things to do while the baby sleeps

21 Inexpensive Things to Do While the Baby Sleeps

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Naptime is one of my favorite times of the day. It allows me time to recharge and to accomplish something other than taking care of the kids. As rewarding as that is, I’ve got things to do.

I find myself wanting to sit in complete silence and do absolutely nothing most of the time. I enjoy having a moment where I have zero responsibility for a tiny human. After about 15 seconds, I tell myself to get my ass up and knock something off my to-do list.

I created a list that might inspire you to maybe choose to use your time differently than you normally would. Here are 21 things to do while the baby sleeps. You’ll find things too that you may not have thought of.

Audition for a Game Show

Your instant thought was probably, What?… but why not? You need to fill out an online application that always wants a story that tugs at the heartstrings. That’s definitely hard to do with a baby or toddler tugging or hanging on you.

Along with that, you need to send a video. Perfect time to grab your phone and record your audition video. (They say it’s not a requirement but we know you must in order to be considered.)

Groom Yourself

This is a great time to get out the tweezers and attack those eyebrows.

Give yourself a pedicure. Maybe grab your nail clippers to trim your talons, shave the bottoms of your feet, rub them with lotion and paint your toenails.

You could also put on a face mask, place a couple of cucumber slices on your eyes, and relax.

Crotchet or Knit

This is such a relaxing hobby. I just got back into crocheting recently and forgot how much I loved it. I can’t do it in front of the kids though.

The older one will want to “help” and the younger one will be tangled in the yarn in no time. I’m able to get a lot accomplished though when their peepers are shut.

Catch Up on Your DVR

This is a chance for you to catch up on your favorite shows. I have entire seasons on my DVR I have yet to watch. Mind you, some of these shows have already started their next season.

I try to avoid the newsfeed on all social media just so it’s not spoiled for me. Remember too, this one can be done while you’re waiting for the dryer to finish.


If you have a garden, get outside and give it some love. Spend this time focusing on taking care of your plants. Water your garden, weed it, or pick whatever is ripe and ready to eat.

I’ve spent this last week planting flowers and it’s been hot. Obnoxiously hot. Also, it was a complete pain in my ass as I continued to hit roots belonging to my giant oak out front. As annoying as that was and as frustrated as I got, I still found it very therapeutic.

Just don’t forget to wear gloves. I was digging out dirt from under my nails for almost four days. Yuck!

cheap things to do while the baby sleeps

Play With the Dogs

Sometimes when we have kids, our pets are put on the back burner. Try taking them out back and play fetch. Mine are obsessed with their toys and soak up all the attention they can get.

Just saying the word “ball” and they are running around with their ears perked and bouncing around like the Easter bunny.

With the warmer weather here, I turn the hose on for them to enjoy. They love running through the sprinkler. Even if I just hold the hose in place and they stick their faces in the water. They are ecstatic. I like giving them that time to remind them they are loved.


The laundry is always where I start because once you get it loaded and running, you’re onto your next task.

A lot of times I can get it washed, dried, and folded but the baby always wakes up before I can put it away. It usually then all sits on the kitchen table until the next nap session or bedtime when I have time to put all the laundry away in it’s designated room.

Manage Your Email

This is a great time to read emails, send out responses, and my favorite… unsubscribe from all the spam emails. I get so annoyed by all the excess junk. It makes it difficult to filter through and find the emails I actually need or want to read.

activities while the baby sleeps


Here you can simply load everything into the dishwasher. If you have a larger household, you’re probably used to running yours once a day.

I usually utilize my dishwasher except when it comes to the bottles. Those I like to wash by hand. I go through them so quickly, it’s simply easier than running the dishwasher multiple times a day.

Online Shopping

I’m a huge fan of Amazon, Target Drive-Up, and Sam’s Club Pickup. I know that Walmart offers a drive-up service and Instacart provides a service where someone goes grocery shopping for you.

These are all great services for any mom.

If it’s not an immediate need, Amazon it is. I’m a prime member and get multiple deliveries, daily. If you want to shop my storefront to check out my favorite picks, see all the things I love the most.

I’ve created different shopping lists that have helped me not only survive motherhood but made it easier and more enjoyable for everyone in the home.

Target Drive-Up is my jam. You simply log in to the app, shop for everything you need and they will send you an alert when it’s ready. It usually only takes a couple of hours but when I do my order the night before or first thing in the morning, it’s usually ready in 30 minutes. My local store is fast!

