When I first had Caspian people kept saying “Don’t worry…things will get better!” This puzzled me at the time (and I still find it a strange thing to say to a new mum, especially one that’s not complaining), because I actually thought things were pretty freaking amazing. I had had a relatively easy water birth, and we took Caspian for his first outing at only four-days-old, mind you just for a quick half an hour at our local coffee shop, but still. He fed well, slept well, and I felt so happy. Why did I need things to get better?

When he was two and half months I started this blog. It was something I had been wanting to do for a long time, and with everything going so well, I felt I had the energy and time (when Caspian was napping) to do it justice.  I got so much done over the next couple of months, and felt really proud of what I achieved in that short amount of time. I quickly saw a potential in turning this from a hobby into something more, as it fulfills everything I love about being free-lance: working hours that suit me, creative control, and it’s great fun.

But then Caspian’s naps started getting shorter, he stopped sleeping through from 7 to 11 in the evenings, now waking every hour and the free time I had had to get chores done around the house and write, disappeared almost overnight. This proved frustrating and rather stressful and my health suffered as a consequence along with the house becoming more unmanageable and the blog not getting updated as frequently as I would have liked.

But as I’m never one for giving up and letting life overwhelm me in the long run I took the baby by the nappy and thought up ways that I could at least try and keep the house in check and get work things done despite an often overtired little man, who seems to believe he’s full of beans when he is clearly exhausted. I blame his curious nature (and teething!), that he simply doesn’t like to miss out on anything (a bit like his mummy!).

So here are my top three tips for getting things done, when you have a nap-resisting baby:

  1. A sling or carrier! This has been an absolute godsend. We went for the ergobaby, as Caspian was a big boy from birth and the weight is distributed evenly between your hips and shoulders, making it a lot easier and more comfortable to carry him. It wasn’t a cheap investment, but definitely worth it in the long run. Now he’s sitting on my front watching every move I make and keeping an eye on the world around us. But it does allow me to hang the laundry, do the dishes (okay, I lie… Daddy Long Legs does the dishes), tidy up or even blog, when he gets clingy and just want to be close to me, which I believe is quite normal for 8-9 months. Plus it’s great for air travel, too, especially if you’re travelling alone with the baby. Trying to fold a buggy one-handed with a strong bubs in the other, is close to impossible. And you might get lucky that your baby will dose off and actually have a little rest with the warmth of your skin and the calming sound of your heart as a soothing lullaby!
  2. A massive playpen (if you have the space)! We recently bought one of these as Caspian has learnt to crawl. Gone are the days when I could put him down on a blanket by the kitchen door and he would stay there looking up at me with a peaceful smile, while I made myself some lunch or a cup of tea. The reason I recommend a big one is, that it seems he doesn’t feel so trapped and more readily accept being put into it. There’s plenty of space for him to move around and we’ve filled it with toys (both real toys and Caspian’s favourites), so at least he’s occupied for 55 seconds, giving me just enough time to run to the loo.
  3. Make a to do list! In the unexpected event of a nap, you want to be prepared, so you can make the most of this new found free time. I have been caught off guard a couple of times, which means aimlessly walking around taking in the chaos, mindless surfing on facebook or just starring into empty space while contemplating where to begin. Only to get pulled back to reality by a loud screech from the monitor informing me that the peace and quiet is over and Caspian is ready to go again. With a list to consult I now know what needs my attention first and can actually get things done. The tricky part is I never know how long I actually have as Caspian’s naps vary in length from 5 minutes to 45 mins (if I’m really lucky), but this only tends to make me work faster.

The good thing is that he now sleeps well at night with only the occasional dream feed to see him through. This means that I, at least, get a good night’s sleep, and I’m starting to have more energy in the day. And lastly, I think it’s important to remember that no one’s ever died from a bulging laundry basket (unless they somehow got trapped under it) or from a bit of dust collecting in a corner, so let’s not be too hard on ourselves!

How do you keep your little ones occupied to deal with house chores, get work done or simply  have a moment to yourself?

scandimummy_sleeping_babyOf course Caspian has no problem sleeping on me for long lengths of time!


