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How do you get your child to do "quiet time" if they no longer nap?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My little one will be 3 next month. She stopped napping about 6 months ago. At first I tried to make her do quiet time. Just her playing in her room by herself. She did it for a bit. But then it got to be her making me come upstairs every 5 minutes and her standing at the top of the stairs whining and annoying me. No rest for her and my blood pressure was way UP afterwards. It was more trouble than it was worth, so I dropped it. She used to be ok without the nap, but lately she is very tired, needing downtime. I find myself plopping her in front of the tv around 1 so she can rest and I can have a mental break. I don't feel good about this though. I'd rather the tv not be involved. I do think she needs to be playing quietly by herself - but I can't seem to make her do it. 

 

Anyone have any suggestions on how to get your child to rest, give mama a break, etc? She's pretty strong willed and I never ever had luck just leaving her to go to sleep on her own, etc. She would cry and cry and is prone to do the same thing now - which I'm still not cool with at the age of 3. 

 

Thanks!

 

Cindy

post #2 of 8

Well, unfortunately it might be that she doesn't need a nap every day anymore :(

 

Our DD (also 3) doesn't need one daily, though every few days she sleeps. Honestly, I bribe her to have quiet time by allowing her to watch a show on our computer (we don't have an actual TV) - usually Angelina Ballerina - only after a nap or quiet time of at least 2 hours. I have to do this for my own sanity, plus she is a beast all afternoon if she doesn't rest!

 

Also, I think it depends on how much sleep they get overnight. Ours get 11.5-12 hours each night. DS naps 2-3 hours like clockwork, but I just don't think DD needs the extra couple of hours every day now.

 

Sorry - that probably wasn't particularly helpful!

 

post #3 of 8

I would love to know!

post #4 of 8

Have you tried allowing her to listen to music or an audio book? I have not tried this personally, but maybe it would help entertain her while still giving a break.

post #5 of 8

My DS did quiet time for almost two years after he stopped napping.  He was resistant at first, but we did a few things to make it fun for him and he grew to love it.  He still asks for it now sometimes, even though he hasn't napped in years!  The first thing we did was make a special basket of "quiet time only" toys.  I bought some little new toys that he was really into, wrapped them up and put them in a special basket.  He was ONLY allowed to play with them during quiet time, which helped to keep them special.  I did have to rotate the toys pretty frequently because I noticed he'd get bored with them after a few days.  Second, I put a CD player in his room with some of his favorite audio books and let him choose which one to listen to.  Sometimes I'd peek in after half an hour or so and find that he'd fallen asleep listening to the story.  When he was around 4 or so and really interested in learning to read, I'd let him play on my computer on starfall.com or pbs.org.  Again, I think the key is reserving these special activities ONLY for quiet time.  Otherwise they lose their novelty.  I also don't think two hours of quiet time is reasonable to expect for a 3-year-old.  I was always happy to get an hour!

 

good luck!

post #6 of 8

I got quiet time by telling them they had to help me clean if they weren't going to nap... Crickets for hours.  I know not the best method but when my normally crazy 3 yr old heard help mommy clean she would quietly hang out on the floor in her room for an hour playing with her tank engines. 

post #7 of 8

I don't think there's a way to force it. If there were, it would be un-gentle enough that the TV time IMO would be the lesser of two evils. You can try to woo her to do quiet things by having really fun quiet activities available, but if it comes to it, I don't think a litlte TV time in the middle of the day is awful, personally, if that's keeping you sane. It might be the only way to accomplish what you're looking for.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

I love the audio book idea! One of her books she got for Christmas has one and she sat and listened to it yesterday while I cooked. I didn't think of putting it on for her as a daily thing. I'll have to start checking them out from the library! 

 

Also, my mom just left this morning and she slept in DD's room while she was here (DD still sleeps with us, not in her big girl bed). When DD went in her room this morning she was asking what the clock was. DH told her it was for grandma to wake up and she replied "and it lets me know when I'm done with quiet time". So maybe I will try quiet time in there again today and set the alarm clock for her. I used to use an egg timer but she hated the ticking. I think I need one of those sand timers so she can visualize that it has not been half hour yet and only 3 minutes has gone by. Ha.

 

Cindy

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