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  1. #1
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    How does everyone else handle before/after lunch time?

    I have a good group of kids, but when they are hungry or tired all hell breaks lose! Im finding it really difficult to prepare lunch and then after lunch get everyone down for a nap calmly. They all are under foot screaming for lunch and then start screaming for nap time. I have 4/5 still in diapers so it is a process to feed, change and get them all ready. Any tips? I am just so flustered after they go down it makes it difficult for me to unwind and get things accomplished during nap time.

  2. #2
    Euphoric ! Dreamalittledream's Avatar
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    My best advice would be to prep as much as you can ahead. I also revised my schedule; I bumped our A.M. & lunch meal times up...snack is now 9:30 & lunch is 11:15/11:30 then nap immediately after. I change bums as they are tidying just before lunch so as they finish lunch each is ready to sleep. Now that is not to say I certainly don't feel an inner sense of relief once the last one goes down. Good luck!
    Children are great imitators.
    So give them something great to imitate.

    ~Anonymous~

  3. #3
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    Ive been thinking about pumping lunch up. We do snack at 9:00 and then lunch at 12:00 down for nap around 12:30/1 but I think its too late. Im going to try this week lunch around 11:30 and see how it goes. Thanks

  4. #4
    Euphoric !
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    I have my crew tidying up while I get lunch on the table and I have 3 in diapers and one toilet training and one trained. One has to go to bed earlier then the others cause of an early pick up so I make sure that child is in the chair first then the baby usually toddels over and I can put her in the chair with some thing to pick at then the others come over at this point the first one is done to I wash hands and face change diaper and off to bed then the others get the hands face and shaper treatment as they finish and they are permitted to look at a book while they are waiting. The oldest uses the washroom while I am finishing up the last one and off they all go for nap. I use all my bedrooms for napping so each gets their own room except the oldest who naps on a cot in the playroom. Most days everyone is down by 12:30 .... Today 12:15 ; ) the first one is at the table by 11:15 and the others at 11:30 all done by noon .... So if your group is screaming for lunch then I would make it a bit earlier.
    Last edited by Crayola kiddies; 08-13-2012 at 12:30 PM.

  5. #5
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    What time is your lunch and nap times? They may need a bit of a bigger snack, or lunch moved up earlier so that thety are not so starved come lunch time... I usually serve a small snack around 9:30-10am and I serve lunch anywhere between 11:30 and 12:00 and give them about 30 mins to eat before I start getting them down.
    I used to get them all changed and ready to nap RIGHT after lunch, but found it left no time for me during my break to tidy up etc.
    Now I have them play for 25-30 mins while I do the dishes, clean the table, sweep the floors. So when they are all in their beds, I can actually put my feet up and do NOTHING!! haha!

  6. #6
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    I have two babies who still nap in the morning. They get up at 11 so we actually do lunch then and then they play for a bit, get a bit of milk and down for nap at 1:30. This seems to work for us and is A LOT less chaotic. I hear you about the diaper changes!! Can be tough to get them all done. I have three in diapers, four last week, I know how tough it can be. Just remember, the more anxiety you have, the more roudy they'll get. Just take it slow and take your time. Who cares if they're whining? Let them whine. Take your time. I learned this the hard way, but if you can tune them out, it's a lot less stressful.

  7. #7
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    I hear ya ~ I use to try to do an 'activity' at the table while I prepped the last of lunch but I spent more time referring and dealing with tired hungry kids who were not coping with sharing or turn taking at activities than getting lunch ready and things would burn on me and what not stressing me out more ... it was just 'not working'.

    I too prep as much as I can in the morning and in winter months try to do 'crock pot' type hot meals that just need to be served but even than you still need time to 'serve and cool' for them.

    So now if you are 'over 2' you get to sit and watch a 10-15 minute video on the TV while I get lunch ready and the 'under 2' sit in their highchairs in the kitchen with some fidget toys or finger foods while I get lunch ready, If you are not doing a 'good job' in the livingroom with the show you have to come into kitchen and sit at the table with the 'babies' and do a quiet table activity which is motivation for them to be 'nice' in the living-room cause the TV is seen a big kids treat .... we all eat lunch together and everyone 'stays' at the table and keeps other company until we are all done and after lunch we brush teeth at the table as a group now instead of trying to do it in the bathroom where again they had trouble taking turns with the sink so now we spit in a 'spatoon' at the table that is just for this purpose and than we read a story or two together to 'wind down' depending on how long they took to eat and than I send the potty trained kids one by one to the bathroom and than they get on their cot. The kids in the highchairs I change their diaper and put them to bed one at a time while the ones 'waiting' look at board books while sitting contained in the chair and I tuck everyone on their cots in after the babes are all in the pack and plays ~ and they got to sleep on their own.

    As we wake up after quiet time they are invited off their bed to come do quiet activities at the table OR watch a bit of TV again if they are not quiet awake enough to do table stuff.
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

  8. #8
    Euphoric !
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    I have one of those wooden tiered book carts filled with board books so good for all and wheel that around the house as needed. We clean up small playroom upstairs - so not a lot of stuff while I cook lunch. I call them one at a time for diaper changes or potty as I start lunch and they clean. I have activities at the table such as puzzles if there is a gap between cleanup and lunch ready.

    Then after lunch they sit near the bathroom door to read the books off the rack while I do diapers, potty, hands washed, etc. The babies are tucked into beds - upstairs in bedrooms as they are changed. Others return to books till all are done. Then we choose a book or two from the rack to read - nice thing is they are very short. Then into bed for the rest of them whichis mats in the mainfloor (diningroom) playroom they cleaned up before lunch. I set up the beds while they are eating.

    Key for me is to have them moving as a group and doing the same things and putting babies into highchair or leaving them there a bit longer as a form of crowd control. I always do diapers before lunch so it is just a quick peak down the back and change only thost that need it. Once babies are out of the way and in bed I do potty for older ones. I get up in the reverse order so older ones are up and potty and reading or doing activities before I get babies up - it's like working with one group at a time instead of both at the same time.

  9. #9
    Euphoric !
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    This is why I serve breakfast at 8:30 and lunch 3 hours later at 11:30, then we have circle time right after lunch so we are winding down, the naptime between 12:30-1:00 to 3pm, then snacktime. This also allows us to get out the door by 9am and come back in at 11:00 so I can prepare lunch. I agree that you should prep as much as you can the evening before and for heaven's sake use your crockpot - it's a lifesaver!

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