Posts Tagged ‘nap time’

Making the Most of Naptime

Monday, September 7th, 2015

IMG_0290Your baby begins to rub their eyes. You know they are tired. You nurse them, rock them, or do whatever it is works to soothe them. Then, you lay them down. Magic happens soon after as all goes quiet. Your baby is asleep. It’s naptime. Here are some ways to make the most out of those magical minutes.

  1. Exercise: I’ve been guilty of saying I have no time to work out. Invest in a few DVDs and exercise while baby sleeps. If you have a treadmill or elliptical, use it while you have no distractions. You will feel great after!
  2. Meal Prep: Cooking supper with little ones can sometimes be a challenge. For me, I usually have a baby hanging on my legs and another child who wants my attention. Use baby’s nap to prep whatever food you can for tonight’s meal. Many dinner options can be thrown into a crock pot. Easy peasy.
  3. Shower: Every mom’s dream is a nice, long, uninterrupted shower. Take your time. If you prefer a bath, use that nice, scented bubble bath you have buried in the bottom of your bathroom cabinet.  Delish-ious body wash is one product that will help you feel pretty and clean.
  4. Nap: We all could use extra rest. Take this time to lay in your bed and catch some much needed rest. Keep your monitor handy.
  5. Play with Other Children: I sometimes forget to stop and pay attention to my daughter while baby brother is sleeping. Use this time as sweet memory making. Johanna loves for me to play Barbies or bake with her. This is the best way to use time. If it’s the weekend, make time for you and your spouse.
  6. Work or Clean: If you have work you need to catch up on or cleaning, it’s okay to do a little bit while baby sleeps. My advice is just don’t overdo it. You don’t want to be exhausted when baby awakes.
  7. Self-care: Fix your hair. Do your make-up. Pick-out a nice outfit for the day. Paint your nails. Whatever it is that you usually don’t have time to do, get this done now.
  8. Take Care of Business: I often use naptime to make phone calls, schedule appointments, and send emails or texts. I don’t want to be on my phone constantly around my kids, and it’s easier to speak to a receptionist when toddlers aren’t around.
  9. Take Time for Hobbies: Whatever it is you like to do but feel like you have no time for, do it during naptime. I love to read. I have another mom friend who loves to sew. No one is interrupting you and you will feel good investing in you.
  10. Relax: This one is the hardest for me. Sit down, momma! Sip your coffee or some great tea like Birds and Bees.  Catch up on your DVR. Read the news. Just relax because yes, baby will be awake soon, and deep down we all miss our babies when they’re sleeping.

What do you like to do during naptime?

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana. Her kids are asleep so she’s working away at her blog list. 

Finding Time for Nap Time

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Making Time for NapsI can’t be the only one: Nap time is my jam. Like, there are few things in the world I like more than nap time. Nap time was kind of a pain to have to carve out each day when I had one baby (but oh so worth it), but then I went and had another baby.

My kids were spaced enough that once my younger boy was an infant and on a fairly regular sleep schedule, he still required way more nap time during the day than my older son. And my older son, cute as he is, had an ever-growing amount of energy that made tiptoeing around the house each day during his baby brother’s naptimes not really a reasonable request

How to juggle it? Here are my super sacred rules for nap time:

  1. Whatever you do, DON’T SKIP NAP TIME! Seriously. Don’t. I know things come up like impromptu doctor visits, but if at all possible, put them down for a nap. If you have more than one child and your infant will sleep in her infant car seat, maaaaaybe you can sometimes plan things for your older child(ren) during the morning nap time. Sometimes.
  2. Naps at the same time are also crucial. Kids are creatures of habit. I once made the tragic mistake of scheduling one of my boys for kindermusik where the class time encroached on his first nap time. Never again. Half the classes ended in hysterics (on both our parts).
  3. Try and get your kids on the same nap schedule. Perhaps your older child is down to one afternoon nap a day. You can make slow adjustments to your younger child’s nap schedule if you need to align their afternoon nap time. When my younger son was napping frequently, his afternoon nap time didn’t quite line up to my older son’s, so I bumped back the time I put him down a little each day until they matched.
  4. If at all possible, no sharing of nap spaces! Even if your kiddos can share a bedroom at night, try to find a separate spot for nap time. Pack n’plays are excellent helpers in this case.
  5. Don’t try to enforce total silence during nap time. Your younger child will learn to sleep through minor disturbances, and your older child will still get to have fun while his younger sibling saws logs.

