1 Mom Shares 9 Things That Make Late Nights With a Newborn Magical
A new baby can inspire every emotion under the sun . . . and then more by the light of the moon. Your life — and sleep schedule — has forever changed so drastically. But parents can survive, and even delight in, the late nights of the early days with a game plan in place, and a cup of coffee in hand. It's all about pausing to enjoy those moments of calm and stealing a few minutes for yourself amongst the chaos to soak it all in. Here are some suggestions to turn the unpredictable hours before sunrise into an eagerly anticipated occasion.
Binge-Watch the Shows You Never Had Time to Watch
You were too busy going out to watch the show everyone was talking about two years ago. Or that show everyone recites lines from, but you never saw. Let it stream, stream, stream. You're awake anyway, your baby needs milk, and your job is to snuggle and feed. There's no reason you can't use the time to catch up on many, many hours of TV while you do it. And while you're at it, make it fun with a large snack tray and giant bottle of water within reach. Both will be appreciated during those overnight hours — especially if you're nursing.
Soak Up and Celebrate a Moment of Peace
Mmm. The rich smell of a brewing cup of coffee in the early morning dawn makes a long night of ups and downs a little easier. Craving something ultra strong? Simply press the "Strong Brew" button on a Keurig® K250 coffee maker, and you’ll get one perfect cup in under a minute. It could not be easier. Now, take a moment to pat yourself on the back, savor some rich, flavorful coffee, and just be yourself again. This parenting thing is hard, but you made it through another night!
Find Moments for Mindfulness
"Calm" and "still" may not be the first words that come to mind when you think about late nights with a newborn, but finding a mindfulness practice — even for just five minutes a day — can help. With a meditation app on your phone or just a simple, timed "breathe-in, breathe-out" exercise, you'll be able to create a quiet space inside yourself and a greater level of overall peace.
In your prebaby life, spending hours upon hours on social media could be frowned upon as a source of procrastination that kept you from getting other things done. But in the early days with a newborn, your job is basically to bond with the baby as she eats, sleeps, and poops. There's no reason some of those hours can't also be used reconnecting with the world outside of your little one's nursery. Catch up with friends via phone calls, texts, or social media posts; spend time with those long, deeply reported articles you've been meaning to read; and look up parenting advice while your baby is nestled in your arms.
Write It Down
This is a uniquely special moment of your life, and your baby's, so keeping a journal means you'll save treasured memories for years to come. But we get it: you don't have time or energy to write a lot right now. A five-year diary is the perfect solution. With pages that are divided into five sections (one for each of the next five years), you can record quick daily musings or reflections of gratitude and look back on them as the days and weeks fly by. The baby will be starting kindergarten when you finish the diary. Sniffle.
Don't Forget to Dance
Not every late-night hour with the babe is a quiet one. Sometimes there are tears . . . lots of them. Babies love movement and swaying in their parents' arms, which is a pretty natural way to move into slow-dancing with your infant. Hear me out: it's a moonlit night, you put on some soft lullabies, and you hold your cooing babe as you sleepily sway him into a calm state. This is pure magic and the stuff that memories are made of.
Get "Me Time" With a Book
Now is the time for an epic novel or a well-crafted beach read! Yes, it's 3 a.m. Yes, you're in a glider with your new baby, trying to soothe her. And you will. When she falls asleep on you — which she's bound to do — or if she settles into feeding, pull out your book and dive into its pages. You deserve a little escape. Need a recommendation? Check out the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge to find your dream read.
Scroll Through Your Photos — and Savor Them
Chances are you're taking a lot of pics and videos these days. First eyes-open shot, first smile, first coo: let yourself revel in these memories, enjoy them all over again, and marvel at how much your little one has grown in just a few days. Because, yes, every baby does these things. But this is your baby, so every moment is even more precious.
There is nothing quite like the moment when your baby falls asleep. You watch his tiny eyes flutter closed: he's quiet and still; his little mouth opens with each breath. Go ahead . . . take a few more photos. And then do something really, really fantastic for yourself: curl up in bed and go to sleep. Think you should use this time to clean the kitchen? Nah, let a friend get that when she visits and asks what she can do to help. Don't feel tired? You are. Trust us. Let yourself rest. It's the best thing you can do for yourself.