Monday, January 23, 2012

Is Nap Time Restful?

There was a time in my child care that I had lost a peaceful nap time.  Yes, the children were getting their nap, but it seemed I had no break in the day.  I kept doing housework through nap time, forgot to eat lunch, and even had several parents coming to pick up their children during nap.  I finally took a step back and decided to make sure I got a break as the children slept.

The first thing I did was make a strict rule that there are to be NO drop-offs or pick-ups during nap time.  With this rule I know there will be no more door opening up, dogs barking, unsettled kids, etc.  That already felt good. Parents understand and make sure they get their child to daycare before lunch and nap and picked up after nap time.

The next thing I did is to make sure I make myself a lunch as well as make myself sit down to eat it for at least 45 minutes to an hour--yes a whole hour of doing nothing but sitting.  How can I afford that?  Well, if I don't get that, I can barely make it through the rest of the day.

After the hour I sit, I try to do low-key activities like paperwork, check email, or even relax for the rest of the nap time.

I was snacking throughout the day and not eating a proper meal at lunch time.  When I finally started making my lunches, I felt so much better; not like I was just trying to make it through a day, but like I have energy to get through it all.  I have a web page with my Plan Ahead Lunches.

To get ready for nap, I darken the room and leave a TV on HGTV or music on.  I learned never to keep it completely quiet for nap.

I insist all children stay on their beds throughout the entire nap time.  Even if children wake earlier than the others, they know to stay on their beds and be quiet.  Babies who have napped earlier in the day, entertain themselves with toys or in a swing or saucer.  Nobody is neglected, just taught to entertain themselves for the duration of nap time.

Nap time is much more restful now for me as well as the children.  I can get through each day because I've taken care of myself.



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