Transitioning from Nap Time to Quiet Time
December 16th, 2012
Shortly after we moved to SmallTownUSA this summer, I realized the clock was ticking on Miss Mouse’s nap time. Really, we’re fortunate that she remained a good napper as long as she did. I have friends whose children gave up their naps by the time they were two. It’s a horrifying thought.
But at four, I noticed Miss Mouse’s naps were getting shorter and shorter. I’d tuck her in and give her a kiss only to hear the ominous pitter patter of little feet thirty minutes later.
I didn’t want to give up on nap time because I really think everyone needs some down time – and that includes me! So we made the transition to “quiet time” for Miss Mouse.
The premise is simple. I cannot make her sleep and so I don’t try to force that issue. What I can enforce is a period of quiet, solitary play time. Miss Mouse is expected to spend an hour and a half by herself in our bedroom in the afternoon.
We have a small digital clock that we use to help her mark the time. She’s not solid on the complexities of telling time yet, so I always set the clock to 1:30pm and she knows she can come down at 3:00.
During Quiet Time, Miss Mouse doesn’t have to sleep. We keep a small supply of activities for her and she can read, do puzzles, or play with a few dolls. As long as I can’t hear her, she’s clear. Most of the time, she conks out for at least a little while.
This down time is good for everyone’s sanity and there’s no reason it can’t continue indefinitely, now that she knows the routine.