Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Tuesday's Tip: Nap Time
Nap time, as long as our cultures have been around the nap has too. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are napping a mid day nap refreshes and gives your body that little break it needs. In Italy, workers take a nap after lunch then go back to work. We as Americans nap but I still feel we work too much and then go to bed late on top of it all. We get up early use caffeine to get us moving, work all day get the house in order and dinner ready, put the kids to sleep and other things we have to do before the next day comes. We may close our eyes on the weekends in the afternoon after a nice big lunch or even if its nice out take a nap in the shade while the sun warms our gardens and feeds our plants.
On the weekends I have Quinn I stress her nap because she is still growing and after she is refreshed and feels better. It also gives me time to relax and nap to. I get to get some work done or just lay on the couch with her and enjoy her company. When she doesn’t get her nap in she can get cranky. But then again can’t we all? I try to get her down mid day so the rest of the day we have to do other activities. I used to put her in her room but now she naps on the couch after lunch. She loves to be in the family room because it is close to me and she wakes up here and there and can see that I’m close. After lunch she get’s on the couch and puts a movie on. Then she gets her blanket and bunny and I let nature take its course. The tired eyes fall and she begins her rest.
Quinn will nap for about an hour but she can nap longer if we had a busy morning or late night. Sundays she can nap up to two hours! Sometimes I feel the nap takes away time I can be playing with her but I remember all the times I used to nap when I was growing up and how important it is. She doesn’t fight me on it but if she is tired she goes down easier than if she is not. Sometimes I will lay with her to get her settled in and we will watch a movie together. Then I will get up and cover her as she finishes. As I sit quietly and get some work done I look over from time to time and just see how she’s doing. It is one of my favorite things about being a father just seeing your little angel sleeping knowing she is safe and protected. I even catch my self from time to time taking one as well. We do so much in a day so there is nothing wrong with getting a little extra rest in and relaxing.
Here are some tips for helping you get your child to rest and get their nap in.
First try to get them to nap everyday around the same time. This will be your biggest asset. Being in a routine will help them get started and then continue to keep going. It makes it easy and their bodies get used to it.
Second make sure they know nap time is coming. Tell them that it is nap time and to get ready. Maybe after lunch or snack, usually after food is a good time because the body is full and ready to rest.
Third get them excited, let them know that a nap is a good thing and that you will rest to! Laying down with them is a good start because they want to be by you so let them enjoy laying with you and just feeling the comfort of you. Having your harm around them curled up on the couch with a good movie on will make them feel safe and comfortable.
Forth get them comfortable with a movie, I know TV has its down’s but if you start a movie they will fall asleep then you can turn it off later. A movie is fun because you can allow them to go pick one out and make them feel they are involved. They get the movie they want and have their milk or water next to them. They will feel like they have a part in all of it and that’s what kids really want. They want to feel they can make choices too.
Finally, make sure there are no distractions if someone comes over let her get down first. Then when she wakes up ask her how he/she feels and let them wake up slowly. Let them adjust to waking up and don’t just rush them into the next thing. Let them lay there for a while and get ready. After all who likes to wake up and have to rush, I know we all do it but that doesn’t mean we like it.
Think about when you wake up in the morning and if you have an hour of time or 10 minutes. When you have an hour you can slowly wake up and maybe shower or have some breakfast. Your body gets ready for the day and you adjust slowly. Now think about when you wake up late and have to rush. Think about how tired you feel later in the day and how nervous you are rushing to get dress and then end up driving fast to work to get there on time. You are not thinking clearly and then when the day goes on your body starts to come down and you get tried faster.
As your child sleeps or naps always allow their own bodies to let them wake up. If you have to get them home txt the other parent and just let them know they are just getting up or maybe they slept in a little they should be understanding. Also make sure you get rest and give your self a good nap when you need it. Naps aren’t just for kids anymore!
You are never alone…