Hints For Naptime
Moms, trust me, I can totally empathize with you that are struggling with your little ones at naptime. If you have ideas that have worked for you, I would love to hear from you. These are a few things that have worked for me through the years..
NAPTIME CAN BE VERY GOOD! AND NAPTIME CAN BE VERY BAD!
This is precisely the reason I wrote the following song, which became one of our most popular BEST BUDDIES songs (now available for purchase or download on CD1!)
EVERYBODY’S TAKIN’ A NAP
ALL THE FISHIES IN THE SEA
AND BIRDIES IN THE TREES
EVERYBODY’S TAKIN’ A NAP …..
AND SO AM I!
SO CLOSE YOUR EYES
THE FATHER WANTS TO TALK TO YOU
CLOSE YOUR EYES
HE’S SAYING “I LOVE YOU!”
Creating an excitement at naptime (or at least a nonviolent resignation...let’s be real!) has much to do with the dialogue and attitude of the parent. I found the small but extra energy and focus I invested in the moments leading up to D-Day (as in “lay DOWN now, happy or not!”) was well worth it.
We have talked about the importance of the OBEDIENCE ISSUE for our children to grow into healthy, strong, caring adults. Naptime is a daily lesson-in-motion in learning to obey and just do something we don’t particularly want to do. Or for some, it could be called borderline psychotic aversion to laying down, being still and (yes!) closing your eyes!
Ideally, the last thoughts before floating into a midday sleep (torture for some kids…a dream for the entire adult population...right?) would be sweet thoughts of tweeting birds, a lullaby-sounding waterfall and leisurely eating chocolate while floating down a mystical lazy river...
Back to reality. Here are several suggestions for preparing for a happy naptime:
USE NAPTIME AS CLOUT. In other words, during the morning or afternoon before naptime, when little ones make a request to watch a show, or go for a walk with you or have a special snack…. tell them “Okay, if you promise you will lay down at naptime and go to sleep, I think we can definitely do what you’re asking! Is that a deal?” Is that called leveraging your authority? Yep, no apologies!
TALK ABOUT SOMETHING FUN TO DO AFTER NAPTIME (a special snack, doing a fun craft together, playing a great game.. etc).
LAY DOWN WITH YOUR CHILDREN if possible and sing a slow song softly or tell a story, OR BOTH! It helped my kids if I had them close their eyes. I would begin to describe something for them to imagine: like polka dot baby elephants swimming in ketchup (that just came to my mind first…. sorry! Get your own visuals! But better make them interesting!!)
USE A COUNTDOWN. After your “connect time” (see above), begin a 10 to 0 countdown to when no one talks, moves, or opens their eyes; this is key! Try to whisper gently and slooowww the pace. I had to learn to be patient… but firm.
SNUGGLE. If it works in your schdule, lie down next to your little one and stay for a short rest yourself & take a 15 minute nap! (Come on, slow down! 10 or 15 minutes? Subtract it from your social media time…just sayin’!)
- TAKE CONTROL. Keep it nice and quiet. Some parents use a noise machine or app on their phone, and establish sounds their children enjoy, to drown out other noises if needed.
The main goal I tried to keep was simple: talking nice and making my last words loving, positive and kind, before the Cut Off Time (meaning no debate, whatever you want to say can wait...silence). Always speak life: “I love you! We’re going to have a great afternoon. Hurry up & go to sleep so we can have fun in just a little while…”
When all else fails, it’s just hardcore reality learning for little ones: “I am the adult. You are the child. I know what you need and I make the rules. You will obey or there will be consequences. But, I believe you will obey because you like to have fun, and I promise you, there will be rewards!” Great little speech, if I say so myself! (Of course I’ve had decades of rehearsing!)
Small kids need naps. Their bones grow when they’re sleeping (google that to make sure it’s true!) These tips can apply to nighttime also. Don’t feel guilty if you’re working in the day or don’t have time for a 10-minute bedtime routine. Do your BEST!
But, as much as possible, make going to sleep a priority opportunity for you and your children to be together and make sweet memories.
There are many variables at naptime and nighttime. Take what works for you and know you’re doing a great job! You’re in my thoughts. It’s so important that we never give up on our kids… OR OURSELVES! Let me say it again ❤️…
Never Give Up!