a guest post by Heather Flett of www.rookiemoms.com
I started rookiemoms.com with my best friend so that we could help each other — and thousands of other mothers — find fun activities to do with and without our babies. Being at home with our first little ones was surprisingly boring and difficult, so we made a point to get out of the house every day (while ensuring good naps!) and take on little adventures as challenges.
“Threading the nap needle” is the expression we use for that time between babies’ morning and mid-day nap. As the child drops the third nap, the concept still holds but now you get a bigger needle.
My favorite outings for moms and babies who nap three times.
- Brunch. Meeting friends for a slightly hectic dining experience is super fun. Brunch is perfectly timed to be in between naps. Pack along a few toys. Share some pancakes or toast if baby is old enough.
- Grocery shopping. Not fun enough for you? Bring along a friend with or without her own baby and your shopping time is social time. I always recommend grabbing frozen stuff last.
- Walk or run. Heading out the door with your walking shoes requires no advance planning and can be done when your time is limited. Narrate your journey to baby (build her brain!) or put on a headset and call your sister (Reconnect finally!).
A few more adventures when your baby naps twice.
- Kid-friendly Museum. What? Did we just graduate from the grocery store to a museum? Yes! With another hour or two to kill before afternoon nap, check out some fun playspaces with an educational twist.
- Pet store. If you have a shop nearby that sells small furry critters or cool lizards, you are in luck. Cheaper and easier than the zoo, pet shops are up close and personal.
- New adventure. We have a list of 52 fun things to do with toddlers and older babies. Add one to your bucket list and go for it.
3 tips for maximizing fun during the window between naps.
- Make sure YOU are ready to go. Pee before you grab baby from her crib. Are you appropriately hungry and thirsty? Are you dressed correctly?
- Is your STUFF ready to go? Make sure wallet, phone, keys are where they ought to be. Repack the diaper bag during naptime with fresh supplies, snacks, drinks.
- BABY is the last ingredient. Once you’ve got everything else in order, grab your just-waking baby out of her crib for a fun outing, feed and change her, then head out.
You can have fun while baby naps, too.
Aside from resting and doing chores, naptime is playtime for moms. I have three more ideas for you to really recharge:
- Teatime in Copenhagen. Set up your favorite video chatting situation in your kitchen and enjoy a warm beverage with a faraway friend. You’d be surprised how comforting it is to see your pal drinking her coffee in your home.
- Shake your booty. Exercise or dance with one of these terrific naptime workout ideas. Sweat, shower, be ready for baby snuggles when she wakes.
- Have a date. Weekend naptimes are best spent reconnecting with your partner rather than silently staring at separate screens. Babysitter-free at-home dates are not just for nighttime.
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Heather Flett writes rookiemoms.com and the hyperlocal Bay Area site 510families.com with her best friend to share fun activities and real talk about new motherhood. Together, they also wrote Stuff Every Mom Should Know and The Rookie Mom’s Handbook: 250 Activities to Do with (and Without!) Your Baby.