How We Transitioned From Nap Time To Quiet Time

Posted on Feb 26 2014 - 6:00am by Traci

naptimequiettime

Hey Everyone! I wanted to post about moving from nap time to quiet time because I have to say, I was a little overwhelmed when it came time to move away from nap time. It’s just so sad! 🙂 My little boy has never been the greatest sleeper, and I have accepted that. I was super bummed however when at 22 months {and the birth of my daughter} he decided that naps were not for him anymore. I really had in my mind that most kids nap until they are in Kindergarten, right? Yeah, I was not prepared at ALL! Luckily, we transitioned. I am not going to say that it was easy, but it has been SO worth it, just to have a bit of time to myself to recharge. We do quiet time in the middle of the day, around when afternoon naps usually begin, and I have to say I am a MUCH better Mom when I get a little breather break before the afternoon craziness! So! I wanted to share a few things that I did, to give you some ideas and brainstorming, and HOPEFULLY make your experience a little bit easier. I know every child is so very different, so maybe pick and choose a few ideas that work for you. 🙂

1. Have a room with toys where your child can play AWAY from you. This is always my Son’s bedroom. But if you have a playroom, or something else similar, that is great, too. Just somewhere where they can play and do their own thing and learn to be independent players! I have tried to let my son do quiet time out in the living room with me, but it just doesn’t work. Let them have somewhere that is theirs and they are focused on having time to themselves.

2. Put a timer in their room, and start out small and add time until you feel it it right. My son would take 3 hour naps, but there was NO WAY he was going to do 3 hours of playing by himself. We had to start out small, 15 minutes, each day, for a week, which moved into 30 minutes of quiet time for 2 weeks, and then 45 minutes, and eventually 1 hour of quiet time. Work up to the amount of time you are hoping for, it is hard sometimes for kids to stay in there room for long periods of time when they haven’t practiced!

3. Set up some Music. I let my little boy use our iPod or kindle or iPad, or whatever you have and I turn on Disney songs from Pandora. It distracts him and helps him have something interesting in his room so it’s not just quiet and boring 🙂 I have had friends that let their kids watch Movies during quiet time, maybe that’s your thing, but I prefer to use quiet time as a time where my son can learn to play independently and create and use his imagination! 🙂 I do allow music, though 🙂

4. Have a reward system set up when they start. We had the HARDEST time getting my son to STAY in his room when we first started quiet times. I had to start up a reward system where, for instance, after her did 10 quiet times he earned a new Cars car or Airplane or small toy. Or her could earn toys he wanted by doing quiet times. We did start out smaller at first {finding SUPER cheap toys and giving him one every quiet time for the first few times} then working up to stretch out earning things longer. It helped us a lot, and gave more incentive for my son to stay in his room and let me have some time to myself, too.

5. Have time alone with your child for a few minutes before quiet time. I have an almost two year old daughter who naps at the same time my son does quiet time. I realized VERY quickly, that if I put my daughter down for a nap, and spent a good 15 minutes focusing on my son, having one on one time, that doing quiet time went a LOT better. Spend 15-20 minutes with your child before you have them do their independent time. It makes a world of difference. Once they feel like they have had some time alone with you, I think they are more willing to play on their own 🙂

Finally, just be patient! Work with your child and their needs, and make it a time that they look forward to and enjoy! I know for sure I come back from that time a better mother, and more able to handle the rest of the day. I have also found that my son has become more imaginative and has become better at playing independently, too. It’s win win 🙂 And sometimes, you child may even just fall asleep on their own in quiet time… and you will get that 3 hours 😉 Good Luck! You can do it! 🙂

Traci 🙂

 

 

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