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Nap time Tip

Here is a nap time tip 15 years in the making.

I have always had my children observe a daily nap time.

Every day, like clockwork, at around 1:30, we stop all activity and everyone goes to his or her bed or to a quiet place to rest. 

There is to be no noise or shenanigans, heads must be on pillows, and we all rest for precisely 1 hour.

I have, for the past 15 years, used a kitchen timer to signify the end of the one hour period when the noise and shenanigans may resume. Some of the littlest ones have fallen asleep by that time and the timer may or may not wake them.

I always hated to think of them being startled awake by the timer, but with the older kids wanting to know when their time was up, I continued to set it.

Then, last week an idea came to me that made me wonder why in the world I hadn't thought of it before!

Instead of a kitchen timer, I used a Mozart cd that had a 1 hour play time. I told everyone to listen carefully so they would know when the music stopped because that would let them know when they could get up.

It was wonderful!

I didn't once have to remind anyone to be quiet because they were all listening so intently to the music. When it was over, as I predicted, the little ones had fallen asleep, and there was no rude beeping to awaken them.

So, there ya go. The nap time tip I shall be using from this day forth.

And it only took me 15 years to think of it.

This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday.

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  1. That is fantastic…love the music idea..I’m retiring my timer, well accept for cookies and treats :) 6jellybeans@blogspot.com

  2. barkerdkaa says:

    great idea!
    just wondering…does anyone ever have to wake mommy up at the end of the hour? :)

  3. Love the idea to use music. :-)

  4. That’s awesome Connie! Thanks for sharing! That will definitely be implemented at our house.

  5. Connie Seward says:

    Hi Smockity!

    Now that my children have almost grown, I seem to be keeping a running list of “things I would do differently if I could do them all over again”. I most definitely would have had a scheduled rest time in the early afternoon for the children and myself as well.

    Oh Well,, I guess it’s just me for a naptime now! lol

  6. Great idea! Sneaking in some classical music AND having a new timer. I’m going to use that one.

  7. Love it! I’ll be borrowing this one for sure!

  8. We have daily nap time too–our kids are 2 & 4 and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon since we have another one coming along in December. Mama needs nap time.
    At around age 2 when the kids learn a few numbers we put a digital clock in their room and they know when the first number is a 3 they are allowed to get out of their beds. And not a minute sooner.

  9. Brilliant idea!

  10. Great idea! Wish I still had anybody in the house that needed a quiet time, except me, lol.

  11. Ooooh…good idea. I too am absolutely militant about our “Book Time” after lunch. The older kids read or rest while the little ones nap. It gives me a good break as well. I really like the idea of the one hour CD to signify the end of time.

    We don’t change our Book Time for anything – well, maybe if there was a house fire, but it would have to be a pretty big one for me to wake the little ones. :)

  12. This is such a great tip, thanks Connie! My 4-year old gave up the daily nap a year ago and he’d been fine but lately he’s been going crazy after lunch. I think I need to reinstate the naptime/rest time again and this tip should really help. The “church music” we put on in the car to make him fall asleep works almost every time and I think I’ll bring one of those cds back into the house for this.

  13. Terrific tip Connie! It’s peaceful and healthy for the brain too. I think I’m going to have to try this everybody having quiet time thing before I lose my mind. I think I just may be able to convince them for one hour. They know “normal nap time length” is two hours. But for one hour of peace and quiet, *sigh* here’s hoping.

  14. thank you!! I too face the problem of older children requesting the timer yet having it wake up my youngest who needs more than an hour to rest….awesome idea!

  15. Connie ~

    Just love when children slip away into that “no, I’m not tired…but, maybe I’ll just close my eyes for a little bit” long gone sleep. Their little bodies just give out when that actually have to STOP for a moment.

    The music CD as a timer is a brillant idea and surely helps with them asking 1,000 times if it’s time yet…a beautiful aide to helping those little ones drift off, too.

    Blessings and peace ~

  16. That is a great idea. We have nap time and I usually don’t let my toddler sleep past 1 hour. Usually I wake her up after 45 minutes. How old will she continue to do this? Many mothers tell me their children stopped taking naps at such and such an age but I would like to incorporate this quiet time still.

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      @LaVonne, My children usually stop falling asleep at about the age of 7 years, but EVERYONE, even the 15yo, still has a 1 hr. “nap” time so we can all refresh ourselves with some peace and quiet.

