So your baby finally figured out this sleeping-through-the-night thing on his own (or you called WeeSleep and we got him sleeping through the night in less than two weeks!), and now (after throwing a massive party to celebrate!) you’re wondering: What do I do with all my spare time?!
Here are 10 ideas for how to spend your nights, now that baby is getting healthy, restful sleep:
- Spa night: Treat yourself! After months of baby’s 30-minute cat naps and your own multiple zombie-walks to the nursery each night, you’re probably dealing with some dark undereye circles and some seriously neglected cuticles. Treat yourself to an at-home spa night, with a facial mask and a mani-pedi! Or, better yet – find a mobile salon-spa to come to you and set up a mini spa right in your home, and get yourself pampered while sipping some wine in your favourite chair and listening to your baby snore on the monitor. Your baby falls asleep blissfully at 7pm and doesn’t make a peep til morning – take your time!
- TV binge: Have your recent attempts to get through the entire series of Suits been thwarted by multiple night wakes? Dying to find out what happens next to Jane the Virgin, but been so sleep-deprived that you can’t even make it through a whole episode without passing out on the couch? Now that you AND your little one are getting great rest, indulge in a TV night for yourself – catch up on your favourite guilty pleasure, and unwind!
- Date night: Does it seem like your wedding night was the last time you and your hubby shared a glass of wine and had an adult conversation? Get the spark back! Your baby is an awesome sleeper and can be put to bed by anybody who loves him! So book grandma, a good friend, or a caring babysitter to watch your wee one, and head out for a romantic evening with your spouse. Who knows: maybe more “together” time will even lead to Baby # 2! (Seriously, I cannot tell you how many of my clients express how excited they are to finally concentrate on having another child now that the first one is actually SLEEPING!)
- Hit the Gym: Great sleep and physical fitness go hand in hand to create an overall healthy lifestyle. Now that your little lady is in bed and sleeping soundly each evening, make sure you and your spouse take turns getting to the gym at night. Join a yoga or group fitness class, or even work out together in your basement! More together-time!
- Get organized: It’s tough to get much done around the house when your baby only naps ON you, or just takes tiny cat naps all throughout the day. Now that baby is getting nice, long, restful sleeps, both at naptime and throughout the night, take the time to clear your mind, and get organized! Clean your house, organize your home office, or finally finish that baby book that’s been gathering dust for 6 months!
- Catch up with friends: It’s time to resurface and remind your friends you still exist! Call up your best girlfriend and book a wine date, email your book club and find out when the next meeting is, and reconnect with close colleagues over an evening coffee or tea – decaf, of course!
- Join a class or new activity: Never stop learning! Now that you’ve got this baby-sleep thing figured out, you can focus on other challenges. Maybe you’ve been contemplating becoming a yoga instructor, learning to play an instrument, or going back to school. Or maybe you’re just excited to finally find out what all the fuss is over Paint Nite! Whatever you’ve been longing to try, now you have time to do it!
- Start a new hobby, or return to an old one: Whatever it is you love to do for YOU, do it! Knit, sew, do yoga, cook, bake, eat, drink, scrapbook, colour, meditate – being a great parent for your child means taking time for yourself and doing the things that you love so you can appreciate all parts of life, morning to night.
- Plan a vacation: Now that you know other hotel patrons wouldn’t be woken by your baby 17 times each night, you could plan a trip! Vacations tend to be much more restful when your baby naps well, and sleeps soundly each night. So plan a trip away for your whole family – but do try to book a suite so that you and your spouse can enjoy some well-deserved down-time together each evening while your little one catches all of his healthy, restful z’s in the next room.
- Sleep! Don’t forget your OWN sleep needs! Now that your baby is sleeping 10-12 hours straight, every night, there is no excuse for you to be sleep-deprived. A well-rested family is happier and healthier; and parents who get great sleep each night are more present and patient towards their children. So, finish up that mani-pedi, set yourself a nightly Netflix limit, and get home from that fantastic date with your hubby with plenty of time to spare for your own 8-9 hours of blissful, peaceful, sleep.