naptime for the smallest, interupting time for the oldest... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 05-13-2009, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

We are tv free, but not video free. I'd like to take steps to become more video free. Right now, my 3.5 year old boy watches a video when I'm nursing/rocking my 11mo old boy to sleep. This happens twice each day, so he ends up seeing videos for far longer than I'm comfortable with.

However, if I don't put a video on but instead get him started on playing with something else, he will inevitably barge in (loudly, our doors are old and clanky) exactly when my smaller one is *just* about to sleep. Then, we try again, and again, and eventually give up, as my smaller is awake and looking for distraction.

I've just tried storynory and an art project the other day (scissoring, playdoh, etc), which seemed to work a little better. I was hoping for a few more ideas, though. 3.5 is a rough age for "go do this, I'll join you in a few minutes", it seems...

Thanks Mamas!
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#2 of 8 Old 05-13-2009, 05:18 PM
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We struggle with this same issue. I have a 3.5 year old daughter and a toddler son. I've found that for my daughter, the best thing is not to try to amuse her while I put my toddler down for a nap. I don't give her anything special to do, I just announce that I'm putting her brother down for a nap. She continues doing whatever she's been doing, with no interruption. Today she was just following me around asking questions, I just said that it was time to leave the room so I could get her brother to sleep, and she went out in the hallway and played by herself. When we have problems with her trying to interrupt naptime, we just have a conversation about what everyone wants. I tell her how I want her brother to sleep, so I can spend some time with her. I tell her how her brother wants to sleep, so he's not fussy and needing to be held/nursed all the time. I ask her if she wants him to sleep so we can read books/play games during his nap. Then we talk about how it's easiest for him to fall asleep if it's quiet. Usually she falls in line, and wants him to sleep too, so that I can do something fun with her during his naptime. But, we still have occasional bad days where she keeps poking her head in the door to tell me "important things". Sigh.
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#3 of 8 Old 05-13-2009, 10:12 PM
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Yes indeed that is a problem. I remember it well. The good news is that when you have three LOs the two older non-nappers can get up to some very crazy and messy shenannigans in the time it takes to nurse/rock db down to sleep. But mostly they don't. It is easier with three because the older guys don't feel left out of something special.

Advice? One possibility is to incorporate your older child into the nap ritual by reading to her while you nurse/rock or by having her lie down on a blanket and have quiet time in the room with you. This might work, but it might backfire.

Another idea is to have something--playdo might work, or something similarly tactile, creative, get-lost-in-your-own-thoughtsish--that is only for DBs nap. A special doll or stuffed animal who also needs a nap might work. Or a set of sticker books.

I think Mommylady's approach is a good one because it is simple: just talk about it a lot during non-nap times to get dd on board, but don't bring out the bells and whistles at nap time. Just discuss in advance, set up a clear and mutually beneficial expectation and hope for the best.

It is a tough one. But just think: soon db will need only one nap day and this will become half the problem it is now.

Happy mom to DS2000, DS2002, DD2004, DS2006 and DS 10/2009:
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#4 of 8 Old 05-14-2009, 02:27 AM
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I have one kid who could have done MommyLady's suggestions and another who simply couldn't. My kids are twins so I didn't face the nap thing but I did face it in terms of needing to do therapies with one of my kids individually. I think it's sort of personality driven. My friend does it successfully with her daughter and I do it with one of my boys. If that works it would be ideal. If it doesn't (or doesn't yet because he's expecting videos) I'd have a rotation of activities or special toys that are of the engaging type and only available while you're putting the baby down/naptime. Playdough is good (get some playdough type tools..they make it even more fun), stickers too as someone mentioned, a container of beans to dip and pour, a set of trucks/trains that are only for nap time, playing in water in the sink (if you've got a kid who can do that without making too much of a mess anyway), special scissors that only cut paper and old magazines (you could glue the pictures on paper together after putting the baby down), water colors, coins or something similar that maybe isn't allowed around the baby due to size that he can play with.

Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys! 

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#5 of 8 Old 05-14-2009, 02:38 AM
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Looking at picture books while listening to a cd of the story and lego at the kitchen table are the popular preschool quiet time activities around here. Often, the preschoolers build with lego while listening to a cd of fairy tales.

My 3 yr old will sort coins from my spare change jar for over half an hour with total focus.

The coins and small-piece toys might not be appropriate for all younger preschoolers, of course.

My trick for transitioning off of the videos is to set him up with books on tape or cd of familiar and favorite stories or even story tapes of the favorite video characters to attract the preschooler's attention. Then, once the activity becomes fun in itself, have the child pick out some non-character picture books with cds. The library is a good source, as are thrift stores.

It also helps to have a sturdy cd player that you don't care too much about that the preschooler can manage by himself. My dd LOVED her Fisher Price tape player and tapes that we thrifted, but my ds1 was a cassette tape ripper, so that didn't work for him.
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#6 of 8 Old 05-14-2009, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow! Thanks Mamas! Those are fantastic ideas! I'm going to try to pick out some books-with-cds from the library and find some special toys just for naptime. I'm not sure if the "hey, it's naptime, see you later" will work quite yet - but maybe in a month or so after it's more normal to play instead of watch.

Thanks! :
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#7 of 8 Old 07-29-2009, 12:42 AM
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my problem is I like to nap w/ the baby!! If I put a video in, the older ones let me sleep w/out any interruption!
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#8 of 8 Old 07-31-2009, 12:23 AM
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So how's it going, Anniebee? What have you and your kiddos been doing for naps these days?
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