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Quiet time is perfect for the toddler who is transitioning out of naps. Actually, that’s a lie, quiet time is perfect for pretty much anyone, haha. My grandmother and aunts would tell you that nap time is perfect for all ages (I think it’s a cultural thing), but you’ll find that children don’t often agree.
This time can be somewhat challenging, as it’s a change with different expectations. Here, we always ensure that sleep is never met with a negative reaction or feels like a punishment. It always irks me when someone says something along the line of “it must be nap time” when a child expresses frustration–that doesn’t make sleep sound enjoyable at all and, rather, makes it seem like a punishment.
First, we have our routine down. This looks different for every family, but here, it begins after lunch. We take our vitamins and head to the restroom to toilet. When there isn’t a clear transition, I recommend a sand time. This helps to create a defining time while allowing for mental/emotional preparation–an end to the current activity and moving to the next. (For some children, such as PDAers, timers may lead to anxiety, so follow your own child and their own needs.)
Throughout this process allow them to perform as many actions as they are able to and are interested in. This gives them a sense of control and makes it a choice.
Sometimes there is a holdup with wanting to go into their room. This is when I offer an item, one that’s safe without supervision, from their living room shelf. An item that is too new to be in their room during night bedtime, in order to not prevent sleep, but is something of interest when transitioning to quiet time. We also reserve materials for quiet time only, the same as having materials reserved for the car. I’ve worked with little ones who spend most of their days in their art area creating away. We proved an alternative that is only for quiet time, such as an aqua mat or Magna Doodle. This keeps that item, and quiet time, something to look forward to. It’s also something that you don’t worry about when not supervised, like you may crayons.
The reminder that this is a time to rest, and take some alone time, for us all.
Rules for sleep remain the same as for quiet or nap time. Ours can be found here.
A reminder to give you and your child plenty of grace as it’s a journey.
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