If you’re like a lot of parents of newborns and young babies, you’ve found yourself in a fairly unique situation. You wake up every couple of hours because your baby needs to eat. Once your baby is done eating and has drifted back off to dreamland, however, you find that you’re wide awake. In some cases, you’ll even lay there in your bed for hours, until it’s time to get up again with the baby, just tossing and turning. This, of course, isn’t ideal, or even beneficial.
So, what should you do when you know you’re going to be awake because of nighttime parenting? There are a few activities you can consider:
- Read a book. Some parents use those first few weeks and months of baby’s life to catch up on a novel they’ve been meaning to read, or to study an area of interest. The next time you find yourself in a bookstore, pick up something interesting for those nights when you can’t get back to sleep.
- Participate in a hobby. For a variety of reasons, knitting may have fallen by the wayside as a required skill, but many people enjoy doing it is a hobby. Maybe your thing is baking or making crafts or blogging. Consider doing some of your hobby activity, which is normally reserved for daytime, at night.
- Catch up with an old friend. Now, chances are pretty good that your friends are asleep, but that doesn’t mean you can’t write an email or even a physical letter. Consider sending out some notes, or maybe even start pre-addressing your Christmas cards for next year.
- Learn a new skill. Maybe you’ve been thinking about taking an e-course in Spanish, or maybe you’ve wanted to learn all about medieval French history. Many community colleges have online courses that you can work on at any time of day or night.
- Become a better parent. Read up on some parenting techniques. That baby is going to be a toddler before you know it, and then it’s just the blink of an eye before they’re teenagers. Do as much prep now as you can – because you’re going to need it.