Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Input appreciated!

Hey y'all - just a quick post to get some advice from all you parents, grandparents, and babysitters out there.

As you all know, Ethan is almost 3 (less than two months away, in fact) and, sadly enough, is phasing out of his afternoon nap.  In the last nine days, he has taken three - and two of them were car-ride induced! I know I can't force him to sleep, and we are reaping the benefits of an easier bedtime when he doesn't nap, so I'm OK with this transition.  (Well, maybe not totally OK, but I'm getting there!)

I have tried to instill an appreciation for "rest time" (read: Mama gets a break) but it's actually doing more harm than good.  With only a bed and a dresser in his room, Ethan still manages to cause all sorts of trouble when he's alone up there, which turns "rest time" into "stress time" for both of us.

So, here's where you come in.  I'd love to get your input on your favorite afternoon activities for these little, high-strung people.  (Neysa - I know you've got some good ones!)  Preferably they would be mostly independent, indoor activities that would hold his attention for more than 5 minutes.

Got a great idea (or two .. or seven)? Leave it in the comments below! Many thanks in advance...


Neysa said...

We might be headed in the opposite direction, LOL! Carter started phasing out his nap (also nearly 3) but recently started taking it again. What changed, is I started putting him down at 2 instead of 1. So far, it hasn't affected his nighttime sleep and he's still going to bed at 7.

He's still in a crib, though. When he wasn't napping, I brought him downstairs, put on a "quiet time dvd" (It's a Baby Einstein Dvd that just has soothing music and nature scenes) and told him if he didn't feel like napping, he'd still need to have quiet time.

I really just do it for my sanity. I need a moment to just sit and rest/eat/etc during the day! I made a pallet in the floor with a blanket and some pillows and he'd usually lay down (no sleeping, but the dvd seems to put him in a trance, lol).

Otherwise, www.playathomemom3.blogspot.com has tons of activities. Also, Pinterest is loaded with ideas. I have lots of success with dry bean or sand containers.

I was hoping to convert Carter's crib to a big boy bed, soon, and hoping he'd play in his room if he didn't nap. However, I have a feeling he'll just stand at his door and scream. We'll see how it goes, LOL!

Jen F. said...

Let him choose the quiet activity (from a mom-selected list of choices)?

Quiet music? We have a CD of quiet music and big'un understands that he needs to stay quiet in the room as long as the CD is playing. (We need a longer CD!)

Does he like to draw? MagnaDoodle is always good ... and prevents drawing on walls/furniture. Crayola ColorWonder books might do that too.

We don't do much TV, and while it creates quiet, I don't think it helps little minds get to sleep. Maybe compile a special basket of quiet-time toys that he can use only during rest time to make them special.

Good Luck!

Amanda Baumann said...

I read this the other day and so want to make one when Anderson is older. It's more off a time-out idea, but I think it could work for "quiet time" idea too. Let me know what you think! Love you!

ktpahl said...

Davis wouldn't take a nap either, unless his body gave up on him and he'd climb on the couch and pass out. I never could get him to nap in his bed, so I bought a nap mat. I put it in his room(built like yours with only dresser and bed) and told him that he didn't have to sleep but he needed a quiet time. I never called it nap time, but we had boundaries that if he came out of his room 'x' times, I'd have to shut the door. Our rule is that he has rest time every day that Daddy is at work. His room is loaded with books, and I did let him pick each day what toys(several) he wanted to take upstairs. Almost everyday he'd end up asleep on the map anyway! I'm not a crafty, web savvy mom that has any keep busy ideas yet. But, I needed my sanity too and while Davis does like to zone out on a good movie, it never got him any quiet time. He hasn't used the bed as a jump site yet, but I'm sure the day will come.

Stefenie said...

When I have little ones here that I watch and they no longer take naps I put in a DVD and turn the volume really low and they have to lay down on the couch and watch it. It is called "quiet time" here. Usually some of them end up falling asleep. When they are awake in the afternoons we do a lot of fingerpainting, play-doh, water colors....yes all at the age of 3. They are great "busy hands" activities that they can do and you can be free to chill while they do it. If you are worried about him eating the finger paint make it out of vanilla pudding with food coloring.

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