Staying Awake at 3am with the Baby – My Favorite Apps

Every involved father, as many of us Modern Men seem to be, has their fair share of middle of the night rocking sessions with the baby. I love that I get to be a part of that night system.

I don’t understand fathers who expect the mothers to get up every time, while they get to sleep through the night. Get up. Be a part of the action. This is a partnership – right?  You BOTH have busy days tomorrow.

“Well, I can’t nurse the baby – what’s the point?” Easy – be a dad. Get up. Get the baby. Change their diaper. When the nursing is done, take the baby back to their bed. Staying asleep cause you don’t do the nursing is a serious cop-out, men. Man up!

That return to bed doesn’t always go with a smooth transition – I know this. More often than not, it takes a little bit of rocking and holding to get the baby back into sleep mode. So, I sit there in the rocker in their room… in the dark… rubbing their back… breathing slowly… singing a soft song or some gentle ‘shh shh shh’ action… it’s so peaceful……. WAKE UP DAD!!

You can’t pass out with baby!

CRAP! You can’t fall asleep while holding the baby! Dropping them on their head in the middle of the night would surely put an end to the sleep cycle for baby and the whole family!

So, how do I stay awake at 3am, in the dark? God bless the iPhone!

With my first kid, I used to have headphones in their room and I’d watch The West Wing on Netflix on my phone.

With the second kid I needed to be able to hear if the first kid woke up – so no headphones. I would watch YouTube clips or shows with closed captioning on. But I’d find it was really hard to get back to sleep after the baby did. My mind was TOO awake from watching/reading all those clips.  Screen time takes the brain out of sleep mode.

With #3 I found the sweet spot – pretty mindless iPhone activities. Games, stories and more. If you’re looking for some decent stay awake app action – here’s what I’ve been using lately:

Social Media

I read my entire Facebook newsfeed. I scroll through Instagram – my personal account. And my work account. And of course, the Mind of Modern Man account.

I even check SnapChat to see if my niece has done anything cool lately or LinkedIn to see what the professional world is all about.

After I’m all caught up, that’s about it for these. Not a lot of new material going up before dawn.

Fantasy Sports

This is the PERFECT time to set your weekly football lineup on ESPN or Yahoo. Check the news. Check the injury report. See if there’s a defense on the waiver wire slated to earn more points than your current one.

During baseball season, I read every post on RotoWorld. I know the players who are on fire and the ones who aren’t. I know the heralded rookies and when they’re going to come up. I find my diamonds in the rough to bid on as free agents for potential keepers for next year.

Does research at 3am work? You’re reading a post written by the 2018 Roto Baseball Champ – yeah it works. 🙂

Knock Balls

This is a very basic game – but it’s entertaining enough to keep me occupied for a while. It’s easy to play with one hand (keeping the other patting the baby’s back) and it doesn’t take a TON of mental attention – so you don’t have to totally wake up for it.

You aim at the sweet spots and knock down the formations. Not a lot too it – but fun to find those sweet spots.

Yeah, there are ads after every ’round’ – but that’s fine. You can usually X-out of the ads after 5-10 seconds. Enough time to look down at baby and see if they’re out cold yet, or not.

Daily Themed Crossword

Crossword puzzles and all other kinds of word games are perfect for 3am. Enough mental stimulation to keep you awake – but we’re not talking the S.A.T.s here.

This app has a daily theme – Wednesdays are TV! WOOHOO! Most of the clues are rather simple, but there are enough ‘stumpers’ to make you have a bit of a brain game going on.

You earn coins with every completed puzzle, and you can use those to “pay” for past days puzzles to keep the fun going.

Bubble Witch 3

Bubble games are fun. I’ve played Panda, Peanuts and Cookie Cats too. Bubble Witch is a new one for me. I don’t know if there was a Bubble Witch 1 or 2…

As the bubble game levels get harder and harder – I tend to lose my patience for it at 3am. So, I’ll delete the one I’m playing and start over on another.

This one’s twist has you earning ‘fairy dust’ to help build a home for your witch – so a bit of SimCity feel there.

The Simpsons Tapped Out

I have been playing this game for YEARS. It’s SimCity meets The Sims meets The Simpsons. It’s great! The writing is fresh and the game play is NEVER ending. They are constantly introducing new themes and quests and missions. Every single day there’s something new to do and it’s fantastic.

If you like these kind of virtual games, and/or are a big fan of The Simpsons – I HIGHLY recommend this game. Unlike others of the kind, the time crunch for this doesn’t push into playing every 2 hours.

In the middle of the night, I often find myself re-arranging my town’s layout (it’s HUGE now). Last night I made room for new Halloween themed items by moving the zoo around a bit. Yeah, I’m cool like that.


RSS Feed apps are great. They pull all the feeds of your favorite blogs and put them in one place for you to scroll down and read. I follow everything from marketing tips for work, to fantasy baseball, to Dad tips, and yes, even WWE news.

The first one on my list – the Mind of Modern Man feed – of course!

One word of warning – a lot of these apps can get a bit addictive – especially if you have a competitive nature. You keep wanting to play and get better, move up a level, see what’s next… So, just remember – this is supposed to just pass the time until baby is asleep. Once they are – PUT THEM BACK IN THE CRIB! Then, you get back into your bed and get the rest of your well-earned ZZZs.

Nighty night, Dad!

What do you guys use to keep awake while rocking the early morning hours?


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