Ramadan, the holy month of fasting in Islam, is tough mentally and physically every year–17 hours without food or water is no joke!
But fasting while having to take care of a tiny human is a whole other challenge.
The first couple of days of Ramadan this year were a little tricky because I had to change my son’s nap times and feeding times so he could stay up a little later at night and sleep a little longer in the morning.
But this wasn’t the hard part!
Figuring out when I would cook and prepare all the food and take care of my baby without overtiring myself was a huge challenge, but if I could do it, so can you!
Here are the things I did to make my Ramadan with an infant a little less challenging:
Prepare Your Meals Ahead of Time
If you’re a meal-prepper, this is right up your alley!
But even if you’re not (I definitely wasn’t), I quickly realized that preparing a couple of days worth of Suhur (pre-fast breakfast) meals would save me so much time!
If your family is like ours and eats rice with curry for suhur, prepare 3-4 days worth of curries and freeze them.
Then, the day before you need it, defrost the curry in the fridge and at suhur time, just pop it in the microwave or heat it on the stove.
As for the rice, I make the rice every night before I go to bed, but you can also batch cook the rice and refrigerate it for 2 days as well.
And here’s a little trick for reheating your rice: take a wet paper towel and place it on top of your plate of rice and then heat it in the microwave. Your rice will be as soft and fluffy as when you first cooked it!
If you want to go a step further with this, you can also make some of your Iftar (breaking of fast) meals ahead of time too!
I usually make all of the sweets/desserts for the week on the same day and just save them until I need them. I also prepare our drinks (fruit juices, milk drinks) a couple of days in advance so it’s all ready to go and be less work later on.
So batch-cooking is a MUST to save you time and energy (and now I plan to do this even after Ramadan is over, but shh…don’t tell my husband!)
Sleep When the Baby Sleeps
Depending on how old your baby is, you probably haven’t heard this saying since you had a newborn.
But sleeping when the baby sleeps works wonders!
Staying up late because you’re too full to go to sleep and then having to wake up before sunrise to eat has probably messed up your sleep schedule, but since you can’t do anything about your nighttime sleep, this is the time to take advantage of your baby’s nap times and take a snooze with them.
My baby has two naps: from 11-1 and another nap from 4-6 so I cuddle up with him for his first nap and enter dreamland!
Napping earlier in the day also helps with refreshing yourself and makes it a little less hard to go to sleep at night.
During his second nap is when I prepare the Iftar meals (that I hadn’t batch-cooked beforehand!).
Ramadan is definitely going to be leaving you more tired than usual, so it’s OK to rest a little bit more and take it a little slower.
Have Family and Friends Babysit
You’re tired, you’re hungry, you’re trying to pray on time, but your little one wants attention. ALL THE TIME.
This can be mentally and physically draining so take this time to reach out to family and friends that your baby is comfortable with and have them babysit for a couple of hours.
Even if you don’t want to send your baby off to a babysitter, just having an extra pair of eyes in the house (and another adult/non-baby to talk to) can take away so much stress.
It’s OK to take time for yourself, especially when you’re fasting, so if you can, have someone watch your child(ren) every now and then.
You can use this time to rest, shower, cook, clean, pray, run errands, etc.
Now, I’m not telling you to break your fast and drink water during the day.
But once you break your fast, you should drink small sips of water constantly until bedtime so you don’t get dehydrated.
And also drink plenty of water during suhur. The last thing you want is to get a dehydration headache when you have baby duty all day!
Ramadan is a blessed month of religious healing so make sure you make the most out of it by making time for YOU.
Do you have any tips/tricks on taking care of a little one during Ramadan?