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What can a 4yo do while mom&baby nap?

609 Views 10 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  mahogny
I'm looking for some ideas for dd while baby takes a nap in the afternoon. It's not that he can't nap out and about (he does nap in the sling) I'm ashamed to admit-it's me that needs the horizontal quiet time ( I'm co-sleeping and night nursing!
Anyway, she has been watching the tube, which I feel totally guilty about, even though it is mom-approved programs or movies. I'm thinking about finding a mom's helper to come over after school to play with her. After that, my tired brain is about out of creative ideas...
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If it's a regular thing, I'd try to have someone come over and look after her, or arrange play dates or something. It only seems fair (not to mention safer!)...
My first thought was, "Destroy the house"!!!
Sorry, I'm no help. My 4.5 year old is phasing out naps, but the 2 year old still needs one. And somteimes, so do I. So I know where you're coming from, but I don't really have any suggestions. Hopefully someone else can help us both.
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if I need to nap and can't wait till dh gets home then dd has quiet time in her bed. She gets dolls and books to play with. Most of the time she falls asleep too.
Naps? Ha! I only get naps on weekends. If you can get a mother's helper, that's the best idea. Or, get a basket filled with books and bring it in the room with you, so she can read books while you nap. Very rarely can I get my older to lay down at the same time as the baby.
I think that asking a four year old to be good while you take a nap with the baby is a reasonable expectation. He can sit on his bed or at a desk (or table) and look at books, do puzzles, play with Legos... anything that is quiet and doesn't involve waking you up. I've always had my oldest do quiet time (after he stopped napping) while I got the little one (now ones) down for a nap and sometimes took one myself.

Originally Posted by phathui5
I think that asking a four year old to be good while you take a nap with the baby is a reasonable expectation.
I think maybe it depends on the child?

Or maybe there is a big difference between a just turned-4 yo and a 4 yo who is almost 5. But I have the former, and there is no way I would trust my 4 yo to be unsupervised in the house while I slept. The only way I can see it is if we were all locked up in the same room and I dozed with the baby while he did something quiet (and the being quiet part is not likely to happen very often, either
)But, full run of the house? No way. Plus, I don't think that would be fair to him.

I vote for the mother's helper. I *wish* I had gotten one a few times of week when I first had my baby. I think I could have been a better parent if I had been able to get a rest during the day. But, you know what? I don't think tv is the worst possible thing, if you have no other option and you just have to lie down for a short time. I have tried a lot of things just to get the 15 minutes I need to put my baby down for a nap...putting out a little project for him with washable markers, glitter glue, stringing beads, pouring/scooping dried rice/beans, story tapes/CDs from the library--but I can't say most of these things are very successful.
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it does depend on the child.

My DD is 4 and I set the timer for 30 minutes (I am a "power napper - any longer and i am MORE tired than when I layed down!). She usually plays in her room with her "guys" (stuffed animals) or draws or colors. Sometimes she plays in the backyard in the sandbox.

I think it depends on how long you are sleeping! A mom's helper is a great idea if it's a stretch!
I could trust DS1 to amuse himself for 20-30 min while I was still pg and he was 3 1/2! (yes, I do know how lucky I am!) I think that helped him understand how tired Mama gets.

Our house is super tiny, so I trust him (now 4 1/2) not to get into any trouble and I know I'd hear if he did. I just tell him I need to lay down and ask him to find something quiet to do. We plan it out together and usually he decides to read or play with his action figures. This is all assuming that he isn't napping himself, which he generally still does.

NOW, if I could only get the BABY to amuse himself while I sleep. Buuuwa ha ha ha ha ha!
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Thanks everyone for the discussion. I see that I am lucky to have a very responsible 4 year old whom I trust to be free in the house while I'm asleep. We do have a very small house so I can see/ hear her from most rooms. I also see that you all who have napping 3 and 4 year olds are lucky!!
My little princess stopped napping at 2 years plus a few months. It's been a long few years keeping busy all day (and she stays up until 9 or 10-which is part of the reason I'm so tired and need a break!)That's a whole other story...
I think I will pursue the mom's helper because dd is very social and prefers play to solitary activities. I'll do that and brew up another latte:
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I've got a 4.5 yo and a 13 mo. I've always had a "quiet time" each day. When DS was younger he would nap, but now that he's older, the rule is he must stay in his bedroom playing quietly or reading books. I can then lay down and nap while the 13 mo naps if need be. I realize now that I'm extremely fortunate that my 4 yo has never been a "house wrecker". I've always been able to trust him while I take my siesta, even if he isn't so good at staying in his bedroom.

On days that he doesn't nap (and therefore he consequently has trouble staying in his room for quiet time
) I end up having to nap at about 4 pm or so. Both kids are awake, but DS is very good at engaging his baby sister so I can get a 30 minute power nap on the couch. Incidentally, what totally surprises me about this situation is that I've never once asked DS to "watch" his sister or to keep her occupied or anything, as I don't feel that's his responsibility. But on his own, he realizes that I'm napping, and will intentionally keep DD occupied so she won't bother me.

Geez, I remember when I was little and it was "nap time" - ooooh, how I hated it! And now that I'm a grownup, I'd PAY someone to tell me it was "nap time!"
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