31 things to do during nap time

November 27, 2013

What are the best things to do during naptime? It occurred to me recently, that as my daughter is nearly two, she may be reaching the age where she drops her daytime nap. I don’t think we’re there yet – thank goodness – but the very idea filled me with horror. On borrowed time with the midday sleep session? Yikes.

31 things to do during your baby's naptime - read the full list at ababyonboard.com

I love nap time, possibly more than I love Bonus Time at Clinique. Nap time is nature’s way of letting parents take a natural break, to pause, breathe and refresh before it all starts again. It’s also, in a way, like time travel – a short glimpse into what life was like Before Children, when you had unlimited amounts of minutes and hours to do whatever you liked.

We didn’t get off to the best start, me and nap time. For a while my sleep-resisting daughter would only nap on me, and then never in her cot. Even the baby sleep geniuses at nursery couldn’t get her to sleep in a cot. But then we figured it out, she switched to a happy medium of a few hours in the middle of the day, it got really good, and we’ve been best buds for a while.

How long do they do it for? Please tell me we have ages yet. But to celebrate it while it lasts for us, here’s a list of suggestions for things to do during those blissful hours – or even minutes – when you’re at home and your child is asleep:

  1. Run around silently shouting “YESSSS” and waving your empty hands. Even nearly two years in I get the urge to do this every single time
  2. Take your own nap
  3. Do something productive like work
  4. Do something completely unproductive like lying down and doing nothing, just because you can
  5. Make a cup of tea, let it cool to your optimum tea drinking temperature, then actually drink it
  6. Microwave the cup of tea you made earlier that’s now cold
  7. Check Twitter, Facebook, email, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram…and repeat
  8. Gaze in wonder at your child if they’re napping on you, until your phone battery dies and you realise you’re hungry and too far away to reach the TV remote
  9. Have a shower…
  10. ….get dressed…
  11. …put on make-up…
  12. …and do your hair (or all four, depending on how quick you are)
  13. Plan something spectacular for lunch; instead have something on toast, just toast, or hummus. Again
  14. Depending on your partner being around, do that thing that resulted in your child in the first place
  15. Write a blog post
  16. Read some blog posts (here’s some of my favourites)
  17. Pin some things
  18. Check on your napping child, see they’re fine, check on them, see they’re fine (repeat to infinity)
  19. Tackle the dreaded laundry basket
  20. Or do something vaguely domestic like unloading the dishwasher. Maybe
  21. Paint your nails; cross your newly beautified fingers that doing so hasn’t jinxed yourself into a one sleep cycle only session
  22. Have a very small wine, if there’s any open (just the once, it would be rude not to, right?)
  23. Read a book, or a magazine if you have no attention span any more *cough*
  24. Do some online shopping – or that thing I do where I put loads of things in the basket then a) realise I shouldn’t really be spending money on things I don’t need or b) go to check Twitter and forget about it entirely
  25. Realise you’ve been staring at the TV for 20 minutes and it’s still on Nick Jnr Peppa
  26. Try and find something bad / good on TV
  27. Come to the realisation, yet again, that daytime TV is terrible
  28. So watch a Friends repeat, yet again, unless / especially if it’s the childbirth episodes where Phoebe coughs out triplets and Rachel gets a bit shiny
  29. Make another cup of tea
  30. Also, biscuits
  31. Keep checking to see how long your baby has been asleep, and be quietly pleased when you hear signs that they’re stirring…well it has been ages, and you do really, really miss them.


  • 31 Things to do During Nap Time | Tots 100

    November 27, 2013 at 11:53 am

    […] [Shared by A Baby On Board] […]

  • Kim Carberry

    November 27, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    hahaha! Great list! Enjoy nap time while it lasts…..I miss my girls having naps!

    1. gillian

      December 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      I’m so scared we’re on borrowed time! Thanks 🙂 x

  • Alison Perry

    November 27, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    BRILLIANT. Yes. It’s a long time since Grace took naps at home but when she did, I generally ran around panicking about all the things I could be doing (Do I blog? So I work? Do I empty the dishwasher? Do I tidy the toys? Do I shop for that birthday present online?) that I invariably did nothing. Sigh.

    1. gillian

      December 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      Sounds SO familiar! x

  • Natasha

    November 28, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Great post! I have the same worry about painting my nails and then my son waking up early and smudging them!! 😮
    Most people I know, their kids dropped the day nap closer to 3 years old or just after so hopefully you have some time yet x

    1. gillian

      December 1, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      Thank you! That’s good news – we might have a while to go yet then…*optimistically gets out nail varnish*

  • Aida

    November 30, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    read this yesterday at office hours and had to come off the phone as I couldn’t stop laughing, brilliant!

    1. gillian

      December 1, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Love it! Sorry about that thought 😀 x

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