Transitioning from Nap Time to Quiet Time
Once baby sister arrived, my oldest began fighting nap time. I was at my wit's end over it and a lot of stress ensued. So when I was researching about sleep regressions on The Sleep Lady's site for my youngest, I glimpsed a link about quiet time and clicked over to see what it was all about. After reading what quiet time entailed, I decided that I could be OK with nap time ending as long as quiet time could become our new norm. Here are the steps I took to know that quiet time was the best option for us and how I set it up.
The Signs That Nap Time Was Over
When I was reading the article on The Sleep Lady‘s site about quiet time and how to know it was time to transition out of nap, I felt like I was reading about my daughter. She wasn’t napping much. She was struggling to fall asleep at night. The babbling and singing to herself for the first hour or so of bedtime was another sign that naps should end.
The Bedtime Mess
On the few days a week she was napping, she fought bed time the hardest! This was equally as taxing as all that time spent trying to get her to take a nap. It was a trade-off I didn’t want.
Chat About Quiet Time
I’ve learned I’ve got to give me kid more credit and not just make a decision without talking to her about it. The first day of quiet time we chatted about what it was about. She was on board with it since I told her that it was OK if she didn’t nap. Instead she’d get to play in her room. This set us up for great success on the first day of quiet time! She stayed in her room a lot longer than I thought she’d last.
Rules For Quiet Time
We set ground rules for quiet time. I had three for my daughter. First of all, she had to stay in her room. Second was that she had to choose quiet things to play with. We talked about what toys were good options and which ones were too loud. And finally, she couldn’t scream for me from her room. We talked a lot about the rules and then she told me she had some rules. Rule number 62 was to not make a huge mess. And to that I said that rule number 94 was that making messes might happen, but as long as you clean it up, you were good.
Door Stays Open
My daughter has anxiety about her bedroom door being closed. We don’t even close it at night. Some parents have their child’s door closed during quiet time, but for us, it works best if it stays open. She generally stays put in her room even with the door open. She knows quiet time is spent in her bedroom. This also gives me an opportunity to check in on her without distracting her.
I make sure to have my daughter go to the bathroom before she starts quiet time. For the most part she doesn’t need me to help her go to the bathroom, but sometimes she does and quiet time is about both of us have time to ourselves so I try to get her to go before quiet time begins. There are days, though, that she needs to go potty during quiet time so we’ve talked about how it’s OK to leave her room to go to the bathroom if needed. Only one time has this happened and she went back to her room when she was done.
I make sure to leave snacks and water for her during quiet time. Sometimes she tells me she’s not hungry as quiet time does happen after lunch. I still leave a little something for her as having snacks for her helps to keep her from needing me. We also talk about how she can’t make a mess with her food as generally we don’t allow her to eat in her bedroom. She does really good of keeping food where it should be.
How Much Quiet Time Should Be Had
Some days quiet time lasts one hour. Other days quiet time can last two hours. It all depends on what’s going for the day and if baby sister is napping. I was amazed that my kid could sit by herself and play that long. But given the chance, she totally loves this time to herself. It’s quite amazing to come get her after about an hour or two and look around her room to see what her imagination dreamed up while she was playing.
Photo Credit: Amazon
Quiet Time Rewards
My daughter doesn’t get to use technology during all of her quiet times, but if she’s been well behaved and abiding by the quiet time rules, then she gets some screen time with her LeapPad a couple times a week.
Other Quiet Time Options
The Sleep Lady suggests that quiet time could happen in various places. One day I allowed my daughter to watch a movie during quiet time. We went through the same routine, though, of using the bathroom first and getting her snacks. As well, she had to stay on the couch. Also, there was a day when I was struggling to get her to stay in her room, so she had quiet time in our dining room and got to play on her LeapPad. She totally stayed put until quiet time was over and I was able to get work done.
Why Quiet Time Ends Up Being The Best
In the end, everyone benefits from quiet time. My daughter’s temperament is better late in the day when she has break time, which makes everyone in the house feel great! Also, bedtime has been a cinch and we are no longer putting her back into bed over and over and over. But mostly, I’m not spending an hour trying to shoo my daughter into bed for nap. I’m no longer frustrated.
I love a good squishy newborn like everyone else, but I'm so very happy to be through the newborn phase.view gallery
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