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Does your 3 year old have naps/quiet time?

2011 Views 20 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  BrookeAD
We are working on naps/ quiet time.
Dd is very spirited, and sometimes ( well most of the time ) will not take a nap. I have trying to "enforce" quiet time,by suggesting that she may play in her room, as mummy needs her rest and so does she.
She is tired, will be rubbing her eyes, but will not lie down and sleep. I do lie with her, and we read books and snuggle, but as soon as I go then up she gets and starts trashing her room!

I really need this time, whether it is an hour or more to myself to regroup and decompress.

Any suggestions?
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My ds has never slept alone, as in he will wake up quickly after my warm body is no longer within reach. He literally feels for me in his sleep and wakes up if I'm not there. So, I not only lie down while he falls asleep but I lie there until he wakes up. He takes 2-3 hour naps. I sometimes take a short nap myself and I usually read. At least I get a mental break.
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Right there with you. Spirited DS has never slept well or alone. He hasn't napped in several months except the occasional day when he climbs in my lap and falls asleep at 4:30, way too late! It's complicated now because I have a 6 week old who also needs to be held all the time.

DS has been watching a lot of TV. He's having quiet time right now watching blues clues, in fact. He gets upset when I lie with both of them in bed because he doesn't want to have his back to me and he doesn't want the baby to be between us. So I guess I don't have any advice! Sometimes I will take them for a ride in the car but the baby doesn't like the car either and one of them always wakes up
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We have 1 hour of quiet time every day. The rules are you have to remain horizontal and quiet, but you may read or sleep (or play quietly for my 3 year old). We implemented this slowly starting with 20 minutes and increased it from there. It makes a huge difference! (I have a 4 yo, 3yo, and 8 month old).
I had tried to implement quiet time, but my 3 year old will trash her room, pulling out all the books, all the clothes etc ( you get the picture ) then come out and refuse to go back into her room.
She will also invariably wake up her sister too, which drives me nuts!!
Any suggestions??
My DS is 4.5, but we've always done quiet time. Before his sister was born a year ago, I'd lay with him (sometimes napping myself) and then get up when he was fully asleep. I always let him choose where he wanted to nap - he almost always chose the couch. When his sister was born, the rule changed to he could either nap wherever he wanted or he could play quietly in his room. Sometimes he'd nap, sometimes he'd play. I was never too concerned about him trashing his room - as long as he was quiet while he did it, he could do anything he wanted! I used quiet time to nap with the new baby. And besides - he knows the consequences; if he pulls out all his toys and clothes, etc, he has to put them back himself before bedtime. The less he pulls out, the less he has to put back!

Now that he's older, quiet time is less nap time, and more reading time - he reads to himself. But he must stay in either the reading corner of the living room, or his bedroom. He can come out to potty, but that's it. He actually naps maybe only twice a week now. But I still need that quiet time myself, so I insist that we do it!
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Well, no way would my ds do anything that he was actually told to do or that he thought I wanted him to do. When he is at his best, he responds very nicely to requests, but I always have to be aware that he may just say no. Which is why I ask him if he wants to do something rather than telling him to do something. The latter turns it into a power struggle. If I were to tell him to do something, I would then have to back up my command with force. I'm not willing to do that if it isn't very important (like safety issues when he was younger). The trick is to make your dd want to go to her room for quiet time. How to do that I don't know. Maybe stories on tape?
dd just turned 3 last week
: and is still napping for an hour a day. except on daycare days
then she's a mess & miserable from being overtired & we get an early dinner into her & move the whole routine up so she's sleeping by 7:00. she really does still need the nap. occasionally, she'll skip it on a non-daycare day, but we still have rest/quiet time. also for about an hour or so. she'll lay in bed, then get up & read for a while, then play in her room or go back & lay down in bed. it's helpful for both of us!
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DD will be three in two weeks and she hasn't napped regularly for a long time, but she will sometimes fall asleep late in the day - if she does this she is up late and tired the next day. Rather than trying to give her an enforced naptime I've just made a an effort to keep her from napping and then get her to bed at a earlier bedtime every night.

Originally Posted by mightymoo
DD will be three in two weeks and she hasn't napped regularly for a long time, but she will sometimes fall asleep late in the day - if she does this she is up late and tired the next day. Rather than trying to give her an enforced naptime I've just made a an effort to keep her from napping and then get her to bed at a earlier bedtime every night.
Yep, that's what I do most of the time. I will only try to get ds to nap if he looks like he's about to fall asleep on his feet. LOL.
Although i would like to get that break during the day, it is nice when ds goes to sleep earlier at night...Then I get to either watch one of my favorite shows or go online in peace.

