A Moms Guide To Quiet Time

My son has finally reached that magical 2.5 year-old milestone of not wanting to take a nap. It also happened to coincide with him finally realizing he can come out of his bedroom on his own. Basically, nap time is now a shot in the dark. Sometimes he takes one, and sometimes he does not. However, as a stay-at-home mom, I really need some time to recharge my batteries. Thus the “quiet time” in my house was born.

Why it’s necessary

Nap time is sacred to me. It’s when I get to catch up on little house chores like putting dishes away, or folding laundry, or even relaxing and reading a book. It’s obviously also important for my little guy to rest. Despite his protests, he does better when he has some kind of down time be it with a nap or with mandated quiet time.

He, like most toddlers his age, tends to always want to Go! Go! Go! But, if I let him Go! Go! Go! without any nap or down time, he is a paaaaain in the late afternoon and at bedtime. When he has a nap, or quiet time, he is his usual pleasant self and will generally let us put him to bed fairly easily at night.

With the advent of my mandated quiet time on no nap days, I get my mini chores done, and I don’t feel like ripping out my hair from a crazy toddler.

Below are some of my tips and tricks for instituting your own quiet time.

  • Designate a quiet time routine– Just like you would have a bedtime or night time routine, it’s just as important to set up a routine to get your kid into quiet time mode. Mine includes turning off all the lights and screens and verbalizing that it is quiet time. We just let the natural outdoor light flow in through the windows.
  • Set some very clear rules– Things I tell my toddler include: “No you can’t spend this time jumping on the couch. No we aren’t going to play outside right now. No mommy is not going to play with you during this time. Mommy is going to be doing ______(dishes, laundry, reading etc.)”
  • Have activities that don’t involve things with loud annoying noises– Trust me, if it has loud beeping noises, it will drive you insane and probably get your kid riled up. I suggest puzzles, books, toy houses with little people, or my kid’s personal favorite, little train tracks to set up and play with. 

    The best quiet time activity for my kid: TRAINS!
  • Try not to talk during quiet time– I know this sounds harsh, and I’m not saying to completely ignore your kid, but it is quiet time after all. I’ve honestly been really impressed with how my son can solo play now because I don’t really engage with him during quiet time. He makes up whole stories with his little play people, and mumbles the stories out loud. He also has started singing his favorite songs to himself during this time, which is super cute.
  • Set an alarm for quiet time to be over– I usually go with at least an hour of quiet time. Sometimes more if my son seems to be really enjoying himself. Having an alarm set on my phone helps to signal the end for him.
  • Get outside if you can after quiet time– Or just do something more active to help let your kid know that quiet time is officially over.

What are some things you have done to help with quiet time? 

Veronica DeSantos Ryan
Hi Austin mamas! I am Veronica DeSantos Ryan, a mama from Round Rock. My husband and I moved to the area in 2014 and love every minute of it. Our baby Oliver (May 2016) is the light of our life and we are enjoying every minute with him. After spending seven years teaching, I decided that I wanted to be a stay at home mom and teacher of life to my little boy. As a family we love running with Ollie in his jogger stroller, having picnics outside, playing with our two dogs and exploring all the the Austin area has to offer! I am also a performing princess for Lexi's Little Princesses Princess company, a teaching artist at The Georgetown Palace Theatre, and a member of the singing group The Vintage Dreams. I am an avid reader, piano player, singer, and occasional actress in community theater, and have recently been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and More.


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