Menu

Dear pregnant mama: Take the nap

Don’t question it. Just do it. ?

Dear pregnant mama: Take the nap

I hate to sound like a complainer, but you guys—pregnancy is so tiring.


The first trimester is draining, the second trimester is a little less draining and then the third trimester is yes—you guessed it—draining again.

And if this is your second or third child, it’s even more exhausting as you chase around fast, busy little humans all day. And if you have Hyperemesis Gravidarum, being sick throughout your pregnancy leaves you totally and utterly zonked. And what about working throughout your pregnancy? Yep, those afternoon slumps are definitely more hardcore.

(Coffee, please. ☕)

And let’s not even touch the ‘fourth trimester’ right now, because newborn-parent-tiredness is so intense, it’s crazy.

FEATURED VIDEO

So, you get it—pregnancy is super tiring.

But it’s also wonderful and miraculous and exciting and all the good things.

...but definitely, definitely tiring. The hormones, the roller coaster of emotions, the morning sickness, the growing and changing body, the extra weight to carry—these all contribute to your very legitimate feelings of lethargy.

So I am hear to tell you, loud and clear

TAKE. THE. NAP. ?

Please. Take the nap. Whenever time allows or whenever someone offers—run to your bed (or the nearest comfortable, quiet destination), jump in, put a sound machine on and don’t ask any questions—just drift off to la-la-land while listening to the crashing waves.

Forget the laundry, forget the nesting that needs to happen, forget the calls or texts that you need to return. Forget all of it and remember the importance of sleep. Sleep is beautiful. Sleep is good. Nap it up, girl!

If you commute to work any other way aside from driving or biking or operating a moving vehicle yourself...take the nap while someone else transports you.

If you can’t keep your eyes open while putting your toddler to bed...take the nap while you lay with them for a bit. (Then wake up, move to your bed, and officially go to sleep for the night. It's like you're pregaming for bed. ?)

If you have in-laws or parents or siblings who live nearby or are visiting...take the nap while they play with your kiddo. Bribe them, shower them with compliments, promise to pay them back somehow—whatever you need to do, just get that nap in.

If you don’t have family nearby...take the nap after you beg a friend to watch your child for an hour. Or hire a sitter if you can. That is money well spent, sister.

If you’re basically falling asleep at your desk...take the nap in your car on your lunch break. Set an alarm on your phone before you doze off and then nod off worry-free. (Pillow in your car = genius pregnant woman sleeping hack. ?)

If your child still naps...take the nap when they take the nap. This is not the same annoying “sleep when the baby sleeps” demand people often throw around. This is the...seriously—if your toddler is sleeping and you are tired (always), then choose sleep. Don’t ask any questions. Don’t think too much about it. Just do it.

If you feel guilty about taking a nap because you have a long to-do list and “should be getting things done” repeat this to yourself immediately— “Ain’t nobody got time for that nap-shaming-guilt!” Then, toss the guilt and grab that nap.

Guilt has no place in a pregnant mama’s nap-taking game.

Because you deserve that nap, mama.

You’re working hard. Your body is going through a lot—physically and emotionally. You don’t need the guilt—so kiss it goodbye. ?

Feeling like you’ve been hit by a bus is not a good feeling.

So instead of any guilt, just allow yourself to feel good about the nap you’re about to take.

Let yourself accept the fact that you need the extra rest and dang it! You are going to take it. Because, let’s face it—you are a pregnant, amazing, mama goddess who has needs. And those needs = sleep. And lots of it.

(Sweet dreams, mama! ?)

After 4 kids, this is still the best baby gear item I’ve ever purchased

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work.

I have four kids 8 and under, so you might expect that my house is teeming with baby gear and kid toys.

But it turns out that for me, the more kids I have, the more I simplify our stuff. At this point, I'm down to the absolute essentials, the gear that I can't live without and the toys my kids actually play with. And so when a mama-to-be asks me what things are worth registering for, there are only a few must-haves on my list.

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer seat is on the top of my list—totally worth it and an absolute must-have for any new mama.

In fact, since I first splurged on my first BABYBJÖRN bouncer eight years ago (it definitely felt like a splurge at the time, but the five star reviews were really compelling), the bouncer seat has become the most-used product in our house for baby's first year.

We've actually invested in a second one so that we didn't have to keep moving ours from the bedroom to the living room when we change locations.

BABYBJÖRN bouncer bliss

baby bjorn bouncer

The utility of the seat might seem counterintuitive—it has no mechanical parts, so your baby is instead gently bounced by her own movements. In a world where many baby products are touted for their ability to mechanically rock baby to sleep, I get that many moms might not find the "no-motion" bouncer that compelling. But it turns out that the seat is quite reactive to baby's little kicks, and it has helped my kids to learn how to self-soothe.

$200

Lightweight + compact:

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer is super lightweight, and it also folds flat in a second. Because of those features, we've frequently stored it under the couch, in a suitcase or in the back of the car. It folds completely flat, which I love.

Entertainment zone:

Is the toy bar worth it? The toy bar is totally worth it. Not only is the toy bar adorable, but it's one of the first toys that my babies actually play with once they discover the world beyond my boobs. The toys spin and are close to eye level so they have frequently kept my baby entertained while I cook or take a quick shower.

Great style:

This is not a small detail to me–the BABYBJÖRN bouncer is seriously stylish. I am done with baby gear and toys that make my house look like a theme park. The elegant European design honestly just looks good in my living room and I appreciate that parents can enjoy it as much as baby.

It's adjustable:

With three height settings that let you prop baby up to be entertained, or lay back to rest, we get years of use. And the bouncer can actually be adjusted for bigger kids and used from newborn to toddler age. It's that good.

It just works:

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work. But I have used the seat as a safe space to put baby while I've worked (I once rocked my baby in it with my foot while I reported on a breaking news story for the Washington Post), and as a cozy spot for my second child to lay while his big brother played nearby. It's held up for almost a decade with almost-constant use.

So for me, looking back on what I thought was a splurge eight years ago, was actually one of the best investments in baby gear I ever made.

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

Keep reading Show less
Shop

Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand.

It is these life-changing experiences that have inspired me to draw my everyday life as a stay at home mom. Whether it's the mundane tasks like doing laundry or the exciting moments of James', my baby boy's, first steps, I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked.

Being a stay-at-home-mom can be incredibly lonely. I like to think that by drawing life's simple moments, I can connect with other mothers and help them feel less alone. By doing this, I feel less alone, too. It's a win-win situation and I have been able to connect with many lovely parents and fellow parent-illustrators through my Instagram account.

Keep reading Show less
Work + Money