I look back to when I worked in preschools and we made the kids stay on their cot for at least an hour. There is no way that my ds would be able to do that. He hasn't been officially diagnosed with being hyperactive yet but the specialist says he probably will his next evaluation (either in Dec or next spring). He's giving ds time to see if he will settle down once he goes to preschool. (I don't want to send ds to preschool but he really does need some special help with lots of stuff).
I'm babbling.
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My ds is 3 and marches to his own drum LOL he doesnt nap unless he is tired and thinks he needs one. He does have lots of quiet time though. He has never been one to follow a schedule... might be a problem once he gets in school.
DS (3.5) is also trying to transition out of naptime and boy is it a challenge for all involved!!! We usually give the nap the ole college try everyday, but 4 days out of 7 he just won't do it. (Even if he is cranky-tired). He also trashes his room if we try to do quiet time. So we've given into videos. We usually rent 2-3 from the library a week and on the days he won't nap, we chill on the couch and watch a video. It gives both of us a chance to recharge. On no-nap days, we also put him to bed 1/2-1 hour earlier and this works well.

It's so tough some days....especially when he's super cranky by 5 o'clock!

Sorry I don't have better advice, I think its just a tough time when kids are transitioning out of needing a nap.


Originally Posted by mightymoo
DD will be three in two weeks and she hasn't napped regularly for a long time, but she will sometimes fall asleep late in the day - if she does this she is up late and tired the next day. Rather than trying to give her an enforced naptime I've just made a an effort to keep her from napping and then get her to bed at a earlier bedtime every night.
Same here. DS1 turned 3 in Jan. No matter when he falls asleep, he is up early in the morning (6am-7am). I feel like it's better to keep him from napping late in the day and get him to bed early. It is tough sometimes though! I read him books and let him watch a half hour show in the afternoon for a little downtime, but he will not do anything on his own. I have to be in the room with him for his show if he watches one. Leaving him alone in his room for quiet time is just not an option right now. He would leave and/or tear things apart and scream. It is definitely nice, though, to have a bit of time to myself in the evenings after both boys have gone to bed-or to have some special one-on-one time with DS2 if he's still awake for a little while..
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My girls are 4, 5 & 7 now. Once they all stopped napping quiet time was done. I never tried to enforce it or anything. The 4yo and 7yo stopped napping at 15months, the 5yo stopped at 18months.
Yes, my 3 yr old does take naps during the day at daycare/preschool and they are about 2 hours. It's enforced there. The preschoolers can have quiet time if they don't want to nap. They are generally so active and busy that most if not all are ready for a nap after lunch. At home, I used to nap my DD on the weekends but not so much lately. We have fun and do stuff together, but I think playing all day with her friends and learning at school tires her more than at home. If she seems particularly tired though during the weekend, I will institute a nap. We do the same bedtime routine which is reading some stories, putting on music of her choice, and then we lay down. She always falls asleep (and sometimes I do too!).

So I'm not sure I have advice. My daughter naps when needed and I don't fool around about it (not that I have to get tough but an over-tired kid can protest a bit for sure). The napping groundrules have been in place since day 1 so it's never been a battle.

Sometimes once they are at the point of rubbing eyes, they are overtired and bedtime/naps can become a battle. Try moving quiet time earlier before that happens??? Another suggestion, put your foot down about the quiet time. In other words, if DD refuses to lay down and nap, leave the room and let her trash it - quietly. If she gets loud, you go in and tell her quietly, "if you are not going to nap, then you will remain in here quietly until naptime is over." Repeat as necessary. I wouldn't expect her to get it right away but after a while, it's no fun anymore if she's not getting her way. Eventually she'll either lay down or she'll find something quiet to do. She has to know there are boundaries and expectations. You are teaching her to respect what you say and to have consideraton for her sister who she wakes up.

I hope this doesn't sound like I'm some toughie mom as I'm certainly not. There's lots of silliness in my house and few rules, but I do expect listening ears and respect from my DD (and I respect her). Once you have that going, then most things are easier.
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my dd hasn't napped since she was 2, she turned 3 in March.
I just started quiet time with her a few weeks ago and I am using a movie for it. We are tring this about 3-5 times a week. generally I feel no tv is best, but for a quiet time habit to start, I decided to go with a movie
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Hey nothing wrong with that! I use the tv a bit myself!
My dd was never one for extended napping time... it can be hard but we just got used to it after awhile (and she would go to bed earlier at night for it

Maybe you could arrange for some sort of trade off with another mum to take your dc for an hour or so and you could do the same in return? Or hire a high school student to come and play so you can get a little time to yourself?

Good luck.
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My son is 3.5 and still naps. He needs it, I can see it in his eyes.

At preschool he naps after lunch, without complaint. On the weekends, he claims he is not tired, in a whiney voice. And the more tired he gets the more he claims he is not tired. Then he falls asleep.

If I get him ready for nap and leave before he sleeps, sometimes I have to get him back in bed. Once in his life, he actually walked into his room and took a nap on his own accord!

If he has a busy morning playing outside naps are easier, so I try for this.

I will lay down with him until he is a sleep, then I can get up (or stay and rest)

No advise on what to about her tearing her room apart! Did you say you can lay with her until she falls asleep? I do believe that moms need a break too so quiet time is definitely a benefit for all.
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