My kids have always been solid nappers and I do credit a big part of that to Babywise. It has always been a big part of our schedule and our routines. There has never been an option to not nap. The afternoon nap time is an important part of my schedule because it is when I am able to work on some things like my travel planning business or preparing Bible Study notes, etc.
My kids also have held on to their naps longer than most kids their age. Both LK and Shep were still napping about half the time right up until the week before they started Kindergarten. But, right around when they turned 4 they did start having some days when they couldn't fall asleep or would fall asleep too late and it would mess up their night sleep. But they for sure still needed some down time and I for sure still needed that time as well. So we decided to transition to a "rest time".
These are our guidelines for rest time:
1. I still turn off the overhead light, but I do open the blinds and curtains for natural light to come in.
2. They are allowed to choose a few books and a few toys, but they must stay in their bed.
3. They must be QUIET. In order for this to be down time for them, they don't need to get hyped up playing. I tell them if they cannot play or "read" (for Shepherd it has just been looking at books) quietly, then I will take their things away.
4. They do not HAVE to fall asleep, but if they are feeling sleepy it is OKAY to fall asleep. There are still some weekends during rest time that LK or Shep will still fall asleep. In fact, Shepherd does still nap most weekends. If they do fall asleep, then we still wake them up at the normal awake time.
5. If at all possible, we don't room share during rest time. It has never worked well for us. I still put them each in different rooms. Sometimes that means that LK is in her sleeping bag in the playroom or someone is on the couch or in our room.
6. There is a distinction between Room Time (Independent Play Time) and Rest Time. The point of Room Time is play and practicing safe independence. The point of rest time is to rest. During room time, they have the freedom to play in their whole room. During rest time, they must still rest in their bed.
Transitioning to Rest Time still allows for a peaceful afternoon with down time for everyone and helps us stay on a good schedule and routine.
It's Pinterest Day for the Babywise Friendly Blog Network and we are all writing on the topic of "Transitions"!
Emily from The Journey of Parenthood:
5 Tips To Ease Transitions and Avoid Meltdowns
Katrina from Mama's Organized Chaos:
Transitioning Your Focus To Positive Behavior and Natural Consequences
Kimberly from Team Cartwright:
Helping My Child Move Across The Country
Natasha from Let's Be Brave:
How We Transition A New Foster Kid Into Our Home
Valerie from Chronicles of a Babywise Mom:
How To Transition To Just One Child Home
The BFBN has a plethora of tips, tricks, ideas, sample schedules, etc... all ready for you to explore on our Pinterest boards. You can check those out on our Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/bfbnnetwork/