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Stopping Naps with a Just 3yr old - daycare issue

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I used to 1/2 giggle at parents talking about stopping naps. I mean, afterall, 5yr olds nap when they go to kindergarten, so obviously kids NEED naps.


But my 3yr old is fighting me. And I have two parts with this - with regards to daycare.


First... the Perfect world.

In a perfect world... my son goes to full-time daycare. It's a BIG at-home daycare with 17kiddos. It's not ideal for sleeping. He's fighting it. I kinda understand that with so many distractions.


At home, on the weekends, IF I keep him up until 8pm, on the weekend I will put him down for a nap in his bedroom which has blackout curtains, music, solitude. Sometimes he will sleep 2hrs. Sometimes he will sleep 1/2hr. It is the best possible situation for him to sleep, and even at home, he's hit or miss.


At school, almost never now. He rarely sleeps.


He's always been an amazing sleeper, 12+hrs since he was a baby. Easy to go down; easy to nap. But things have changed with this new daycare (abt 6months now). While I've always been strict with bedtime at 7:30, I started keeping him up until 9pm, thinking if he was super-sleepy, he would nap at school.

Didn't happen.

So we've gone back to 7:30, so atleast he gets his 11hrs... he crawls in bed with me around 6:30 and 1/2plays, gets up about 7am.


He's not napping, but at least he's getting a good night's sleep. That's the Real of Today.



My 2nd question is...


he might potentially start Head-Start. He's got a speech disorder that he can get Head-start for free because he's in speech therapy with the school district.

Head start ends at 1pm.

And then the bus would take him to his afternoon daycare. Right in the middle of nap-time.


Meaning... he won't be getting a nap.


It's almost set up so he won't nap. Bus takes him from Head-Start to the next place, at... 1:30 at best. At that point, whatever kiddos in the daycare are already napping. I've already researched this with a number of different daycares, including montessori and at home places, and they say they get kids from the Head Start bus and keep them separate from the other kids who are already napping.


They might try  at the now 1:30/2:00, but by that time, the other kids are starting to wake up. So really those Head-Start kids don't get a nap.


It's like it's setup so No Nap for those kiddos.



I'm a single mom, FT working mom. I have limited options of picking him up from potential Head-Start and bringing him home to nap at 2pm. Maybe 2x a week at best.


Honestly, I think.... he'll leave Head-Start, go somewhere else, be in a separate room, and join the afternoon group when they're done with nap.

Which mean... NO Nap for him


I just want some feedback on what 3yrs should be doing for nap. I think they should be napping. I don't know that I can change his daycare situation, but since he's already fighting his current situation, including my perfect at home scenario in dark with music.... is it possible he just Doesn't Need Nap?



post #2 of 5

Like you, I do think 3 year olds need naps, heck I think 7 year olds do too. From what I understand humans are programmed to get sleep in at least two blocks within 24 hours. Yet, napping is also very cultural. Some cultures discourage napping, and others encourage it (siesta cultures) and not just for children but adults too. Children have so much growth and development and sleep is so important, but I would think if your son is getting his 12-14 hrs or 11, if that's his need, it should be sufficient, in whatever way he gets it. This probably will not even be pertinent but one issue I have read a bit about is lack of sleep can be a factor with ADHD. With your concerns about nap needs, it may be worth reading up on just to be able to recognize any potential changes, then if neccessary make changes. You know your child best, if you see that is sleep needs are not being met, you'll figure out a solution (somehow.. some way smile.gif). Per his recent lack of napping, could it just irregularity of opportunity to nap? Maybe it is just easier for him consistantly to get all of his sleep at night (?) Did his napping change coincide with the new daycare?


My son will be three this fall and he does need a nap every day, he is a mess by 5 pm otherwise.

He gets about 10 hrs at night and 3 hrs in the afternoon. Yet, I have noted a pattern, if he is overstimulated, a lot of 'outings versus playing at home' he will get three days of short naps (1.5-2 hrs) and then do a LONG nap of 4-5 hours on the 4-5th day. It's as if his body can go three days on sleep deficit, then it MUST get sufficient sleep. So I think overstimulation runs the risk of making it difficult to get sufficient sleep. Not sure if it is relevant, just a personal observation.


One quick question.....if daycare may get him from the bus then have him in a separate room, is there any chance daycare could try to accomodate a nap for him at 2 pm or so?

I recall you had mentioned the noise factor though, perhaps you could talk with your daycare provider though and see if she has any ideas. Perhaps if the other children are napping when he arrives it may be condusive to him settling down for a nap also.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

This weekend we started a later nap, at 2pm.

I would've NEVER done this prior - thinking, he got up at 6am, he should want to sleep at Noonish.

But this weekend, 2pm was PERFECT. And both days, he napped for over an hour.


And he didn't stay up any later. 8pm came and he was ready for nap.


So now I'm thinking 2pm might be possible... post Head-Start, when we move in that direction.

It doesn't help his current situation, but tells me possible for the future.

post #4 of 5

It sounds hopeful! That's really good news.

post #5 of 5

I think it just depends on the kid :) My daughter stopped napping at 2.5.  If she took a nap, even just 1/2 hour, she was up until at least 10 pm, sometimes later.  It was just too much sleep during the day for her.  My son is now 2.5 and headed in the same direction, though I am hoping to stretch it out a little longer.  I know lots of kids who can nap for 3 hours in the afternoon and still go to sleep at 8 pm no problem.  I know lots like my daughter, and I know lots of kids who are somewhere in between! 


If he really needs his nap (and you are the only one who knows!) then push to get him a nap when he arrives at Head Start or however else you can squeeze it in.  If that doesn't work, make sure he gets a nap on the weekends.  I agree that some kids really do need that nap to function, so hopefully you can work it out :)

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