The End of Nap Doesn’t Need to be the End of the World
My daughter was only 2 ½ when she started to drop her mid-day nap. It began slowly. She’d nap one day and then not the next. But as the weeks and months passed the “no-nap” days began to outnumber the days that she would sleep. Cue mommy panic.
I was not ready for my daughter to drop her nap.
I am a work from home mom and nap time is my recharge time. It’s when I sit and relax with something caffeinated (coffee, pop, tea; I’m not picky) so that I can get through the rest of the day. It’s also when I work on my blog.
I was not willing to give up this “me time” so easily. Enter my new favorite time of the day: Quiet Time.
title photo source: canva.com
Quiet Time: My No-Nap Solution
They do it in many Kindergarten classes, so why can’t I do it in my own house? From the get-go I explained to my daughter that when her brother goes down for his nap it’s time for relaxation and quiet. This means she can do INDEPENDENT, quiet activities. I emphasize independent because I try and get her to do things she won’t need much assistance with so that I can do things around the house and get some work done.
There’s also no running around or loud activities at this time. It’s supposed to be peaceful, relaxing and recharging for everyone.
Make it a routine. Even when we were on vacation for a week quiet time prevailed. Honestly, I think she needs this time as much as I do.
The Benefits of Quiet Time
In my home, quiet time is a refresher for myself and my daughter. In fact, if she doesn’t get her down-time there is a noticeable change in her mood in the afternoons (i.e. she can be one cranky little girl). Quiet time is also a good way for children to learn to spend a little peaceful time on their own and practice engaging in some independent play.
Quiet time is also a good way to establish a household routine. Children are generally responsive to structure and having quiet time mid-day is a good way to establish a predictable routine.
My Favorite Quiet Time Activities
Books and Puzzles
When I taught Kindergarten books and puzzles were the go-to for quiet time. My daughter is really into puzzles these days so this works well for us. As an added bonus, if you have a cute pop-up tent or some fluffy pillows you could set up a super-comfy quiet area for your child to read in. (Photo Source: Robyn Budlender at StockSnap)
Usually at some point during our quiet time my daughter will request a “sensory activity.” Sensory play could be rice play, sand, water, beads, play dough, buttons etc. Because it’s quiet time I don’t want a lot of clean up so I have a bunch of mess-free sensory bins at the ready that she can choose from. Sometimes she spends a whole hour playing with these bins.
A Little Screen Time
We have a TV, lap top and iPad but without fail my daughter will always choose to watch videos on my phone. Quiet time is when I let her watch “phone movies.” I have the YouTube Kids app and she browses the videos with me nearby to screen any iffy content. In any case, I don’t sweat letting her have a little screen time during our quiet time.
I am okay with my daughter doing any craft so long as she can do it on her own. She likes cutting, gluing and painting so they are popular choices at quiet time. These activities can be a little messy but I allow it because it keeps her occupied for a while.
Plan a Little Mommy-and-Me Time
Although I treasure my quiet time; it’s also an opportunity for me to get some one-on-one with my daughter while my son naps. Usually I will to do a couple of activities with her each week. We will do a puzzle together or make a snack. Sometimes we’ll play a board game or practice writing her name. Often she will snuggle up beside me with a blanket and pillow while she watches videos and I work on my computer.
Find What Works for You
I am a big believer that a happy parent makes for happy kids. If you are tired, in need of a break and constantly on the go then you probably need quiet time as much as I do. It makes me a more relaxed, less-stressed, better mommy to my kids.
Quiet time may never replace nap time entirely; but it’s a good compromise. Find some activities that your child loves and set some guidelines for this time of the day. It’s okay to tell your child that you need quiet time too. They will get used to it and they will benefit having some peaceful, self-guided time during their busy day.
Have you already been implementing quiet time in your house? What are some of your favorite quiet-time activities? Comment below and let me know!