21 answers

How Long Should "Quiet Time" Last?

My son just turned 4 and he's been taking naps less and less frequently since about 3 and a half. I don't care whether he actually sleeps during "naptime", but I do expect him to have quiet time if he's not going to sleep. When he was actually taking naps, he'd be in his room from about 1 to 3pm. But now that he's not napping, how long should I expect him to be able to remain in his room quietly? (The 2 hour thing is NOT working out, and I don't want to fight with him over it since I do think it's too long for a 4 year old to lay in bed or read books.)

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Thanks for all the suggestions! We actually saw his doctor this morning for his 4 year check-up and she said to either skip the nap altogether (if he's not too much of a bear by doing so) and put him to bed earlier, or to give him an hour of quiet time in his room. As I said, he has been in there for the 2 hours he used to nap, and he is usually good at laying in bed or reading quietly for the first hour...it's the second hour where he gets up, opens the blinds, brings out his toys, etc. So for now, we'll try the one hour of quiet time. If he falls asleep and gets more, great. Otherwise I'll still have an hour of break time for me in the middle of the day. Thanks again for your advice, mamas!

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my 3 year old either naps or plays in her bed from 2-4. Sometimes it's not quiet (I heard her ask for a volunteer from the audience the other day....) but she stays in her bed and it gives me downtime.

1 mom found this helpful

My kids have 60-75 minutes of quiet time every afternoon. It's wonderful on those days that I actually get 90 minutes -- those are the days that my youngest falls asleep.

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We do an hour. It doesn't always work out, but I try. If it's a hard day and everyone's out of sorts then sometimes we will bring pillows and blankets into the living room for an hour of cartoons while mommy puts her feet up on the couch. I keep reminding myself that my babies (3 and 5) will soon be going to kindergarten and beyond. Then I'll miss the struggles of everyday life.

2 moms found this helpful

I say an hour.

I used to tell my daughter "Mommy needs your help. I need a 1 hour nap, could you help me, by staying in your room? Or you can read your books here in my bed next to me if you are quiet. "

Worked for us.. Sometimes she fell asleep and I would take advantage of the extra sleep..

2 moms found this helpful

4 yrs old? I'd say you'd be lucky to get 15 minutes of him staying quietly in his room by himself without "needing" anything from you. This is the age of "I'm thirsty" "I'm bored" "I'm hungry" "I can't reach that toy" "Mooooommmmmyyyyy! I need to use the baaaathroooom!!!" "Am I done yet? How many more minutes do I need to be in my room? Am I done NOW? How about NOW? NOW?..................NOW?" You get the picture. 15 minutes. Tops. (^_^) Good luck!

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Quiet time should be for as long as the child is capable.
They can't tell time on a clock.
1 minute, can seem like 1 hour to them.
Keep things relative.

When I have quiet time with my kids, (but they usually still nap), we ALL do it, together. And my kids don't have to do it only in their room. They just have to be "quiet" and nothing electronic on. Or I nap and lay down... and they follow suit.
Or, I tell them, Mommy is working... and no talking... this is not play-time... but you can play quietly on your own. They understand.

Go by your child's ability... for it.
You don't have to fight him on it.
Not all kids, can self direct themselves. Nor at this age.
Napping for 2 hours and being quiet, is very different from being "awake" and quiet for 2 hours. I don't even think I can do that, and I'm a grown up.

all the best,
Susan

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with the other moms. My daughter is 5 and she takes an hour of quiet time every day. My 9 month old son takes a nap during the day time. So when my daughter gets out of pre k and has lunch she takes an hour of quiet time. Usually no more then that unless she falls asleep. good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

My DD stopped napping at two...quiet time? Uhh..no. She hits the ground running in the morning and crashes and burns at night...sleeps 12 hours. Quiet time? Doesnt happen with us. Nor do I "expect" it to happen.
I think it all depends on the child.

1 mom found this helpful

45 minutes to an hour. No longer than that or you're asking for trouble! :)

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I think it depends on the child, but an hour should be sufficient to give him (and you) the downtime that's needed.
Oh how I miss naptime for my two!!!!!

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