  17. I loathe timers and alarms of all kinds. Thank you for sharing this tip! It is definitely one of those brilliant “why didn’t I think of that” type things. So many of our CDs are an hour long. Perfection!

    I am really enjoying my visit to your blog. I hope you’ll stop over and visit sometime over at Free 2 Be Frugal.

  18. Love it! We are still doing an afternoon rest time, but my oldest is only 5 so it’s not too terribly hard to enforce. I’ll definitely institute the music, though. Even if the “Mozart Effect” has been debunked, it never hurts to have more exposure to classical music!

  19. LOL! I think the real reason I keep having kids is because, like you, I keep thinking of good ideas. One day I’ll have it “down”. :-)

  20. It’s never too late to start that tip, is it???

  21. Great idea! We do something similar: we call it “Quiet Time” (the oldest 2 protested about “nap time”). We put on a book on c.d. or tape that has a playing time of at least 45 minutes but most are an hour long. Works like a charm – the youngest fall asleep, the oldest listen quietly to the story (something above their reading levels) and I get to sit down somewhere and either a.) read or more likely, b.) fall asleep myself. 😉

  22. ingreenpastures says:

    Thanks for sharing the great idea of the cd as a timer. It is so inspiring to see you continuing to do a “nap time” with all ages, even the 15yo!

    We had a “quiet time” for several years after my first two kiddos gave up their naps, and it did save my sanity at that time. But we drifted away from that aspect of our daily routine over the years, as our homeschooling workload increased, and intermittant “outside activities” (like a weekly gym class) interfered. Recently, with a few late nights and thus overtired children, I’ve thought of returning to a “quiet time”, but hadn’t yet decided on how much I should constrain their activities.

    I considered these options:
    – Any quiet, restful activity, limited to your room. (Listen to quiet music, books on tape, read, draw, journal, play with legos, do jigsaw puzzles, etc.)
    – Same as above, but expanded to anywhere in the house, provided play is sedentary, solo, and quiet. No electronics/screen-time.
    – You must be in bed; no books, audio, etc. Relax and try to sleep, but its ok if you don’t. That seemed draconian, until I read your post!

    So, with their heads on their pillows, what else are your crew allowed to do, besides sleep, daydream, pray, etc.? I assume they aren’t listening to audio (other than the Mozart, now!), so they can hear whent the time is up. But are they allowed to read during this time, or do you not find that to be restful enough?

    Have you ever tinkered with your format, but gone back because something else you tried didn’t work?

    Any advice on implementing this in a family that long ago gave up the habit ? Or, for the sake of others who may be reading this, for a family who has never tried anything like this before? I’d expect a lot of kickback from kids who wouldn’t welcome new restrictions, and consider themselves too old for daily “naps” …

  23. Our littlest one, 2 yo takes a nap, sometimes with me, sometimes with 10yo sister reading higher level book to to him. (upstairs away from other people.) (This is the only time I get a nap)

    Our 4yo gets to watch a movie on the couch in the other room, but the movie is either a learning video or a loop of family pictures on the Wii, with peaceful music playing with it. (Quietly) She often falls asleep, but is already done with her school work by this time.

    For kids who think they are too old for nap time: They have “QUIET seat-work time” during this time of day. If I happen to fall asleep, they keep working QUIETLY until I wake up. They have a picture & words schedule on the wall of what assignments/books to do in order at this time of day. By quiet I mean NO noise: Library/Funeral type quiet. Whisper, tiptoe, don’t leave your desk type of quiet.

    They are NOT allowed to wake me up unless they are on fire, bleeding, throwing up, or Daddy calls home. They know not to answer the phone or door otherwise. I instituted this rule when I had a nursing baby that got too distracted when people walked in the room, but it is SO great that I kept it for putting babies to sleep, and taking naps if & when I get to (I am 6 months pregnant).

    I am a “yes mommy” so this is hard for me to want to enforce, but waking pregnant-sleep-deprived mommy up from a nap is a TERRIBLE idea!

    If not for our nap/quiet seat work time I would feel pretty unpleasant by the end of the day. I LOVE the idea of every one getting a nap, but I don’t think we get up early enough to get everything done in the day if we do.

  24. So what CD are you using?

  25. Excellent idea! Love it.


    We are trying to reestablish a “rest time” routine. This is perfect.

    Thanks, linking btw,

    Amie :)


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