Friday, October 9, 2009

Putting my foot down about nap time

This morning DH and I shared drop off duties for Cameron. I really like this part of the week because usually it is the only time that I get to see Cameron's main teacher, Miss Tanya, who has usually left for the day when I come in to pick her up. Sometimes I send DH in with instructions for Tanya but hey, I'm a mom and I like to talk with Cameron's other primary caregiver too.

Of course Miss Tanya sees me coming and probably wants to hide because I usually do have questions or instructions related to Cameron's care. I can't help it. I know my baby best and I still have residual concerns about having her in a facility with 9 other infants and a 5:1 infant to teacher ratio.

DH and I entered the room and he went off to take Cameron out of her carrier and get her settled. I puttered around putting her bottles in the fridge and new diapers in her cubby. Miss Tanya was changing one of the other babies. We exchanged general pleasantries and then I launched into my question:

Me: Now that Cameron is six months old, do you start putting her down on a nap schedule?
Miss Tanya: Well, usually they just fall into it on their own.
Me: Obviously that isn't the case for Cameron [forced smile]. She naps on a schedule at home but doesn't here. [side note - she slept only 40 minutes at daycare on Wednesday. 40 minutes!]
Miss Tanya: What time do you put her down?
Me: It depends on when she wakes up but her first nap is within 2 hours of her waking up. She was awake at 6 AM so no later than 8:30 AM.
Miss Tanya: That's right around feeding time.
Me, in my head: So freaking what? Can't you put her in her crib for a nap while you are feeding the other kids? And what, you have a feeding schedule but not a nap schedule????
Me: Well, I guess no later than 9 AM then.

Perhaps not the most forceful of conversations but I hope I got my point across. This all came about because I had lunch with my friend Amanda and shared my concerns about Cameron's lack of napping. No other child seems to have issues. Isn't it great to have friends where you can share the details of your baby's life and get interested responses? I mentioned that they let her fall asleep first and then move her to her crib. Is it any wonder that Cameron wakes up and doesn't want to nap?

DH, of course, mentally rolled his eyes when I talked with him about this. He figures it's not a big deal. But it totally is! If she sleeps for me then she should be sleeping at daycare too. The teachers just need to do a better job of putting her down consistently. Sure she may cry for a while but 40 minutes of naps a day isn't going to cut it. So, what do you all think? Am I overreacting or do I need to stay on top of this? Have you run into this issue before and how did you address it with your daycare?


Amanda said...

Give them a day or two to get it down and don't give in. Don't forget about afternoon naps too, you should check what their schedule is for afternoon, like do the babies nap when all of the toddlers nap?

Nicole S. said...

You are definitely not overreacting - 40 minutes of daytime sleep for a 6 month old is no where near enough. Sleep she be just as important to them as feeding - its helpd with growth, development and learning just like proper nutrtion! Is it possible for them to feed her right before they put her down, like 815? Then she can go down at 830? Even 9am isnt the end of the world but they should try and make it as much like "home" as they can with her on sleep schedule, putting herslef to sleep in a crin instead of crashing wherever she happens to be - that's not fair to Cameron at this age, IMO.

Mommy, Esq. said...

I'm sorry to agree with DH but honestly kids do not sleep at institutional daycares. They just don't. My kids nap great - except at back up daycare - even when it is dark! The only kids I know of who nap at daycare are in home daycares that have the kids in a separte room with monitor. You are never going to get the daycare on all babies napping at the same time because every kid has his or her own schedule (believe me, Ned and Penny are not on the same schedule as Georgie (thank god)). That's why they nap better in the toddler room when all kids go down at the same time. If she is sleeping okay at night and okay on weekends I think you have to let this go...

Mommy, Esq. said...

P.S. I should have said - let this go or change her caregiver situation.

LauraC said...

My boys were always on the same schedule at home but at home, they slept in a dark quiet room and I could quickly attend to anything that might interrupt their sleep.

At school, they were never on the same sleep schedule until they moved to the toddler room. Ever. Period. Not a single day. Even when they were put down in cribs, there were 6 other babies talking, crawling, playing, moving around, music playing, crying, etc.