 

Meaghan Howard is a mom to two little boys, ages 3 and 6. She’s currently enjoying the expat life in Japan.

Giving Up Naps

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Giving Up Naps

It’s a sad day. I have been looking forward to sweet, sweet nap time for one or more of my three kids every day for the past six years, and now it’s about to be gone from my life forever. I guess it’s the first step toward saying goodbye to the days of babies. Nap time is going to be gone long before the crib is put away or our last nursing session is over, even.

All three of my kids have given up naps before preschool. But I had a friend who was worried about her daughter starting all-day Kindergarten because she still took naps at 5. So when is the right time to give up naps?

There is no “right time.” Every kid grows and develops at a different rate. Some kids will absolutely still nap right up to starting Kindergarten, and some kids will give up naps way too early. The key is to take cues from your child.  Here are four cues that will tell you a lot about where your child is in the process.

  • Nighttime sleep. If your child is sleeping 12-14 hours per night, they are getting enough sleep to start skipping naps. It’s OK if they still nap and sleep this much at night. Just know that if they start skipping naps, they are still getting enough sleep for growth and development.
  • Resisting daytime naps. I experienced this with my first and second children. At a certain point, it felt like it was more work to get them down for naps than it was worth. Pay attention to sleepiness cues and grumpiness. If your child doesn’t want to go down and they aren’t exhibiting any of their usual sleep cues, you may be right in not fighting this battle.
  • Being up way too late when they nap. This has always been my biggest red flag since we are very regular with our 7:30 bedtime. When my kids are wide awake–and happy–past 8, 9, and 10pm, I know it’s time to give up naps.
  • No witching hour. There are times when naps don’t make it into your schedule because you have a busy day—pay attention to how your child responds on these days. Do they melt into a puddle at your feet at 4pm, or do they seem unfazed? When your child isn’t cranky or overemotional because of missing their nap, they might be over nap time.

Do they have to show all these signs, or just a few? Well, my 22-month-old doesn’t stay up late when she does nap, but she gets enough sleep, no longer has those evening meltdowns, and some days it takes longer to get her down than she naps. Different kids will react differently to not napping, so if you’re not sure, experiment.

Keep in mind there is a happy medium—you can always give up the sleep aspect and keep that hour or so of quiet time where you unplug and read or play quietly. If you are pregnant or have a baby that still needs to nap, this can help preserve their quiet time as well.

Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mom of three girls who is about to go pour one out for naptime. She lives and writes in Queensbury, New York.

Finding Quiet Time

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Finding Quiet TimeStorytime, the zoo, groceries, errands, playdates and friends–ever feel like the busier you are, the crazier life gets? I certainly do, and with my boys in tow I find that they get easily frazzled and upset when rushed from place to place.

Summer is an especially difficult time for finding quiet time, as feel I have to take advantage of the weather, the freedom and the heat to pack in as much fun as possible. But taking a minute to slow it down can be wonderful, too.

I try to balance a few days of activities with a few days of relaxation time to catch our breath, stay home and enjoy our space. For children, having a chance to be bored and have downtime in their comfort zone is extremely beneficial for development and emotional growth. This freedom of not having to be “on” in public, having to get along with other kids and having to constantly seek out mom in a crowd is mental relaxation for the little ones.

Downtime gives kids a chance at self-directed play instead of constant entertainment, a chance to expand their minds and explore their own surroundings at their own pace. Often, downtime also allows babies and toddlers to catch up on much needed deep sleep.

I find myself trying to balance giving my boys a chance at improvement–lessons, storytimes and friends–and time at home. In our culture, it’s difficult to say no, and with social media I find it so easy to feel left out of activities when when I know downtime it’s best for my family. But giving my boys a chance to just laze around, to play in their yard and see what they find just gives me joy and I see a dramatic change in my boys as they relax and release the constant rush that we live in.

By scheduling downtime and relaxation I find I teach my kids that they matter, and that their emotional and spiritual well being is important enough to be penciled in among errands and lessons. I hope you can take a minute to schedule some downtime for your family this summer–some long, lazy weekend days of stories, play and snuggles.

Pia Watzig is a mother of two who lives and writes in Portland, Oregon.