Nap Solutions

Posted by  | Thursday, July 14, 2011  at 6:45 AM  
My girls are getting to the point where they don't always go to sleep at nap-time. They take a good, long nap about 75% of the time, but they were getting frustrated with staying in their beds for two hours the other 25% of the time. I grew tired of fussing at them to be quiet and wanted them to do something productive with their time if they were awake. I also did not want to lose my time to rest or get things accomplished uninterrupted each afternoon! So we came up with a new plan that is working well for us and I thought I'd share. I'd also love to hear how you handle disappearing naps in your home!

My girls undoubtedly need to have "quiet time" in order to happily make it to their 7pm bedtime. So they are required to stay in their beds, resting, with the lights off for 45-60 minutes. I do allow them to talk and sing quietly with each other during that time. Most of the time they drift off to sleep, but if not, I go in and put on a book on CD for them to listen to for about 30-45 minutes. They have been so excited about this! They are currently listening to the Adventures of Peter Rabbit and plan to do Winnie the Pooh next and then Charlotte's Web. All of these are available for free at our local library. After listening to a book on CD, I then turn on the lights and let them look at books together in their room for another 30-45 minutes. I love to hear them in there talking about what they are looking at and singing together. Now, I must admit that my girls are not perfect and there have been a few days when I have had to go in and break up an argument about who gets a particular book. But overall, this has been a great plan for us.

Something else that has greatly helped us with nap-time and morning wake-up time is our little friend, Momo. This cute monkey cost about $35 but was worth every penny! We had a hard time finding a kid's clock that wouldn't wake the girls up if they were actually sleeping past the time it was set for, but Momo is perfect! His eyes simply open at the appropriate time. He glows for a couple of seconds, but not brightly enough to wake them up. He does play a little tune, but we turned the volume all the way down and the girls can't hear it. The girls know that if they wake up before Momo wakes up, they should just talk quietly in their room until his eyes open. Then they are free to come out of their room. My girls LOVE their little monkey and are always reminding us to "close his eyes" (set the alarm) when putting them down for bed. We've had "Momo" for 3 months now and they still excitedly chant, "Momo's eyes are open," Momo's eyes are open" every morning as they come out of their room.

So what about you? What have you done when your little ones start to outgrow naptime? And do you have any good recommendations for books on CD for a 2.5 and a 4 year old?

This post is also part of KK's SUYL!

1 comment:

Lauren said...

My girls have all held onto naps for very long times, so I'm very blessed! When I took my four-year-old for her check-up, the doctor told me it was very odd for her to still be napping. I said, "Shh! Don't ruin a good thing!" Unfortunately, six months later, that time truly has run it's course. My girls are 6, 4.5, and 3, and they all share a room. I also have a 12 month boy. At naptime, I have my oldest go lay down on my bed. The other girls lay down in their room. Because the oldest no longer naps, she still has to lay down for 15 to 20 minutes. After that, I check on her, and she may get up to have some quiet time. She sometimes watches the video on www.jesusstorybookbible.com, but very often looks at her own Bible (as she reads more, I'll expect this) and then she may color or draw. After I have my own quiet time,I sometimes read a chapter from the Little House books to her. The 4.5 yr. old still often sleeps, but the rule is that if she can't go to sleep, she must stay in her room until her younger sister is asleep. If she is ever grumpy or fussy the evening following a lost naptime, she must nap the next day. EVERYONE naps on Sunday! This is the one day I allow myself a nap, unless I'm pregnant or in the early days with a newborn. In that case, my oldest plays quietly on her own in the living room. But on Sundays, all of the Sullens Six (unless my pastor husband can't) take a nap!

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