The Quiet Box is a great tool to reintroduce or reinforce nap time or quiet time.
The Quiet Box is a shoebox or plastic box filled with a few quiet toys that is introduced with enthusiasm to a child at nap or quiet time. I always recommend to have established Sleep Rules or Sleep Expectations in place prior to using the Quiet Box Method. Once nap or quiet time expectations in your home are set, the Quiet Box can be introduced. It should only be used when little ones are laying down AND calm. The privilege of the Quiet Box can be lost if your child protests loudly or is bouncing around the room instead of resting. Build up the excitement for the Quiet Box. Let the child know that after nap, the Quiet Box gets put away. But staying calm and resting during “quiet time” means you earned the Quiet Box again tomorrow.
Do you have to go out and buy a bunch of things in order to use the Quiet Box Method?
No way! Use what your have around the house. Find some toys that are at the bottom of the toy box or the back of the closet. You do want the box to be somewhat novel, so you can always pick up some new books at the library. My favorite quiet toys include books, manipulatives, puzzles, little people or characters, toys, soft stuffed animals, a few duplos or blocks, dolls that have fine motor opportunities like buttons, zippers, and snaps on them, stacking cups or a practice board to name a few.
My suggestion is to pick 3 different toy options to start with. For example, 2 small books, 3 little people, and a few duplos. You can always add more, but the idea behind the method is to entice your child to go calmly in their room to “rest” and have independent developmental playtime. Depending on the age of your child, you would like them to eventually go to sleep, so keep your box simple and not overwhelming. After the first day, you can always alter the box if you feel your child needs more or less.
Make sure you put the box away, out of reach when nap is over.
And one more nap tip … if at first the Quiet Box does not work, reevaluate how stimulating your child’s room is. Simplifying your child’s room can help create a more calming environment. It may seem drastic, but it can be a great way to help reset nap or quiet time. Here are pictures from one Sleep Happy Mom of two who made changes to reset the boundary for nap for her 2 year old daughter. Her daughter was spending her entire nap time pulling out clothes from the dresser, changing clothes multiple times and even taking offer her diaper during her two hour nap time. Once Mom introduced the quiet box and simplified her room, her daughter was engaged with her box and then would pack it away before laying down to take her regular 1.5-2 hour nap.
Many thanks to my darling models, age two and a half, for allowing me to borrow their toys and modeling how to use the Quiet Box Method for our Sleep Happy readers!
Have additional questions on how to reset Quiet Time for your little one? Give me a call at 214-856-0341 or shoot me an email at Jessica@SleepHappyConsulting.com.