if your LO is in daycare, how do you handle days with bad naps or missed naps? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 08-02-2011, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

DS is just a little over 11 months old, and definitely still needs his two naps per day. When he is home with me and DH on the weekends, I put him down pretty easily for a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon nap, and he usually naps pretty well. (Not always, but often.)


However, the problem comes when he is in daycare on weekdays. DH and I both work full-time, and DS is usually at his daycare from 7:00am to 4:30pm. During this time, sometimes he naps great. But then there are other days (like today!), when he takes either too-short naps or he skips his second nap entirely. Today he only took one 30-minute nap, which is definitely not OK for him.


DS's bedtime is usually 7:00pm, so I don't like for him to sleep after 4:00 or so. But if he hasn't had his second nap at daycare, he is usually so fussy when we get home - so I put him to sleep and just deal with the consequences later (usually it makes him difficult to put to bed - he will want to stay up late and play).


How do all of you handle days when your LO doesn't nap well at daycare?

First time mom to Max, born 8.23.2010!
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#2 of 5 Old 08-03-2011, 07:07 AM
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I've been in a slightly different situation. DS started a 1/2 day (9-2) program twice a week at 11 months. They only napped for 45-60 minutes instead of his usual 2 2hr naps. 


At 11 mo your LO might be starting the transition down to 1 nap a day. Have you tried making the switch? What does his daycare do/suggest? What is the age range in his room and what are their naptimes? Do they have a set schedule? Since he's at daycare 5 days a week I would suggest trying to adjust your routine at home to be more like the daycare (ie nap schedule). 


Also, if it makes you feel better (ie this seems more like an 11 mo old situation rather than a daycare situation). I stayed home but there were PLENTY of days when my DS would NOT nap or take super short naps. They only thing I could do on those days was to: 1) offer a short catnap (45 min) in the early evenings (like as soon as you get home) or 2) move bedtime up a bit (it won't make up all the lost sleep but it'll help) and make everything SUPER sleep inducing (low lights, lavender bath, etc), 3) take solace in the fact that tomorrow would hopefully be a better nap day =)


Good luck and your LO is adorable!!

wife to DH, Mama to DS "Bug" (09/07), and DD "Sprout" (01/11). 
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#3 of 5 Old 08-03-2011, 06:10 PM
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My DS is the same! He is 11 months and takes two good naps most days, one mid-morning and mid-afternoon.


My diffference is, he doesn't go to day-care, but when home with DH a few days a week, he doesn't always get his normal naps. I do the same as mentioned, get him to take a short nap in the early evening (or) move his bedtime up.

DS ( 9/2010) and TTC #2 fingersx.gif





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#4 of 5 Old 08-04-2011, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Glad to hear that the napping problems aren't just for daycare babies! Since I only handle his naps on weekends, I think I often have this viewpoint that he would take a good nap everyday if he was home with me. I guess that is unlikely.


Our daycare doesn't do a nap schedule for kids of DS's age - they do naps essentially "on-demand." I appreciate that for feeding, but not so much for naps. I think he needs help to take a nap, especially when he is in a stimulating environment with lots of other kids to play with. I suppose it is also possible that he is slowly starting a transition to one nap/day. I get the sense he is not ready, but I should see what happens. Right now is a difficult time because DS is transitioning to an older baby room at daycare, and he has also been teething. I guess I need to see if things settle down once he is in his new room full-time AND these two teeth have fully emerged from his gums.


For now, I will either give him a late catnap or put him down early. Or maybe I will keep him up like normal if he doesn't seem tired! Thanks!

First time mom to Max, born 8.23.2010!
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#5 of 5 Old 08-04-2011, 08:44 PM
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I'm dealing with the exact same issue, except we are having trouble at home too.  About a month ago I thought it was the day care non-schedule, now I realize it probably developmental.  DS has rarely napped more than 40 min to 1hr at a time to start with.


A few things are going on and preventing him from settling for his afternoon nap, and when he does it's either too late (5:00PM) or too short (for us that's anything less than 30 minutes).  He is just pretty excited about playing with his friends at day care, excited about being able to move around, and learning to walk.  This is even true the three days a week he is home with me.  Almost a week ago we decided to try the swtich to one nap.  It's been a little rough so far with tired grumpy dinner times, but I don't miss the afternoon nap time battle that was becoming a daily thing.  We also were able to get bedtime back to a reasonable 7:15 (it had creeped to 8:45).  So I'm going to give it another week, and I'm confident DS will start to sleep a little longer for his one and only nap. 


I agree with the person above that said you may try to change your weekend schedule to match day care.  In general, I find our experienced caregivers are a little better at picking up new or unusual ques from our LO, than I, they just have a lot more experience.  So I follow their lead (on some things...)  Good luck. 

Aug 2009;  DS1 Sep 2010; Dec 2012; Dec 2013; May 2014
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