When you're expecting a baby, you look forward to the smiles, cuddles, milestones, and playtimes. When the baby actually arrives, you still look forward to all that... but you also find yourself counting the minutes till naptime and bedtime. The arrival of that golden time means you can exhale, grab your phone, snap a picture, and post a picture of your drowsy little one along with a caption for sleeping babies that perfectly captures the beauty, calm, and oh-thank-heavens-I-have-a-moment-to-myself delight every mom feels at this precious moment.
In theory, it seems so easy to parent a baby. After all, newborns sleep between 10 and 18 hours a day, according to the National Sleep Foundation; after that, most babies clock up to 12 hours a day of shut-eye. But because babies' sleep cycles are much shorter than those of adults, they shift from deep to light sleep more often, and they're more easily awakened. Just when you've put your darling child down for a nap and are trying to get something done, a passing car horn or a sound from the TV startles them, and you're back to rocking, shushing, and lullabies.
But no matter how challenging a day you've had with your tot — teething grumpiness, up-the-back poops, juggling a stroller and a shopping cart — all seems right again when they're finally down for the night. For those times, choose from one of these captions for your photo (along with the #sleepingbaby hashtag, if you like), and watch your family and friends send you more hearts than you'll see at the Hallmark card aisle on Valentine's Day.
1. "Babies smile in their sleep because they're listening to the whispering of angels."
Looking at a snoozing baby's blissful face, it's easy to believe that they know something we don't.
2. "Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will move mountains."
A tribute both to the restorative power of sleep and to the unlimited potential that lies within each little child. Of course, you can change the pronoun to "he" or "them," depending on your child and preferences.
3. "With a butterfly kiss and a ladybug hug, sleep tight, little one, like a bug in a rug."
An adorable little bedtime rhyme that you can use not only as a one-time Instagram caption, but also as a nighttime routine that your child will come to love and look forward to every night.
4. "Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow, for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow. So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep. I'm rocking my baby. Babies don't keep." — Ruth Hulbert Hamilton
This important life lesson — which has been reprinted on zillions of posters and cards — is actually the last stanza of a poem called Song for a Fifth Child, which Hamilton published in Ladies' Home Journal in 1958, according to Lullaby Link. It also makes a perfect accompaniment for a pic of you rocking your baby to dreamland.
5. "Here sleeps a (girl/boy) with a head full of magical dreams, a heart full of wonder, and hands that will shape the world."
Adaptable for any gender, this is another all-the-feels caption that reminds even the most jaded of us that there's still innocence and hope in each new life.
6. "People who say they 'sleep like a baby' usually don't have one." —Leo Burke
A funny and so-true observation. Between the thrashing around and the waking every couple of hours, a baby doesn't always spend the night totally unconscious. A good caption if you have a shot of your child lying wide-awake in their crib.
7. "Sleep, baby, sleep. Your father tends the sheep. Your mother shakes the dreamland tree, and from it fall sweet dreams for thee. Sleep, baby, sleep."
Lyrics from classic lullabies make sweet captions for social media. Among them: "Sleep, Baby, Sleep," which originated in Germany in 1611, according to Famlii. The music for the verse, however, wouldn't be written till 200 years later.
8. "A mother's arms are made of tenderness, and children sleep soundly in them." — Victor Hugo
Hugo wrote these lines long before computers and social media existed, but he undoubtedly would have approved of his work being displayed alongside a photo of a baby asleep in their mother's loving embrace.
9. "When my baby is sleeping, that's when I think: Wow, I made that."
It's unclear who wrote this often-used quote, but it was definitely someone who knows that feeling of wonder that comes over you when you can take a moment, breathe, and look at the life you created.
10. "A sleeping baby is the new happy hour."
For moms who can't yet indulge in traditional happy hours (either because they're nursing or because they're just too wiped out to join their friends at the pub), this quote has special meaning as a caption.
11. "The serpent, the king, the tiger, the stinging wasp, the small child, the dog owned by other people, and the fool: these seven ought not to be awakened from sleep." — Chanakya
You may never have a personal opportunity to see what a fool or a tiger does when rudely awakened, but you know what you'd do to anyone who tried to wake up the baby who just fell asleep after an hour of colicky crying.
12. "Sleep is the best meditation." — The Dalai Lama
And babies can be perfect masters of this art. (Maybe we grownups could take a lesson from them.)
13. "There was never a child so lovely but that his mother was glad to get him to sleep." — Ralph Waldo Emerson
See, moms? You're not alone, and your feelings are nothing new. Famed poet Emerson lived more than 210 years ago, in the days way before Dr. Spock, Ferberizing, motorized baby swings, and bedtime apps.
14. "Before you go to sleep, say a little prayer. Every day, in every way, it's getting better and better." — John Lennon
If you don't mist up a little just reading this line from the song "Beautiful Boy," you're made of tougher stuff than I am.
15. "The cats nestle close to their kittens, the lambs have laid down with the sheep. You're cozy and warm in your bed, my dear. Please go the f*** to sleep." — Adam Mansbach
And finally, for parents with a good sense of humor, this gem from the bestselling book Go the F**k to Sleep. The foul-mouthed, hilarious verses instantly strike a chord with every mom and dad who ever desperately tried to get their wide-awake child to dreamland.