It’s Thursday yet again, and this time the 4 Moms are talking about naps this week. I wish I could say we were taking naps instead of just talking about them, because like most moms I feel like I operate on a perpetual sleep deficit.
I’ve spent a very large proportion of the nighttime hours of the last 18 years doing night feedings, soothing nightmares and night terrors, changing wet sheets, bathing sick children along with the sibling who woke up with vomit in her hair, checking the breathing of a baby who is sleeping too well…and loving every minute of it. Well, more or less, in a theoretical kind of way.
I certainly haven’t pulled all those night shifts alone, and this is where my hunney would probably appreciate it if I mention that he often sends me to bed early while he battens the hatches, and I have to give him credit for helping me to get as much sleep as I do. No, he’s not for sale.
Oh, but I was supposed to talk about naptime, wasn’t? For the kids, you mean? Very well, then.
Once upon a time, when all the Coghlan children were very young and small, we all had naps or quiet time every single day without fail. Maybe you’re wondering about the difference between a nap and quiet time? If you were young enough or tired enough to fall asleep, it was a nap. If you managed to stay awake the whole time, it was quiet time.
If the kids are doing quiet time while Mom takes a nap, you might have a problem. You might also decide that the nap was worth the mess you found when you woke up, provided the toddler didn’t wander down the street wearing nothing but a diaper. I’m not saying this ever happened to me, but I’m also not saying that something similar never happened.
I am saying that training is important. The little ones can and should be taught to stay in bed until nap time is officially over. This will take an investment of time on your part, but it is sooo worth it. Stake out the door for a few days or weeks, and you will have years of afternoon peace for your own nap/quiet time.
For one particularly stubborn child, I used a scarecrow. My husband once bought a tiger mask that covered not just his face, but his entire head. When he wore it and went about the house on all fours, even I felt a lump of fear in my stomach. It was realistic and terrifying, and even after the novelty wore off, our strong-willed toddler was still afraid to open the toybox if she thought the tiger might be lurking in the depths.
Heh, heh. Call me a bad mom.
At nap time, I tucked her in and gave her a kiss. I reminded her to obey and stay in bed, knowing full well she would try to creep out as soon as she thought I was down the stairs. I closed the door behind me and perched the tiger head on a chair just outside the door, right at eye level for a 3yo.
That may have been the last time she got up during nap time. Ah, memories.
It’s been years since we did a daily household-wide quiet time. The definitions of nap time and quiet time still stand, but those of us who don’t regularly melt into a quivering heap of tears at the end of the day usually do without either these days. I don’t necessarily recommend this. I think quiet time can be especially beneficial for a large and busy household, and we’re always talking about going back to the good old days.
Our kids love when I read aloud to them – doesn’t every child? I have found that naptime is a perfect time for read-alouds. It entertains their brains while their little bodies are winding down. Since they all sleep in the same room, I can read to all of them at once after they’re tucked in.
I often read something short and sweet for the very little ones (Goodnight Moon and Sandra Boynton’s Going to Bed Book are favorites), but I find that they also enjoy the chapter books I read for the slightly older children.
We recently read through several of the Boxcar Children series, and in the past have also read Little House books, the Chronicles of Narnia, and some others that slip my mind at the moment. Chapter books give them a reason to look forward to naptime, a chance to wind down during naptime, and something to discuss after naptime.
The linky: your favorite naptime book(s)
We promised a linky today, and here it is. Share your favorite naptime reads and link up here. When you join the linky at one of the 4 Mom’s, your link will show up on all 4!
Please remember the linky rules:
- You must link to a specific relevant post on your blog.
- Your post must include a link to at least one of the 4 Moms.
- The post you link to must be completely family friendly.
If your link is deleted, you probably didn’t follow one of the rules above. Please feel free to add your link again once you have fixed the problem. If you don’t know why your link was deleted, please ask.
No blog, or no time to post? Share your favorite naptime story in the comments!
The other moms are talking about it too:
Upcoming topics for June:
- June 16 - Homeschooling the challenging child
- June 23 – Q&A
- June 30 -