Tuesday, February 14, 2012

nap woes

Mason, ages ago
Calling all experienced mamas! I need some help.

Important background info:
  • From his early days, Mason took to an eating-playing-sleeping schedule.
  • He has always been a good sleeper, at night and during the day. 
  • At his two-month appointment, Mason's pediatrician said that he was sleeping a little more than the average baby his age.
  • Prior to teething, it took no more than five minutes to get him down for a nap, and he would sleep for around 90 minutes without much fussing.
  • Once teething kicked in (right before Christmas), getting him down became a little more difficult (it took maybe 10 minutes instead of five) and he would fuss during naps and require soothing.
  • We have had some issues with the 45-minute intruder, but Mason can normally soothe himself or be soothed back to sleep.
  • When the grandparents watched Mason for three weeks before he began daycare, they kept him on his schedule without too many problems. He fussed during most naps, but he still slept a decent amount.
  • Mason's first two teeth have come through in the past two weeks.
  • We went cold turkey and weaned him from the swaddle a week ago. He's done great!
The current situation:
  •  Mason's been in daycare for three weeks now, and he's not sleeping there. The first two days, he didn't sleep AT ALL, which he had never done in his life. He was an absolute wreck by the time I got him home, begging for night night at 5 PM.
  • The daycare is in a typical Capitol Hill rowhouse that's been gutted, so everything's in one large room. There's not a separate nap room. The teachers claim that they dim the lights for naptime.
  • Mason's daily log shows that most often, he sleeps for 10-20 minutes at a time, sporadically throughout the day. There have been a few rare occasions where he's slept for an hour.
  • I asked one teacher how well the other babies sleep there. She said, "No one sleeps here, at least not more than 20 minutes at a time."
  • I have talked to his teachers about his lack of sleep several times. I have given them tips. I have made requests. I have communicated my expectations that he needs to get at least two good naps in during the day. And by "good", I mean over an hour. They smile and nod and say "Okay", but when I pick him up and find that, again, he's slept little, they try to tell me that he's just not tired and he likes to play all day.
  • The center just opened and is not at capacity yet, so Mason has plenty of attention. The ratio of caregivers to babies right now is nearly 1:1. I don't believe he's neglected, or that they're too busy for one of them to spend some time trying to get him down for a nap.
  • I also don't believe that he's "not tired". Clearly, when I pick him up at night, he is exhausted. On the weekends, he acts tired at his normal naptimes.
  • He still naps well for us at home on the weekends (except the weekend we went cold turkey and took the swaddle away, but we've recovered from that now).
My questions:
  • It's been three weeks. Do I just need to be patient and hope that this will work itself out?
  • Are my expectations that he gets at least two good naps at daycare unrealistic or unreasonable?
  • What, if anything, can I do about his not sleeping there?


Red Stethoscope said...

I have no idea what to expect from daycares, but I think at least one good nap is reasonable. Up until kindergarten, I remember the lights being turned off for an hour and everyone having to lay down and sleep (or stare into space quietly for an hour). If a single kindergarten teacher with a bunch of 5 year olds could do it, I'm SURE a daycare provider could. Hopefully it works out...I hate hearing about babies being deprived of sleep! :(

Amy- Taylors East said...

Emailing you now...!!! That's nutty!

lnipaver said...

Hey Rebecca,

funny the random things I remember but there was a blog that I read fairly regularly and the child use to not sleep at daycare...

so when I read your post I went and found it. Maybe its a regular thing for babys in new surroundings. Eventually for this child they ended up sleeping in a swing or other things just to get some rest in.

kerryandtorey said...

sounds like he might be still adjusting to the new environment. Does he always nap in his crib at home? Is he napping in a crib at the daycare?

Miss H was a great night sleeper and napper until she was about 6 months and then she became a horrible napper. She dropped her second nap just before she turned one and has not napped at home or daycare since last spring. I always thought kids napped until kindergarten but it is sadly, not true :-(

allison kee said...

I had the same problem as well. Even at 13 months, C. still does not nap as well at daycare as he does for us at home.

I don't think your expectations are unrealistic - but I do think some babies either can nap through noise or are very energized by it! (Sounds like he is like C.and falls into the latter).

Is there any way you could go one day at his normal nap time and observe how they try to put him down?

Are there any cribs in the room that are a little further away than the hustle and bustle? I know they switched C around a few times to see if a certain spot would help him sleep.

Have you spoken to the director? It sounds like you have clearly communicated to his teachers your expectations. The teacher's comment about no baby sleeping more than 20 minutes sounds off - Even older children nap longer than that. So maybe she misspoke?

Perhaps you can ask the director what their philosophy is on naps.

Sorry Mason isn't napping well. That does really affect your evenings.

Aimee @ Smiling Mama said...

Lucas never slept as well at day care as he did at home. But, I do think Mason needs and should be getting at least one long nap a day. Can they do more than dim the lights to make it darker -- lights out except some nightlights for safety? Does he have his lovey/comfort item/familiar item in the crib at daycare? How about a blanket that you sleep with at night that then goes into his crib at daycare and stays in the crib so he only gets it when he's in the crib for his nap? Good luck!!!

Amy Hill said...

It sounds strange to me that they would say no one naps there. That says something about their space or their caregivers. I would think having a separate more quiet space for naptime would be important. All my kids have napped. My oldest napped until she was 5 and in kindergarten. My middle stopped naps at age 4. And my two year old still gets a 3 hour nap every afternoon. She probably had two naps a day for at least the first year, then we went to just one in the afternoon.

I don't really have the experience dealing with a daycare though, so you may get better advice elsewhere! The girls go to a daycare now one day a week. It's like a grandma's house and my little one still gets her 3 hour nap in every day. She does have a separate room for naps though, which I think would be essential for mine to sleep (she hates to miss out on any fun, so if she was in the main room with the other kids still playing, she'd never lay down and sleep!)

Best of luck!!!

tnthomas1 said...

I would visit the day care during nap time to see how they handle nap time before I made any changes/decisions. Whenever my son had an issue at day care I always made an unannounced visit to see first hand how things were handled. He may just be adjusting to his new "job".

Oak said...

I think the teacher's overarching comment's about "no one sleeping" is a bit much but I know for us that Mac doesn't sleep much at daycare at all. At first we could get an hour MAYBE about once a week but the bottom line is that he just LOVES being at daycare and playing all day and going down for a nap is not his gig. So we adjusted the home schedule to adjust to the fact that he gets one or maybe two 20-30 minute naps per day. First he gets no less than 12 hours of sleep at night. He goes 7 to 7 almost all nights sometimes longer. On the weekends when he has his own quiet room for naps he almost always catches up and gets two 2 hour naps per day.

I think that some babies are just very social and don't nap well with activity around them and the nature of the infant room at daycare is that they'll never be able to get all those babies down at the same time.

Good luck!