 

Post # 21
247 posts
Helper bee

So I am super against bed sharing / co-sleeping, so I won’t suggest anything like that and I would personally advise you not to listen to the moms that have said that. Putting your children in an unsafe situation so you can get sleep is selfish and dangerous. 

That being said, I feel you. I only have one (can’t even imagine twins oh my) and he was very colicky from weeks 6-12. He always needed to be held for naps and when I would finally get him to settle in the bassinet it was almost impossible to rest myself. I always had a hard time napping when he napped because I was on edge and every noise he made I peeked into the bassinet. It helped me to have him in the top level of the pack and play right by the couch during the day, and the bassinet next to my bed at night, so I literally only needed to open my eyes, see he was okay, then close them again. I may not have been getting deep quality sleep, but I laid there with my eyes closed. 

As others have said, just resting sometimes helps. Don’t do housework. That can wait. Curl up with a book, take a hot bath, watch Netflix. Sometimes just finding a way to rest your brain / focus on other things sometimes helps big time. Let me repeat.. the number one thing I have learned as a new parent.. the housework can wait!! 

Also, I know the pandemic makes this hard but on more than one occasion my Mother-In-Law came over and watched him downstairs and made my husband and I go up to sleep. I helped knowing he was in good hands, he was safe, and we were able to knock out for 3-4 hours peacefully. If someone comes over to help you, you need to learn to relinquish that control (hard, I know, I am a control freak and have high anxiety). Go take a bath or a nap and let them take control for even an hour or two. 

Post # 22
247 posts
Helper bee

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@helpluv11:  Also to your new update, don’t let colic scare you away from daycare. They are trained in this, this is their job / career, and it’s what they want to do. They have seen it all and done it all. In fact, our daycare has helped US so much with teaching us tricks with his colic, sleeping, eating, etc. We sent him to daycare at 11 weeks, 1 week before I went back to work, so I could sleep all day and get errands done the first week. He was pulled home in March, and we just took him back to Daycare last month and it has been the BEST decision ever for him to be back there.

I felt bad at first too leaving him at 12 weeks with colic and issues feeling like I was burdening them with my difficult child. It’s what they studied for, worked for, and they are the perfect people to help deal with this – don’t feel bad!! 

Post # 23
216 posts
Helper bee

Hot shower, Netflix, PJs, bed. That’s usually my nap/bed routine.

If you find that you can’t nap (which I couldn’t either), maybe try to have the same bedtime as them?

Post # 24
417 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Have you looked on the Twiniversity site? I bet they broach this topic! But, from am outside (and twin-ignorant) perspective, I thinkyou need to get the on the same schedule, for a start. Good luck Mama!

Post # 25
436 posts
Helper bee

I think one of my biggest new mom advice pet peeves were all the people telling me to “just sleep when baby sleeps!” as if it’s the simplest thing in the world. This thread just goes to show it is far easier said than done. 

I very rarely sleep when my daughter does as I feel like there’s a million other things to do in those short windows (laundry, dishes, having a quick meal, even more laundry), but on the days where I am dead tired, I’ll head up to our room, close the blinds and curtains (both are blackout so the room gets pretty dark), turn on the fan for white noise, nurse her and then pop her into her bassinet. I make sure not to play around on my phone, because a quick 5 minute Instagram scroll before putting the phone down to nap somehow always turns into 45 minutes and suddenly nap time is over! 

Post # 26
7195 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

Please do not take melatonin if your doctor has not prescribed it for you! Your pineal glad naturally produces melatonin . . . unless you start taking it on your own and then the levels of natural melatonin will decrease because your body thinks it doesn’t need to produce it.

I found, when I struggled to nap when my son was an infant, that putting my hand on his belly helped me relax enough to fall asleep. Doing that, I knew that he was safe and nearby and if he woke up and needed me, I was right there. I needed to learn how to let my alert system disengage for long enough to fall asleep.

Also, even if you cannot fall asleep, simply closing your eyes, being still and being quiet for a certain amount of time will help to rejuvenate you a bit. If you do it around the same time each day (as best you can), your system will get onto the schedule and you may find yourself relaxing more and more deeply until you are able to sleep.  

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