My Annie has struggled with sleep since she left the womb 5 1/2 years ago. She didn’t sleep through the night until she was almost 4 years old – and even now only sleeps all night 2-3 nights per week. So, for all you mamas out there with kids that sleep great, drop to your knees right now and thank the good Lord above for this blessing. 😉 I felt the Spirit right there.
In the past month or so, she started getting up earlier – around 6am, no matter what time we put her to sleep at night. I know a lot of you probably have kids that get up at this same time. However, my other children are still asleep and I want them to stay that way. Don’t wake a sleeping baby – probably the best baby advice of all time. Ha!
When I wake up, I hurry around to pack Barry’s lunch and fix his breakfast so he can head to work – and then I like to get ready myself…because if I stay in my PJs all day, I feel like Mama from Mama’s Family. If I have 45 minutes to an hour, I can get all of that done easily. So, I needed Annie to be occupied for that long without my help – which is a feat even for some adults I know.
Enter – Quiet Mornings Basket…the idea of my GENIUS husband, Barry. What is a Quiet Mornings Basket, you ask? It’s a basket filled with quiet toys that Annie gets to play with when she wakes up in the morning.
The rules are:
- You must stay in your room.
- You must play quietly.
- When you are done, please put the toys back into the basket.
The items that we’ve put in the basket aren’t things that she plays with on a daily basis – so it makes the basket seem special to her…and she looks forward to it every morning. I change the items out a few times a week so she doesn’t get tired of the things in there.
After she goes to bed at night, the Quiet Basket Fairy (aka, Barry – don’t tell him I called him a fairy) puts the basket in her room so it’s there when she wakes up in the morning.
This is working really great for us. I hope this idea sparks some ideas for you guys if you need this same type of morning quiet time. I’ll list some of the items that we use below, to get your creative juices flowing. Man – creative juices is a WEIRD phrase. I don’t like it.
- Magna Doodle
- Coloring book and crayons
- Color by Number or Dot
- Where’s Waldo books or the like (available at the library)
- Paper dolls
- Notebook and pencil
- Easy readers
- Photo Albums (Annie LOVES this one)
- Learning toys
- QUIET electronic toys like the ABC Text and Go (we use this very sparingly)
If you have any additional ideas, please list them below. Thanks! 🙂