  1. I totally agree with the need for a baby carrier or sling. I had a baby carrier however I often didn’t bother using it. Instead I gave up one hand for my baby and the other hand I kept for my chores. I did pretty much everything as normal. That was really silly of me since using the carrier would have given me the use of both hands.

    1. Well, we all live and learn…and are definitely things I would do differently if we ever had a second baby. But with Caspian being 10,3 pounds at birth there is no way I could have carried him in one hand, ha ha. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      Nadia – ScandiMummy x

  2. I can really relate to this post Nadia!! Sienna was the same. She had her phases and I had to use the sling all the time. I bought the Manduca instead which was a big help. For a long time I could only use that as she hated the pushchair! And was very useful when putting her to sleep. I had to transport her from the sling to her coat. Then we had a lovely phase where she just had really good naps during the day and slept all night. This was wonderful until just now that she is almost 15 months old and she is being very difficult with her naps again. I’m actually using the Manduca now so I can have some work done!!! So these phases come and go! Great post!! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I love reading your posts and I love having you here!! 🙂 xxx

    1. I’ve heard very good things about the Manduca, too – and it was between that and the Ergobaby when we had to choose. Loving the linky, so happy to be part of it. Thank you for coming by and leaving a comment. Carry on with the good work of hosting!

      Nadia – ScandiMummy x

  3. I used a play pen with both of mine. Brilliant to put them in when you need to do cooking or pop to the loo. We’ve just swapped it for a kids table though as my youngest is now 17 months and not so keen on being put in it! #brilliantblogposts

    1. No, I can imagine they reach a point when they just don’t want to go in there anymore. But a kids table sounds like a brilliant idea then. Thank you for coming by.

      Nadia – ScandiMummy x

  4. I love it, I have exactly the same problem, my boy is not a fan of naps at all! We have an ergo baby too, which was a brilliant investment I agree, and next on my list is a play pen, as now he is 8 months gone are the days of him being happy to bounce away in his bouncer whilst I tidy the kitchen around him! For now I’m getting in some late nights catching up on blogging. #fartglitter

    1. I find it hard, though I read somewhere today that if 60% of parents think their child has a sleeping problem, isn’t it more likely that it is the parents who are secretly hoping children would actually sleep more than they really need, and not the babies struggling to have a nap. The evenings are worst for me. Caspian wakes at 7 am and might have two short naps during the day…when he’s still wide awake at 9 pm I start to get exhausted. Thank you for popping over, Rebecca – always lovely to have you stop by 🙂

      Nadia – ScandiMummy x

  5. A great list – I used the ErgoBaby for my second and its definitely great for air travel. I just wished I had invested in one sooner (he was 18 months when we used it to travel to Hong Kong) #KCACOLS

    1. I started out with a wrap carrier, so basically just a piece of fabric you tie up, but it worked as well. Though I love the Ergobaby. Thank you for reading and leaving a comment 🙂

      Nadia – ScandiMummy x

  6. Keeping a list is a great way to get things done as long as you sit down and actually create it. This is on my I kind of ought to do it thinking pattern but doesn’t always happen.

    My daughter has been spending time in her travel cot as we don’t have a play pen.

    1. True, haha… sometimes I only have a mental list, and I struggle to remember everything on it. I try and make the list on my phone while Caspian feeds himself to sleep, that helps.

      Thank you for stopping by, Helena! 🙂

      Nadia – ScandiMummy x

  7. Why have I never thought of making a list!?
    I never really carried Dexter when he was a baby but really planning on it with the new one on the way. I hear such good things about baby wearing and I cant wait to do it properly

    1. The list really does save me, otherwise I simply end up getting nothing done. Best of luck with your baby on the way! I’m sure you’ll find the wrap/sling to be a big help.

      Nadia – ScandiMummy x

  8. From the mum of a non-napper! I love this. Luckily she is at school now but with number 2 on the way I already have a baby wrap / sling at the ready to try to help get things done.

    1. Caspian starts nursery in February so that should give me a little extra time, and I’ve been told I wasn’t a napper either, so I guess I only have myself to blame 😉 Thank you for stopping by and good luck with the birth etc., exciting times ahead for you and your family!

