You Lost the Nap Battle. Here's How You Can Win the Quiet Time War

You Lost the Nap Battle.  Here's How You Can Win the Quiet Time War


It just happened with my cousin's daughter, Anna Mae.  She's two-and-a-half years old.  She eats kale and tomatoes, and she has smiles for miles.  But she is DONE with naptime.  Eventually it happens with every preschooler (or primary schooler).  We all quit taking naps--at least until college.


Don't give up hope:  There is a sweet alternative called Quiet Time, and it's beneficial for your child.  You've lost the nap battle, but you can (peacefully) regain your territory in the afternoons with these tricks.


Set a time that works for both of you.

If your preschooler napped at 2, but your baby goes down at 1, use this change in behavior to your advantage, and set a quiet time that coincides with your baby's nap, or your conference call.


Pick a quiet place, for you and for her.

Her quiet place doesn't have to be her room, and it needn't always be in the same place.  This is a good opportunity to let her flex her decision muscles.  Try letting her choose, so long as you (and any sleeping babes or siblings) have a different quiet space than she does.


Help her choose quiet toys--not electronics.

Even with the iPad or V-tech tablet on silent, electronics don't really count as a quiet time activity, because they don't quiet the mind.  Help her choose books, toys or activities like drawing and coloring--with washable markers or crayons--that can help her mind unplug.   You can also save special toys for quiet time (although Play-Doh or the Easy Bake Oven would not make that list).


Set a timer so that she knows "how much longer."

We are partial, of course, to the Time Timer®, because the visual red disk is easy to understand even if she can't tell time, or understand numbers.  We recommend the Time Timer PLUS®, which operates quietly, but can still beep so that you know when her time is up.  It's also portable throughout the house.  


Be consistent.

It's so tempting to think, "Nap time is over! Now I get my freedom!"  Most preschoolers, however, need a quiet time.  So strive for consistency, even on the weekends.  You'll thank yourself later when you finally have time to watch last night's episode of This is Us.


How do you enforce quiet time, or better yet, what do you do when your child is having a quiet rest time?  Tell us!

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