WFMW: Stop & Go – Managing Naptime

Tuesday July 14, 2009

Naptime is an important component to my sanity in our house – without it, I am much more apt to become “the meanest momma”, and not in the good way.   My middle child has started to enter that difficult phase where he doesn’t always want or need a nap, but is a grumpy grump without it.

Often, I would put him down in his “camping spot” (aka napping spot) and tell him to rest quietly and that I would let him up in X minutes.   Sometimes, he would stay awake, and with no sense of time, he would constantly get up and ask “is it time yet?”  Other times, he would conk out and have no way of knowing that he was allowed up after his nap.

The solution I came up with was to create a “stop & go sign” that I would put out when he laid down for his nap.  When I tuck him in, I lay the sign where it is visible to him and turn it to the red STOP side.   If he falls asleep, I later go up and flip it to green, so he knows it’s okay to get up when he wakes.   He actually likes the sign and will remind me to put it out when I put him down.  I think having a visual indicator is a good reinforcer of what momma expects and helps him to obey the rules.  We also use it when said child is relegated to his camping spot for a timeout.

Since this has worked well for us, I thought I would share my template, in case anyone else wants to create one.  There’s nothing fancy about it, but you are welcome to use it.

Click to download the Stop Sign Craft

How to Create a Stop & Go Sign:

1.    Print STOP sign on red paper (I used construction paper).
2.    Print GO sign on green paper.
3.    Cut out both signs.
4.    Align signs together (I flipped one sign upside down).
5.    Use glue, double-sided tape or craft tape to join signs.
6.    Cover in contact paper (or laminate).
7.    If using contact paper, seal edges with tape.

Enjoy!  I’d love to know if this was useful to you.

This post inspired by the “Works for Me Wednesday” series at We Are THAT Family.


8 Responses to WFMW: Stop & Go – Managing Naptime

  1. 1

    What a great idea. I wish I had thought of this when my girls were still napping! 🙂

  2. 2
    Emily says:

    I LOVE this idea!! My baby is only 11 mos. but I am tucking this idea away for future use! Thanks :o)

  3. 3

    great idea! We use a light timer for night-time sleep to keep our 4 yr old tucked in bed until his sunshine nightlight comes on (suns up!) but this would be great to remember when our youngest gets a bit older.

  4. 4
    Jenny says:

    awesome idea. 🙂 I don’t think it would work on my son though. He sleeps when he wants to sleep.

  5. 5

    Duh! I can’t beleive I didn’t think of that sooner. How simple, yet exactly what we have been looking for. Plus, I can put it in our bedroom, in case she needs to nap away from the boys, and it doesn’t make any noise like a timer.

  6. 6
    Cardamom says:

    What a great idea! I’m going to have one of my older children make a sign for my last two nappers. Thanks!

  7. 7
    Audrey says:

    What an incredibly clever idea. I love it!! I wish I had thought of something like this when my own kids were young.

  8. 8
    Cerissa says:

    This is a GREAT idea! My barely-four-year-old still needs and takes a nap, but some days is not so tired as others. I may steal your idea, but may turn it into “red light, green light” since we like to play that game with red and green circles 🙂

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