After you receive your alert, head over to the Target location you selected. You pull up in the designated parking spots, click the button that you’ve arrived and they will bring it out to your car. No getting the kids in and out of their car seats. Woohoo!

Sam’s Club pickup is great for all the items I buy in bulk. I use this when the kids are sick at home and I need someone else to go pick up everything for me. I can pay for it online and they can just run in and grab the items.


GO and grab a book, a trashy magazine, your Kindle, or find your favorite blog online. Get comfy, put your feet up, and enjoy. Sometimes something this simple allows you to decompress from the stresses of motherhood.


I have a punching bag in my living room along with another exercise machine that allows me to get in a great workout in no time.

If you don’t have equipment in your home, utilize the things you do have readily available. There is an abundance of YouTube videos to show you how to work out using things around the house. Open up your laptop and use them.

activities during naptime


I always wait to do this until the baby is in his deep sleep. At this point, I could run a bulldozer through the house and he wouldn’t budge. This can be done fairly quickly and without the baby getting in your way.

Meal Prep

I love doing meal prep during nap time. I have no interruptions and I don’t have a baby needing me every other moment.

It’s difficult when you’re trying to cut up fruits, veggies, and raw meat while simultaneously trying to tend to a newborn baby. That would include a whole lot of extra hand washing. I also think it could possibly cause confusion on a recipe you may be trying to follow or cause you to miss an ingredient. 

Get your food portioned, labeled, and in the fridge. This saves on a lot of time you won’t have when the kids are awake and driving you crazy.

Take a Nap

There is nothing wrong with taking a nap too. The doctor always says, sleep when the baby sleeps. If you are feeling complete exhaustion, I’d highly suggest napping.

I understand the desire to get things completed. My mind gets fixated on the chores and other tasks I need to get done. It drives me to insanity at times. Remember though, you can’t properly take care of the kids if you aren’t rested.

activities for mom during naptime

Wipe Down Counters

This takes just moments but when you have kids, things get dirty…. fast! I wipe my counters multiple times a day.

Cleaning all the fingerprints, smeared peanut butter and jelly, spilled milk and crumbs is an absolute must for my borderline OCD. This will never stay clean but I want to clean away as many germs as possible.

Rotate Your Pictures

If you’re like me, you have tons of pictures in your house. I literally have frames everywhere. Why not use this time to change out the pictures or maybe just add some new ones in the mix?

My older son loves it when he sees new pictures. He reminds me of where we were and always has a silly story to go along with the memory. It makes me smile every time I see him light up as a result of something so simple as new pictures in the frames.

Experiment With Your Makeup

Do you always do your makeup the exact same every day? Do you ever want to try something new? Why not now?

What a great time to grab that new eye shadow that’s been sitting in the drawer forever. Try it out. Be bold and have fun with it. You may find a new color palette that better highlights your features or simply changes your look all together. Either way, you bought it, so use it.

Maybe you saw a cool technique online that you wanted to try. Whether it’s the ‘cat-eye’ or contouring your makeup, go for it.

Scrub the Bathroom

This is one at the top of my list of things to do while the baby sleeps. I don’t want the newborn baby or my toddler exposed to the chemicals and I definitely don’t want them in the bathroom.

Babies tend to be obsessed with the toilet and want to touch every part of it. YUCK! My goal is to scrub every inch of the bathroom before they wake up and want to join in on the fun.

Layout in the Sun

Depending on where you live, soak up some rays. Turn the baby monitor on and change into your bathing suit. No reason you can’t work on your tan just because you have kids.

During this quarantine, I have found this much easier without having to be to work every day.

Learn a New Recipe

This is a great time to open one of those pins you have saved on your Pinterest boards and try to recreate it. I find this easier to do sometimes when they are napping. If it’s an unfamiliar recipe so I like to be able to pay attention to what I’m doing when it’s my first go at it.

When the kids are awake, I fall back on what I know by heart so I don’t have to read any recipes. Why not surprise your family with a new creation that could possibly become a new favorite. I’ve been quite successful with this.

Check out all the amazing recipes on my Pinterest and fall in love with the wide variety I have pinned.

naptime activities for mom

My Thoughts

Whether it’s your newborn baby or your toddler, just do something. You’ll be so happy you did. As mama’s, we get very little time to ourselves so we have to learn to enjoy it when we can.

I know I’ve sacrificed a lot of what I enjoy for something so much better… motherhood. I also know though, I just have to find new ways to get things done that I want to do.

Check out more tips and see what else you may found useful.

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