4 Moms Naptime linky

4 Moms 35 Kids answer questions about big families

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.

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.

Naptime reading

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:

  1. You must link to a specific relevant post on your blog.
  2. Your post must include a link to at least one of the 4 Moms.
  3. 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!

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The other moms are talking about it too:

Upcoming topics for June:

  • June 16 – Homeschooling the challenging child
  • June 23 – Q&A
  • June 30

Recent topics:

  • June 2 – 4 Moms talk about church
  • May 26 – 4 Moms Q&A: toothbrushes, internet filters, taming the stuff monster
  • May 19 – 4 Moms try to lose the baby weight
  • May 12 – 4 Moms practice hospitality, and YOU are invited!
  • May 5 – 4 Moms talk about you-know-what
  • April 28 – 4 Moms Q&A: sleep, exercise, and making do with one bathroom
  • April 21 – Large families & church, part 2: keeping them quiet
  • April 14 – Eating inexpensively on the road
  • April 7 – 4 Moms teach history
  • March 24 – Large families & church, part 1: getting there on time
  • March 17 – Bread baking linky
  • March 10 – Spring cleaning
  • March 3 – Books for early readers
  • February 24 – 4 Moms Q&A: my first audio blog on potty training and more
  • February 17 – Individual time with children: scary stuff here.  Just kidding.  Let go of the guilt.
  • February 10Cooking with little ones without losing your sanity
  • February 3 –Teaching reading, because it’s so much easier than teaching them to use the toilet.  Do not request a 4 Moms post about potty training, do you hear me?
  • January 27 – Q&A: Must-have baby equipment and other nitty gritty stuff
  • January 20 – Top 10 Books for Preschoolers
  • January 13 – Soups and Stews
  • January 6 – Teaching Bible


    1. I so love reading your blog – its relaxing, refreshing, inspiring and informative. You’ve also helped so much with our homeschool approach to reading. Your children are gorgeous 🙂 Thanks! love, Karyn

    2. Kressant Morton says:

      Thank you for your post Mrs. Coghlan! I have 4 little ones and we all still take a nap together after lunch! It is one of my most helpful tools for getting through the entire day when I am pregnant!

    3. Ahh, this made me smile as I wish I had something like this going on at our house, but I don’t. It’s something I dream about actually. My kids don’t usually nap anymore unless they are REALLY tired as happened today…one of my sons had a baseball tournament all weekend and was exhausted but didn’t think he needed a nap since he is “too old” for naps. He asked though if he could lie down with a pillow and blanket on the office floor and he fell asleep for an hour and a half while I continued typing!

      I love your book suggestions and your ideas. I think we may start implementing a “quiet time” around here come Fall as I need the break and a few minutes of quiet would be awfully nice!

    4. That’s hilarious-about the tiger head!

    5. We have nap time/ quiet time in our home, and have for nearly 11 years now! I start it by reading to my little ones while the big kids clean up after lunch. Once the little ones are in bed I read to my big kids for a while.

      If I’m pregnant or nursing I take a 1/2 hour nap after reading to the kids, then I work on quiet projects around the house, often with one of the non-napping kids. They like to help out with sewing, organizing cooking etc, and it is a nice way to get some one-on-one time with them.

    6. I have a question for your upcoming Q & A. How do handle mealtimes with self-feeding babies/toddlers? I have 3 children, the youngest is 12 months, and each one has loved to feed themself bite size food as soon as they are able. This makes it very convenient for me to do other things (like feed myself) while they eat, but afterwards we’re left with a ginormous mess. I debate whether it’s worthwhile to just save myself the 15 min clean up afterwards and feed them myself. What do you do?

      The 4 Mom’s posts are always fun and helpful!

      • Anna,
        I’d love to answer your question in an upcoming Q&A, but I’m afraid I’ll forget by then. Would you do me a huge favor and copy it over to the last Q&A, where I’ll be checking for questions?

    7. Love that tiger mask story. 🙂

      Every single day of our lives – pretty much w/o exception – we have “Book Time” after lunch. The older kids read books for about 1 hr 15 min (yes, I set the timer) and the younger kids take naps. It has always been this way, and it took a bit of training to teach my oldest in book time once he was done napping, but ever since all the rest of the kids (we have 7 currently) have just seen that’s the natural order of the day.

      Occasionally I’ll lay down with the little ones – it’s a wondrous thing 🙂

    8. Quiet time/nap time right after lunch for a couple of hours is wonderful and therefore should be a staple as long as possible. For all the reasons you said.

      One of our favorite read aloud chapter book sets is the 12 volumes or so written by Sam Campbell. They are amusing for any age child and also the parent reading the book. Who can not enjoy the antics of Hi-Bub and Inky and Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo, and Still-Mo, and Salt and Pepper just to name a few.

      I don’t know how to leave a link. However if you go to http://www.samcampbell.com you can get to know another great set for the library!


    1. […] post is about our favourite naptime and bedtime reading with our little ones and is linked to In A Shoe and the other 4 moms (4 moms, 35 kids! – they regularly post wonderful stories and great tips […]

    2. […] post is about our favourite naptime and bedtime reading with our little ones and is linked to In A Shoe and the other 4 moms (4 moms, 35 kids! – they regularly post wonderful stories and great tips […]

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