A Little Shut-Eye

The holidays are gone, and a new year has begun.  How many of us feel like taking a nap?  If you are a parent with a child between the ages of 0-3 years, odds are that you have already strategically planned out the time and place in which to close your eyes for even three minutes.  We have baked, packed, traveled, unpacked, changed diapers and clothes, and probably even ate ourselves into a slight coma.  Nonetheless, our child sits there with a devious look on his face strategically planning his shriek of discontent the moment we shut out eyes.

Our bodies and minds need some time to recover.  While we may never get the 20-30 minute power nap that our bodies may require, there are some ways to just lie down and relax, and even close your eyes, while entertaining your child at the same time.  Below are a few of some of those relaxing games that you can use with your child and catch your breath at the same time.

  • As the clouds roll by, whether outside on a blanket or inside on the couch looking out the window, teach your child how to find objects in the clouds.  Even suggest an animal or a fruit and let you child’s imagination run wild.
  • A fun game is for the parent to lie down on the couch or floor and have your little one place a stuffed animal on your back.  The parent then has to guess “Who’s There?”  They giggle and stay busy, and you get to relax and speak one word sentences.
  • Similar to the game above, yet more for your older toddler is to place a notebook or a drawing pad on your back.  Your child can then draw anything her heart desires and you have to guess what it is.  Make sure she gives you little clues.
  • There is a great by-product of giving your child a picture book.  Again, while lying down on the job, have your child “read” to you what the book is showing him.  It’s great for his imagination, you can listen to your child’s sweet voice, and get some down time.
  • Following along with the stuffed animal theme, bring all of them out to the couch and have her pile them on top of you, making sure that she covers you completely.  When she’s done, ask her to find your toes or fingers, find your ears and nose, then finally find your mouth for a little kiss.
  • 15-20 minutes of BabyFirstTV

You may have a hidden gem of a game up your sleeve, but just realize that it’s fine to give yourself a little break.  Close your eyes and listen to your child giggle and sigh.  You’ll both get a little treat.

One final tip from a parent who has used some of these techniques yet not maintained consciousness: close the bathroom door or you’ll end up with a trail of toilet paper through-out the house.  Have fun!!

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