Do you have a 2 year old who refuses to nap? Does your 3 year old need a nap… but thinks naps are for ‘babies’? Even some children as old as 4 still need naps…. while older children benefit from a quiet break during the  day. Here are several novel ideas to get YOUR angel to take a break during the day.


    1. It is a quiet time… not a nap!

    Four-year old Annie spends her playtime as super girl, wearing a cape and saving people and pets. In her imaginary world, she is quite sure that super heroes do not have naps. However, surprisingly, she did not resist when it was called a quiet time.

    When settling down, her dad tells her, “Now Super Girl, even Super Girls need a quiet time. You have been working hard today, building with your toys, saving people, and learning new things at school to make you an even smarter Super Girl. Even Super Heroes need a quiet time to recharge their super powers. It’s time for Super Girl to re-charge her super powers!”

    You might also tell your child that even Mommies and Daddies have quiet times.

    2. Create a Quiet-Time Haven

    You can build an alluring, portable, quiet-time space with your child using any of the following props:

    • A little imagination
    • A beach towel to designate the space
    • A small sheet to drape over a chair
    • A pillow in a special pillow case
    • A night light
    • Your phone or CD player with your child’s nap-time/bedtime  story or music.
    • A special name like fort, cave, castle, or Super-Hero-charging station.
    • Her brave-and-special friend (a stuffed animal or action figure) who accompanies her on her soothing adventure in:
      Children’s Audio Bedtime Stories (Ages 2½ – 6): The Swan and The Mermaid …OR…

    Dreaming Of Ponies 3 Guided Meditations for Kids (Ages 4-9)

    Not only do props make quiet time more tempting, you can take your quiet-time props with you when you travel. You child will nap more easily at Grandma’s house, camping, or even in a plane or car.

     3. It’s all about location, location, location!

    Allow your child to have his quiet-time in a different spot like on the floor, under a table, or even on a different bed. This will also help make naptime easier in new environments.

    And remember… it’s not a bed, it’s a:

    • Super-Hero-charging station
    • Fort
    • Castle
    • Pod
    • Bat Cave!
    • Whatever your child WANTS it to be!


    4. Spending 5 minutes setting up a quiet-time space BEFORE quiet time… and using visualization gives your child a sense of control… and helps him look forward to his quiet time.

    I once worked with a three-year old high-functioning autistic boy (let’s call him Andrew) who refused to nap. By the middle of the day, Andrew was pitching temper tantrums. To make matters worse… at night it was harder for him to fall asleep because he was overtired.

    So, I tried a new method with him. I helped him to mentally visualize his ‘quiet time’ in advance (Remember it is a quiet time NOT a nap.) Before preschool or before lunch I:

    • Helped Andrew choose a few quiet activities and put them in his quiet-time fort –
      This gave Andrew a sense of control… be careful not to choose toys that make loud noises.
    • I turned down the lights, closed the curtains, and turned on his night light to help him get used to his quiet-time space.
    • I suggested he practice finding a way to get comfortable for quiet time –
      For example I suggested it might be fun to lie down on his pillow, with his stuffed animal, while he read his book or listened to his quiet-time CD.
    • I reminded him at lunch time that when lunch ended, it would be quiet time… and he could press the button to start his nap-time story.
    Helping a child choose a few quiet toys and books BEFORE nap time… and letting him practice being in his space works like a charm for many kids.

    It gives them  a sense of control, and it is always a good idea to help children picture what is going to happen next. In this case, Andrew always fell asleep in his quiet time. This works particularly well with many autistic children, or when taking a nap in a new location.

    During your child’s quiet time… why don’t you spend a few minutes having your OWN quiet time to de-stress and calm down.

    During your child’s nap, take a quick six-minute break to de-stress yourself!

    Let the guided meditations in Waves and Light help YOU relax and de-stress… or use the visualization techniques to prepare for next presentation… job interview…. or even playing a sport.