If there’s one thing I crave as an introverted mom of two girls, it’s a little peace and quiet now and then. With my husband running his own business, I’m often the one to get the girls ready in the morning, feed them all their meals, put them down for naps, and put them to bed at night.
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It can be very exhausting, and I truly look forward to when they drift off to sleep so I can work or do things around the house without them pouncing all over me.
Fortunately, I have never had a prolonged problem of either one of my girls not taking a nap. They usually sleep when I put them down or soon after. Even now that my three year old has “quiet time” instead of “nap time” she still almost always sleeps during that time. She can take toys to her room, but she’ll usually play for 10 minutes to half an hour, and then I won’t hear her anymore.
It’s quite nice.
6 Ways to Help Your Kids Nap at the Same Time
When my youngest was still a baby, there were several afternoons that I could not get that “me time” I love so much, but I have since done some things that help her and my other daughter sleep at the same time for nap each day. Hopefully they can help you out if you’ve got multiple toddlers at home!
Consistency Is Key
You probably already guessed this, but you have to be consistent if you want your kids to take naps at the same time each day. For us, 1 PM is nap time. Sometimes it’s 12:52 and other times it’s 1:26. However, I try really hard to stick to the 1 o’clock time frame to make sure their bodies get used to falling asleep at about that same time every day.
There is usually one day a week that they don’t take a nap. This doesn’t throw off the schedule terribly, it just makes the girls crankier and/or much more tired earlier.
I knew there was no way my girls would get any sleep during nap time if I put them in their regular beds, because they share a room. For this reason, my youngest daughter sleeps on my bed and my oldest daughter goes to her room during nap time.
It would have been better if we had a pack n’ play crib in our room when our youngest was a baby, but it all worked out in the end. She’s two now, and she loves going to mommy’s bed for nap time!
To help my girls get in the mindset of nap time, I always close the blinds (in my room and their room) and then I shut the doors. It just signals to them that it is nap time and mommy is leaving. Closing the blinds in either room doesn’t make it dark, it just keeps the bright sun out and helps them doze off.
Keep Things Generally Quiet
In our situation, it’s quite easy to keep the house quiet while the girls nap. My office is downstairs, so any typing I do will not wake them up. If you are not as fortunate, you might want to consider using a sound machine to help drown out any loud noises so your kids can sleep better.
Eat Before and After
I honestly don’t know if this helps or not, but we have always eaten lunch right before nap (about 12 PM) and then we eat our snack right after nap (about 3:15 PM). I think it’s a good idea to make sure your child is fed before they sleep so they will not wake up earlier because they are hungry.
Take Care of Diaper Changes/Potty Needs
When I forget to take my oldest daughter to the bathroom right before nap time, she either wakes up earlier to go or yells at me saying that she needs to go pee. I find that taking care of bodily functions before bed helps keep them asleep or quiet for a good two hours.
There you have it! These are pretty much all the things I have done to help my girls sleep at the same time in the afternoon. It has made my life much less chaotic, because I know that I have afternoon nap to look forward to on particularly trying days.
What do you do to help your kids sleep at the same time for naps?