When your baby is a newborn (i.e. the fourth trimester), naps are all over the place. But now at six months old, those naps should hopefully be a bit more predictable. Even Veronika, who naps when and where she can on big brother’s schedule, has settled into a routine of 3 naps a day – a quick morning one, a longer one late morning, and a third one mid-afternoon to get her through to the evening.
One secret about naps is that they are reliably 45 minutes long, unless a baby is startled awake. Why? Because that’s the length of a sleep cycle. When a baby matures enough to fall back asleep, that 45 minutes turns into a full 90 minute nap. That gives you lots of time, if you use it wisely!
And I hear you busy parents; naps are crucial for getting things done! But they’re also crucial for self-care. I’m as guilty as the rest, so here’s a new trick I’m implementing: Set an alarm for 30 minutes, then take time to relax.
She’s out! Time to set the timer.
For those 30 minutes, I power through whatever needs to get done: bills, writing, cleaning, organizing, you name it. But when the 30 minutes are up, it’s time to relax.
That might mean having a cup of tea, or reading a book. For me, it’s usually a pot of coffee and a magazine. And then if I’m lucky and she stirs at the 45 minute mark, I can take her in my arms and she might – just might! – settle back in for a second 45 minutes on me. Which is the best.