No Sleep till Sundown


A plea for suggestions! Lux hasn’t napped during “naptime” for months. This was fine for me, she often reset during the time anyway through her imaginative play and talking to herself. But now she’s really begging to get out of “quiet time” and I think it’s because we don’t have any real routine for her to do in there. (She’s napping/hanging out in our bedroom because Joan naps in the crib in the girls’ room.) I’m thinking an mp3 of a book on tape that I could play, or a mix of songs and a book? Like a quiet time playlist? Some special quiet toys that only come out during that time, or…..?? What’s worked for you all?

Any ideas, I’m taking them.


  • Alix

    This is so tough! I think your idea of a book on tape is great – nice quiet books like maybe The Magic Flute (the Mozart piece that was adapted into a children’s book) with classical music might be soothing and mellow but still interesting and entertaining. I used to listen to them drifting off to sleep at night as a kid.

    Maybe a little game like all her stuffed animals and favourite toys are taking a nap and she has to tuck them all in and make them all cozy herself. It won’t occupy her forever but it might get her into a mellow state?

    Does your room have black out drapes? I find with my little guy (who looks younger than your babe) that if I don’ close the blackout drapes, and make the room a little darker, snoozing/resting is not going to happen. If you could make the room dark and maybe put on a special glowing nightlight that spins or plays music or something, it might lull her a bit?

    This is a tough one!

    • Rachael Ringenberg

      All of these nice ideas are making me want to tuck in and go to sleep! I like the Magic Flute idea. I just bought the complete Frog & Toad books. They are going over so-so (Frog & Toad is a bit dry when you really think about it). Now I want to find that Benjamin Britten stuff that Wes Anderson used in Moonrise Kingdom.

      We sort of have drapes but they don’t fully black out. I need to experiment with that too. Thanks!

  • Amy

    So funny, sounds just like my son 🙂 Some days it’s never ending – “When is quiet time over?” or “How much longer?”. We bought him a little analogue clock for his room and we usually set the alarm together for 90min or now that he’s older we explain that he can come out at 4pm which is when the big hand is on the 12 and the small hand on the 4. His favourite activities are doing puzzles, he often fills his whole floor with completed ones, or lying on his bed surrounded by piles of books that he reads to himself. I like the idea of special toys that only come out during this time. During the day my son mostly plays downstairs where we store his Lego and other toys so in a way his puzzles and books are only for quiet time. We find it works well most of the time 🙂 Good luck x

  • Anne

    Melissa&Doug makes sticker books that are perfect for quiet time….you’ll probably have to pull a bunch of the stickers off bc that part can be tricky for little hands. When the books weren’t being used I stored the stickers in an envelope to try to keep them from getting super crumpled. My kids loved both the ‘habitats’ package and the ‘house’ package.

  • Jessica Clare

    I know it’s not the same thing, BUT with my preschoolers who won’t nap anymore, they get a few little toys to play with on their mats that only come out (that part is key, I think ) during naptime- little sticker books, playmobile figurines, small wooden puzzles. etc. I keep them in little muslin sacks. And also, I (obviously) make it as dark as possible and they listen to a Frog and Toad story, then I switch it to a very soothing mix cd. It really works amazing well! Good luck!

  • Blaze

    Why must little people fight glorious sleep so?? When my second was around 6 months we had this exact same problem…he would play quietly for a few minutes while I put the baby down but soon after he would coming to the door every two minutes asking to be done & then get too worked up to fall asleep himself. He was definitely not ready to give up the nap though so we started doing a nap time walk. My kids will never sleep in the car but thankfully will on walks. When the baby was little I put him in the sling & toddler in the stroller, walk until they’re both asleep & then come home & park them. Now that they’re older they sleep together in the stroller. Now I really look forward to my nice quiet walk while they sleep! Not sure if your east coast weather would permit this every day though!
    I would definitely recommend black out curtains though so it feels more like sleep time, and we always have white noise & a fan on at bedtime. And we have a light up ladybug that projects stars on the ceiling on a timer, he knows once it turns it self off its really time to sleep!
    Also those Melissa & Doug sticker books mentioned below are awesome for quiet play! Good luck.

  • Erin

    We like the Kevin Henkes books from iTunes. Sometimes we also use the Barefoot Books podcast, but sometimes they’re a little dry. But free!

    Sometimes I search a chapter book title + audiobook and then click “video” within google and can find them on YouTube. Things like The Chronicles of Narnia or Laura Ingalls Wilder (although these would probably be beyond a 2 year old?). What chapter books could she do? Charlotte’s Web?

    • Rachael Ringenberg

      I hadn’t heard of Kevin Henkes. I hadn’t heard of the Barefoot Books podcast either. We don’t do any chapter books yet (3 yrs old in two months). So I should try Charlotte’s Web….soon. I really can’t wait to do longer stuff like that with her.
      Thanks for these ideas!

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