Do you insist on naptime in your house? What do you do with your older kids when they are too big to sleep in the afternoons?
Thursday, July 22
A Firm Believer in Naps...
Every afternoon, we get into the big bed and take a nap. With the sun streaming in and warm babies on either side and my chest, we all sleep. When I was growing up, naps were a part of my family's routine and I've instituted them in our little family as well. Though the baby's routine isn't quite predictable yet, we're getting better at getting him to sleep when the big kids sleep. I am not someone who does well when low on sleep, so these naps are essential with a little one who wakes frequently during the night and older children who rise at 5 or 6.
Posted by MamaBirdEmma at 9:34 PM
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I am a "firm believer in naps" too. Even if the kids say they're not tired and don't need a nap, *I* need them to take a nap! Once they're too old to really sleep (and occasionally, they will sleep too), the rule is they have to stay in their rooms (little ones in their beds, older ones may do a puzzle or something quietly) for at least an hour. My youngest still sleeps every afternoon. We all need this quiet time to rest and regroup. Whenever I've had an infant in the house, I've usually slept too!
My second and third child were ten months apart and we always had a naptime routine. I would rest when the children rested.
As they got older nap time became quiet time. Every afternoon we would end school time and sit quietly and read or do another type of quiet activity.
Now my babies are in high school and college...BUT..they (and I) still take part of an afternoon and sit quietly and read,listen to music, draw, paint or study.
My husband does not get home from his job until 7:00pm, so we take that afternoon time to re-charge our batteries for family time in the evening.
I have 6 kids ranging from 13 down to 11 months. I have never insisted on naptime. I pretty much let them take naps if they need to. They know when they need it and when they don't. I'm not a huge enforcer when it comes to this type of thing, but I know some people function better with a mandatory nap/rest time. We do however have an afternoon down time that just seems to come pretty naturally a little while after lunch. Homeschooling older kids does not bode well for naptaking. I love that you use the term 'big bed'. We have a 'big bed' too. In fact, I've often thought of writing a book called 'The Big Bed'. We've gotten a lot of use out of that thing.
Quiet time is really good. One possibility is to have a "daddy tape" Record an hour long tape of daddy telling stories or just talking about faith, etc. When the tape is done, Roomtime is done and they can come out.
If the older boys do not want to nap, they have quiet time. Usually, they nap. Even at 13 and 7, they obviously need it! I think it is wonderful to recharge! Do you set an alarm (I often do) or let things occur naturally?
Michelle, I don't set an alarm. If they nap for a long time, I figure that they need it. Unfortunately, that sometimes means that we have to push bedtime back a bit b/c we slept too long, but...
We have nap time here for as long as he needs it. I need some rest too. On the day that we are super busy and don't see a nap as an option, I put him down earlier to bed, which I like too.
We have "resting time". Our oldest plays quietly in his room, our daughter taps a nap or reads in her bed. Right now, the baby has not been able to coincide his naps with the older children, but I think after he is a year old, he will begin adjusting to one afternoon nap like the big kids. Resting Time is VERY important in our home. It is either time for me to catch up on something I can't do when the kids are around or I take the time to rest myself.
We have a VERY firm nap rule in our home. You nap until the age of 5, on their 5th birthday it is a big deal that you've graduated from "naps". I have 9 children going from 3 to 18. The nap graduates are quiet during this time, if the ages 5-10 are getting rowdy or just too loud and that awakens a little one then they must lay down and take a nap too. Generally that doesn't happen, but I've found that being consistent with this habit of napping and quiet time no one has ever questioned it and it truly bring a peaceful respite into every day!
Here's a great article on the beauty of naps:
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