The Advantages of Quiet Time

Today I wanted to talk about some advantages of quiet time when your child is no longer napping.  My 6 and 8 year old still have quiet time when they are home.  The usually lie in their beds and read, or just play quietly in their rooms for a bit of time.  I realized recently the big advantage of this one day after my son had a camp out in the backyard with my husband.  He went to bed really late and woke up very early the next morning.  Luckily, he was so used to quiet time, he just went into his room and ended up falling asleep for about 2 and a half hours!

By 3 or 4 years old, some children have stopped napping, although some still continue.  The only time I suggest working on giving up naps is if your child will be going to kindergarten where they will not be able to nap.  If that is your case, you could start shortening the naps and eventually getting rid of them, at least during the week.  Be open to your child still taking a nap on the weekend however.

I encourage quiet time when your child is no longer napping.  When they are starting to give up naps, but still sometimes need them, this can be a consistent calm time where they can fall asleep if they need to.  You can have them lie quietly for a bit of time and if they do not fall asleep, they can read or play quietly for the rest of the time.  It is a good time for them to calm down and just get away from everything, even if they do not fall asleep.

Try to have quiet time for about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the age of your child and how likely they are to have quiet time and not get upset.  You can also start with less time and gradually add on time.  The idea is to have your child relax, not have them get so worked up they do not rest at all, so think about how much time your child can really do.

I also recommend using some sort of timer or clock so that your child is aware of how much time they have to spend in quiet time.  This will hopefully avoid their constant coming out and checking to see if it is time to come out yet.  You can have a clock that will change color at nap time or a timer (this is better if your child is definitely not going to sleep, or if you check in right before it will go off since we don’t want it going off and waking up your child!).  If your child has a clock in their room that does not change color, you could also draw a picture of the time that it is okay for your child to come out.

Do you do quiet time in your home?  Feel free to comment below!

by Michelle Winters
SleepWell Sleep Solutions

14 Thoughts on “The Advantages of Quiet Time

  1. Pingback: Top Sleep Tips for Preschoolers | SleepWell Sleep Solutions - Child Sleep Consulting

  2. Finally, begin sitting further and further away, until you are outside the bedroom door. You may be able to read with a flashlight, you can certainly listen to an Ipod. If your child tries to sit up in bed, just remind him in a monotone that it’s bedtime, sleeptime, lie down now please. Another variation on this process is to move quietly around the room, straightening up or folding laundry, while your toddler falls asleep. This provides a sense of security, without him depending on your physical proximity. Then you can leave the room for longer and longer periods, beginning by sitting right outside his door with a good book.

  3. Kids are often quiet when they are doing something that’s interests them most. One example would be reading, when kids are interested in reading books they would easily focus to it and enjoy every reading moment. In my case, I let my child at a very young age to explore so many children books during free time and guess what, he is now showing good interest in reading them.

    • sleepwell on October 28, 2013 at 9:41 am said:

      I love having children read as part of quiet time. And you are right, even at a young age they can just look over books to get them interested in it. Thanks for your comment!

      – Michelle

  4. Quiet time is not only for kids! I love my quiet time. Sometimes it’s meditation. Sometimes it is just resting. Sometimes I fall asleep, and the nap is good for me.

  5. Some great ideas and tips on how to help transition. I need my naps still!

  6. I don’t have children but this makes so much sense to me! I wish I had these tools when I used to babysit. Some quite time would have definitely been welcomed!

  7. Great tips! I’m trying to get my 3 yo to spend quiet time in his room since he has decided to give up naps. I try to provide quiet toys and books to keep him in his room, but he fights it all the way. I end up having to negotiate with him to get him to lay down, but as soon as I leave the room he gets up, gets in his closet, his dresser, changes his clothes, empties his shelves… today he put lotion on his hands & made handprints on the wall. We have a clock that changes colors & have been successful using it for nighttime sleep, but he doesn’t follow it for nap time. We also use a sticker chart for good sleep behavior, but he doesn’t want to add stickers to the chart anymore. We have a large variety of stickers, but he’s just not interested anymore. I’m trying to start with spending 20 min of quiet time before his clock turns green & lengthening it, but it’s such a struggle to even get him in the room that I feel like its a lost cause.

    • sleepwell on October 23, 2013 at 3:15 pm said:

      Hi,

      I would keep trying it for a bit longer as long as you are not getting too frustrated. You may make a bin of toys that he only gets to play with at quiet time. So he gets a treat for being in quiet time. I would not push the lying down for now, just let him play quietly so he gets used to doing something calm in his room.

      Michelle

  8. I totally agree about quiet time. I call it meditation for kids and relief for mom. As my kids got older, I found that quiet time allowed them to play with each other more. If they played too long that day, they usually ended up in a big fight. Great article.

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