From Nap Time to Quiet Time (+ Lena’s New Room!)

Lena is officially A L M O S T done napping here, if you know what I mean. Sometimes she’ll surprise us and sleep for two or three hours. But most of the time I tuck her in at 1pm and hear a little voice calling about 15 minutes later:

“Maaaaa-ma. I can’t sleeee-eep!”

For the first few months we lived in this house, Lena slept in her crib in the “kids’ room,” and Gil slept in a playpen in the bathroom. Then one day we bought Lena a little wooden toddler bed, and I realized I could tuck it right beside the guest bed, and a new plan was born.

The guest bed is covered with a rotating assortment of books and puzzles for Lena to enjoy. I’ve discovered her curled up there, asleep, at the end of rest time, so it’s a handy second bed, I guess!

She also has a basket full of dress up clothes (all donated from my incredibly generous 10-year-old cousin Ashley), and she has her very own desk.

The desk belongs to our landlords, so I want to be very careful with it. I covered it with heavy-duty parcel paper before giving Lena a pile of craft activities. Here are a few of the things Lena has on her desk:

Here is Lena’s little bed, which I bought for $25 from someone in our neighborhood, but which was originally from IKEA. I still search Craigslist for this bed, though, which I would love to get for her one day! All the bedding is from IKEA as well, and I love it. The sturdy duvet makes bed-making a breeze, and the cover can easily be washed.

Over on her desk, Lena has this clock which turns green at 7:00 am so that she knows it’s time to get up. We love this thing.

Our sweet little neighbor gave Lena her doll bed, and Lena loves that thing more than I could ever have anticipated. She lovingly puts her baby to bed with songs and prayers, tucking her in so she’ll be warm, and then gets her up later to feed her and carry her around. Such a good little mama!

We don’t have rest time down to a perfect system yet, and there are definitely some improvements I’d like to make. One is to purchase a timer so that Lena can know herself when her rest time is over. Sometimes the end of the 45 minutes turns into a game of whack-a-mole.

I’d also like to extend the rest time into an hour or an hour and a half. Currently it varies, depending on how long Lena tries quietly to sleep. Right now I want to try for a nap as long as they are still happening a couple of times a week, but I know those days are limited. How long do your kids “rest” in the afternoons?

I’ve been looking for a small CD player so that Lena can listen to books on tape or quiet music CDs; I know she’d love that.

And one last thing: I’d like to become more efficient with this rest time myself! Once upon a time she slept for two hours twice a day, and now… just an hour a day?! I don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done!

And now rest time is over and this little lady is sitting by my side, so the computer needs to go away. If you’re a mom, how do you handle rest time for your kids? I’m all ears!


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13 Responses to From Nap Time to Quiet Time (+ Lena’s New Room!)

  1. lucy December 16, 2014 at 12:29 am #

    If I were a little girl of 3, nearly 4, I would be over-the-moon to have a rest time like this!

    • Becca December 17, 2014 at 6:49 am #

      You provided much the same for me, dear Mom!

  2. Meg December 16, 2014 at 5:07 am #

    It does sound pretty great–and with all those wonderful things to be quiet with!

    • Becca December 17, 2014 at 6:49 am #

      Many thanks to you! The “See and Spell” puzzles especially in these photos. :)

  3. Rachel December 16, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    Right now we’ve got two of three that don’t nap. And we don’t have any rooms to put them in that they will reliably not destroy, so for now, I spend rest time with them (well, only one during the weekdays, and two on weekends, since M is in school) in the living room. We alternate between drawing, reading, and playing computer games, depending on what they want to do. I thought it would be horrible to have no time alone during the day, but as they get older, they need less interaction from me to keep busy, so I can sit on the couch and read my own book (for a little while at least) or do a few e-mails, etc., if I need to. School really shifted our schedule, so that took some adjusting, but I think we’ve hit a new groove recently – nap/rest (quiet activity time), then school pick-up, then reading together once we get home. Anyway that’s what it looks like now. Could be different a month from now . . . things change quickly around here!

    • Becca December 17, 2014 at 6:50 am #

      I know that this stage of needing so much interaction and not being able to entertain herself/himself is just a stage… but it seems so long sometimes. There’s light at the end of the tunnel! Thanks for your encouragement, Rachel.

  4. Rebecca Arthur December 16, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

    Yes, it’s a difficult transition for sure! I usually set the kitchen timer and have Lucas play quietly for an hour. My cousin used to play a worship cd and let her kids finish their quiet time when the cd was over (about an hour) and I thought that was a good idea, too. We do have an ancient cd player that the kids have access to for books on cd and music – the bigger kids opt for that often and Lucas does every once in a while. I try to give him some “choice” in his quiet time activities and do a bit of a toy rotation for him (which I know you do, too) That seems to keep him engaged in the day to day…sometimes Legos, puzzles, books, crafts, wooden blocks, trains, etc… He gets to check in with me one or two times for help or a question and then after that, I add five minutes to the timer for each time he calls/comes looking for me. That seems to keep the “is my nap time done yet?” calling at bay. Since Eden still sleeps for a few hours, I try to make some of her nap time a focused “Momma and Lucas” time for special – sometimes easier said than done! You know, we’re a work in progress!

    • Becca December 17, 2014 at 6:51 am #

      Yes, I know, haha! Also thanks for the reminder about adding 5 minutes to the timer. I remember you said that when you were here and I had forgotten.

  5. Karen December 16, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

    I have heard of other people having a rest time for their preschoolers, but I have not been successful instituting one for my three year old. I’ve tried to do it when her sister is napping, but she fights me on it. The most I can get is her playing quietly in the living room. Does that count?

    • Becca December 17, 2014 at 6:53 am #

      It’s a struggle here, too. I do think that it’s good for our kids to play by themselves or within set limitations, though. They love structure and routine even though they challenge it all the time; it comforts them to know they are protected and cared for within certain boundaries. I think it’s a battle worth fighting!

  6. Courtney Lynn Harris December 16, 2014 at 11:56 pm #

    I was SO excited to see the title of this post, Becca! Audrey skipped her nap for the first time last Saturday and I know that there is a good chance she’ll be dropping it completely in the next year. Thanks so much for the (beautiful!) visual tour of how quiet time is working at your house!!

    • Becca December 17, 2014 at 6:53 am #

      Sure thing, Courtney! Thanks for your encouragement too!


  1. Link Love - Week OneThe Surly Housewife - January 7, 2015

    […] love everything about this post from Becca. From the room. To the nap time routine. To the cute little girl. But I am in love with the desk […]

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