I think you can force the point of her being put in the crib at specific times yet that doesn't guarantee she will sleep. But unfortunately, in a group situation they're probably not going to let her CIO bc it is going to disturb other babies. And with babies of various ages, they can't get the entire room on the same schedule bc a 3 month old, 6 month old, and 12 month old have very different schedules.

I know it seems crazy but it all evens out in such a short period of time when they go to the toddler room. That's when they get a solid schedule that everyone in the room follows.

And I will agree with Mommy Esq, if you feel this strongly about sleep, you may want to consider a different option bc the reality is that you may run into the same issue in another day care (ours was 1:4). The bigger issue is do you feel like they handle your complaints and do you trust her in their care? If no, then it might be time to switch.

Personally group day care was/is the right choice for us, particularly once they got to a year old. But there were plenty of less than ideal times during the first year and it will never be the same as a parent caring for them. We weighed the negatives and positives and for us, group care was the right choice.

Susan said...

Ugh...its been awhile but I do remember fighting this same battle. As much as I agree with Mommy Esquire....I also think your not asking too much. Infants need a lot of care and attention to their schedules. 40 minutes is NOT acceptable. Cameron may not get the same amount of sleep as she does on the weekends but she needs more than 40 minutes. They need to at least make the attempt and get back to you how it is going. Attitude is everything....if they will at least listen and can work with it but if they give you the it won't happen or I'm not even budging with you....I would look at your options again.

Rebecca M. said...

What LauraC said - my little guy was a horrible napper at daycare. The first few weeks, he'd nap, maybe a total of 60 minutes. One day is was only 30 minutes! That's adding up several very short naps.

At home, he's a completely different baby. He takes, not kidding, a few two to three hour naps a day!

I knew napping was going to be an issue at daycare because Dominick is so nosey and very easily distracted.

All of the sudden, after about 6 weeks or so, he started napping. Good, long, naps. He still has his days of not sleeping.

Right now there is no schedule for napping at daycare - I don't think it's possible with all those babies. It's fine to voice your concerns, I'm sure the teachers have heard it all before and they probably know more about taking care of babies than we do. But no body knows their baby better than mom!

I'd check your state's regulations for ratio. 1 to 5 seams awfully high.

Good luck!

Donna said...

I really think it depends on the child. My DS1 was in an institutional daycare and always slept great! Since then we've moved to an inhome daycare and he still sleeps great (though there is not another room for them to sleep in) and DS2 sleeping habits are strange - sometimes good, sometimes bad. I really think it depends on the child and whether or not they have learned to block out the noises and activity of those around them to fall asleep in any type of daycare.

Helen said...

this is a really good test for you and your passive agressive tough, mama bear

A. said...

I don't think it's too much to ask them to at least TRY to put Cameron down when you want them to. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. And if it doesn't work, they should be trying to put her down OFTEN. On days when each of Lucy's naps are only 30 minutes, she sometimes gets 4 naps at daycare (and another short one at home). Get them to read her cues, and work on putting her down in her crib awake. She should not be falling asleep on the floor or in a bouncy chair before they move her to the crib at this age. This is NOT too much to ask of a daycare.

jerseygirl77 said...

I'm with A. Do you fill out a little info sheet at the beginning of the day? If so, maybe you can write what time you want them to put her down for her first nap. Maybe she won't ever sleep as well at daycare as she does at home, but maybe she could sleep better if you're able to get through to the teacher about her napping needs. If they are resistant to meeting your needs, then it's time to find a daycare situation more willing to work with you.

confused homemaker said...

I don't have any other advice, we had caregivers at the house so it was different. But hope that it works out.

Meg C. said...

I think you are definitely right to put your foot down about something as important as sleep. Just like food, love, and stimulation, sleep is essential to your daughter's health and development. If it's too much trouble for the daycare provider to make sure your child is sleeping more than 40 minutes a day, then they are in the wrong business! Maybe it would be easier for them to follow explicit instructions - you could provide written instructions about when to put Cameron down for a nap (whatever matches up with her nap times at home).I agree with others, if they are unwilling to listen to your requests about your child, I would consider trying to find a new provider. Good luck to you!