You’re probably here because your toddler has dropped or is about to drop their daytime nap. This typically happens between 2.5 and 4 years old. But, this isn’t the end of your ‘me-time’ hour! Once naptime is dropped, you can begin introducing quiet time into your toddler’s daily routine.
Start Introducing Gradually
To avoid resistance and make the transition as smooth as possible, start introducing quiet time gradually. Start with 15-20 minutes of quiet time per day. Let them play quietly and if you feel they need to switch activities, suggest alternatives. You can even set a timer and do a rotation of 3-4 activities for them to do during quiet time.
Quiet time is a great way for your child to wind down from the day and rest their body. The length of quiet time can vary from 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on how well your child enjoys the independent time.
Set the Expectation for Quiet Time from Day 1
It can be confusing for some toddlers, being that we used to ask them to sleep during this general time of day and now we are asking them to play quietly if they don’t want to sleep, because of this we need to keep our expectations simple and clear for them to understand.
- They need to stay in their room.
- The activities for quiet time need to be…well, quiet.
- Set potty limits. Do they need your help to go potty or are they able to go on their own?
- Are they allowed snacks or drinks? If not, consider having lunch before quiet time.
Use a Toddler Clock to Set a Visual Boundary
If your toddler really struggles to enjoy quiet time or has a hard time understanding the concept, try using a toddler clock to have a visual signal for when it’s quiet time and they need to stay in the room and when quiet time is over and they can come out. My favorite toddler clock is the Hatch Rest! These clocks have several color options to choose from to signal quiet time/quiet time is over, just simply explain what each color means to your child and have them wait for the light to turn the appropriate color at the start of, during and after quiet time. My favorite is the Mella Toddler Clock!
With consistency, your child will begin to enjoy quiet time. Change up their quiet time activities weekly or bi-weekly depending on how well they enjoy the same ones each week. Parents even designate specific toys or a tablet to use for quiet time. If you find your family struggling with this change, reach out and let’s work on this together!
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