      Nadia – ScandiMummy

  9. Good list! I found our sling really useful when Taylor was a newborn but she soon wanted to escape! The large playpen is a great idea, it’s definitely nice to be able to pop them somewhere you know they’re safe whilst you go and put the washing on! We bought Taylor a walker when she was nine months and it’s been a godsend. She loved bombing around the house in it and exploring, and I know that she’s safe in it. I can’t imagine what we are going to do once she actually starts to walk on her own in a few months though! Baby proofing EVERYTHING I should imagine! #KCACOLS

    1. Haha… bobble wrap the entire house?! 🙂 Caspian learnt to stand up on the weekend, so he now stands up holding on to the play pen, so maybe one of these walkers would be good for him, though we have very narrow halls and lots of stairs, so not so easy for him to get around. Thank you for popping over.

      Nadia – ScandiMummy x

  10. I admire your can-do spirit! I bring my baby all around the house with me as I do my chores. He’s crawling so I have to keep a pretty close eye on him, but it means he gets to explore other rooms in the house besides the living area and I think it’s good for him to see what gets done around the house from a young age. The kitchen is a bit tricky because I don’t really want to him to be free range in there (too dangerous), that’s when I confine baby to his standing activity-centre in the kitchen or playpen in the lounge where I can see him. Great tips you’ve provided. #busydoinglife

    1. Thanks Robyn. We live in this Victorian house full of staires, and even with gates I would be scared to let Caspian roam free. But I like the ides of a standing activity center, must look into getting one of those.

      Nadia – ScandiMummy x

  11. These are just brilliant tips and I can sympathise completely with trying to get things gone with a baby who won’t sleep. I especially loved my sling with my first (very high needs!) baby – it means I could at least get the chores done or eat standing up and she was happy too. A new mum would love these tips 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday! Mim x

    1. Eating… it’s really goes down your list of priorities, especially anything hot. And now Caspian just tries to get hold of anything that I have intended for myself. Thank you, yes, I hope they could be helpful. Thank you for hosting a fab linky!

      Nadia – ScandiMummy x

  12. Good tips. I’ve resorted to the sling quite a few times and I love a good list. Tin Box Baby is six months old now and not quite crawling but I know things are going to change very soon. I’m hoping she’ll wear herself out and continue to nap well (famous last words). On the days I have both my girls home I tend to abandon all hope of doing housework or anything blog related. It means I get less stressed about trying to do too much all at once. When I just have the baby I go for it! #thelist

    1. See that’s what I thought would happen. He’s even learned to stand up now, so thought that would exhaust him, but after a 10 minute kip he’s ready to go again. Wise to just be with your children, when you have both, and end of the day that is what’s most important, right? Thank you for popping over!

      Nadia – ScandiMummy x

    1. Thank you! My friend took the one of him sleeping on me, he looks so peaceful, which melts my heart. Yes, you do learn to speed up when you become a mum, don’t you? 🙂

      Nadia – ScandiMummy x

  13. It’s tricky!! Having two free hands is always a bonus so slings are definitely a god send! Making a list is a good idea as it is a good way of prioritising and using time effectively and I tend to run around like a mad woman whenever I get the chance. Getting a good night’s sleep is so helpful too! I love the name Caspian 🙂 Thanks for sharing #CKACOLS

    1. It’s hard not to panic when they are finally down for a couple of minutes, but I guess the main thing is not to get overwhelmed. Thank you, his full name is Caspian Aidan (Nadia backwards as he came on my birthday) 🙂 Thank you for popping over and leaving a comment!

      Nadia – ScandiMummy x

  14. I remember the first time I discovered a sling with Little Miss A – the freedom of using two hands again was liberating! Having had a c-section with Master J it’s taken me longer to be able to do things, but I’m skilled at doing things one-handed, and if he is having a day of wanting to be close to me (most days) I make sure I have things to hand so that even if I can’t do the housework, I can still write posts or catch up on emails!

    1. Well done you for finding a way, I can only imagine what it’s like to recover from a C-section with two little ones to look after. Caspian’s very strong, and don’t want to sit still for long, only in the sling… so hoping he’ll continue to be happy in there. Thank you for coming by!

      Nadia – ScandiMummy x

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