We’ve all heard of the power nap, that is the process of sleeping for a spell to wake up refreshed and ready to go. When you are a work from home parent, this means getting all of your tasks done while the kids are napping.
If you have a business, you need this time to read, write, or do any other focused work. This is crucial time.
I have found a way that works for me and my kids. I have two toddlers at home and I have mastered the art of getting them to nap simultaneously, for roughly the same duration. This was no easy feat, so here’s what I did.
How to get toddlers to nap
Get multiple children to nap simultaneously.
Now, this was a little tricky. My son is a morning lark and my daughter is a night owl. For months, one would nap and the other demanded all my attention, and then a couple hours later they would switch. This was brutal. So what I did was I would get them up around the same hour. They bathe, eat breakfast, go play at the same time. See the pattern here? They did. They started napping in sync with each other’s schedules.
Tire the tots out.
That’s right. Take them out to play, take them to the library, take them on nature hikes. If the weather is crappy, play a fun game that involves a lot of running around and laughing. Do this around the same hour every day. This serves many purposes. First, you are totally focused on them. Second, you get some exercise and stress release yourself. Third, they are already on their way to nap time!
Schedule later naps.
You should be consistent with nap time, but schedule them a little later than normal, but no longer than one hour later. This gives them time to reeeeeally tucker themselves out. After lunch, I like to settle my kids down with a game, coloring, blocks or a movie. Then it’s off to their siesta!
Use magic words.
I tell them that it’s bedtime, whether it’s day or night. Use one or two words consistently, so they understand that it is time to go to bed and you mean business. They will either run for the hills or run for their bed. Use your words to praise them when they go to bed. Say a parting phrase like goodnight as you shut the door. They understand that this means they must sleep.
Usually they are so tired, they fall right asleep. But sometimes, they will not. That’s ok. Let them lay in bed for a while as you work.
These techniques buy me a couple of hours of peace and quiet so I can work. They won’t work for every kid, and that’s ok. Just try these techniques and tweak them until you have your strategy down.
As entrepreneurs, we are no strangers to trying different methods until we hit paydirt. Getting kids to nap isn’t always easy, but when you have success, all the effort was so worth it!