Is your toddler getting cranky during the day? Are they refusing to take naps? Try some quiet time, you never know, it might turn into a nap, but in any case it’s good for toddlers to get some quiet and rest. Here are some tips from parents for Toddler Quiet Time:
#1. Encourage Quiet Time
When toddlers stop napping it can be difficult especially when you’ve been relying on the nap time to catch up on chores or have some parent-me-time. Just because they don’t want to have naps any more doesn’t mean though that you shouldn’t encourage them to stop running and playing and just have some quiet time.
Sometimes kids just need a rest. If your child is sleeping the full night and not waking up too early you don’t need to be concerned about them stopping naps as long as they get some rest time.
“When my kids were young, and nap times didn’t happen, I would sit and read to them. Sometimes they would nod off, other times they just wanted the hear more stories.”
“My little girl is 2 and a half, most days now she wouldn’t go for a nap but she gets her blankey and bottle and lies down on the sofa and watches some cartoons for about an hour and then she is nice and refreshed”
“Quiet music, books, sometimes a movie works too, lights off”
“My son hasn’t napped since he was about 1. Just make sure he sits with a book or watches cartoons for half an hour to calm him down in the afternoon”
#2. Tell them if they don’t want to nap that’s ok
Tell your child that it’s ok if they don’t feel like sleeping but that they need to have some quiet time and rest.
“We have a cuddle on the sofa & watch cartoons”
“Say you don’t have to sleep but we are going to eg watch tv (best not something they like), sit quietly, read”
“I used to put in a movie and tell my son if he didn’t want to take a nap he could play quietly on the bed with his toys. I was usually dozing on and off since I worked midnights. If he got rambunctious I would tell him if he didn’t settle down he would have to go to sleep. (And followed thru. He got two warnings. That’s it) We usually lasted about an hour total. A lot of time he’d end up going to sleep anyway.”
#3. Encourage Own Time
Tell your child that they can do whatever they want in their room (read, play, etc…) but they must do it in their room. The first time they come out means they will have to get in bed and stay there. This encourages them to spend time on their own which can be restful and relaxing even if they are still playing.
“I just did the same routine but told my son you don’t have to sleep if you don’t want to but it’s rest time. You can get down and play with your toys but you have to stay in your room til rest time is finished. Then I’d close the door and leave him to it. We first started doing this when he first started dropping his nap at about 2.5 so sometimes he’d sleep other times not but now at nearly 4 he still has an hour and a half rest time most days. Maybe give a special toy or game for rest time to get him happy with it.”
#4. Ask them what Quiet Time Looks Like to Them
Offer suggestions you can live with (books, movies, coloring etc) and let him or her choose. Kids are sometimes more cooperative if they are included in the planning.
“I, being a stay at home dad, had to adjust to a little one’s perspective. I ask when you are tired, cranky, irritable do you want to listen to noise?”