Tuesday, 29 January 2013

When nap time evolves into quiet time

Before my son gave up his daily nap (some time ago now), I remember reading somewhere about having 'quiet time' as a subsitute. Whilst I thought it sounded like a good idea, I had trouble imagining how it would work in practice. However, when the time came to give up my son's nap, my husband and I introuduced the idea of quiet time as an automatic.

It turns out that it's worked a dream. In the beginning, anything that meant no nap sounded like a fun idea to my son so he took to it happily. Of course, what it consists of depends on you and your own way of doing things. In our house, it means we take some time to do some things by ourself, quietly. We're not strict about the 'quiet' aspect too much. If my son wants to spend his quiet time playing instruments, singing, listening to music, that's fine by us. I guess for us, the important bit is keeping himself happily occupied for a certain amount of time.

Here is a list of typical ways our son spends his quiet time:
  • Listening to music or to a story CD
  • Lego building
  • Playing with a favourite toy of the day
  • Drawing / 'writing' / stickers / inkpad and stamps / cutting / sticking
  • Pretend music class (singing and playing with a variety of instruments)
Some parents allow their child to watch television during quiet time and that's fine. However, the benefit of not doing TV at quiet time, is I think that it encourages your child's ability to play by themselves and find things to keep themselves busy. Especially when they are going to nursery, playing with other children there and having friends over to play, it's good to nurture their independent play too.

Quiet time used to coincide with my daughter's main nap of the day after lunch. Once my son started attending nursery in the afternoons, we switched to a shorter quiet time in the mornings, again while my daughter had a brief nap. When he starts school in September, it will naturally disappear during the week but I imagine we will keep it up on the weekends. Maybe we are lucky but our son enjoys his quiet time. He knows it's a limited amount of time and he often shuts the door on us and just gets on with it quite contentedly. We always make a point of doing something together right after quiet time as a clear change of pace.

Do you do quiet time? Have you any kind of structure to it? Does your child seem to enjoy it? What do they typically do during quiet time? If your child is still napping, do you imagine you will switch from nap to quiet time when the time comes?
photo credit


  1. Helloo!

    Well, our naps ended before pre-school, aside from the odd week where my daughter would be under the weather and go down. Now she is at pre-school 3 days a week and we don't get home til 2.30pm we tend to have a quiet period when we do. It's not really been a conscious decision to do this, we just evolved with her patterns. She's quite happy to come home and do some painting or play with some of her toys (usually her Thomas wooden tracks, at the moment). Some days though we may very well cuddle up on the settee and watch a movie together.

    I just got Babyzoid's first ever pre-school report, apparently she often takes herself off into the corner for a self-imposed bit of quiet time (just like her mummy)! :D xx

    1. That sounds perfect, the way it just naturally evolved. It sounds like she enjoys some time to herself too :-)


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