I just got a call from my day care provider - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is 3. He has never been a good sleeper. I will be honest with you here. We have tried to get him into a bedtime routine since he was a baby, but he has never gotten the sleeping aspect of the routine. Whether we put him to bed at 6 or 7 or 8 or 9, he does not fall asleep until about 10:00, and if he is in his bed during that time, he cries the whole time. DH or I stay with him until he falls asleep. However, we decided long ago that we did not want to spend all evening holding a crying baby/toddler/preschooler, so now we get him ready for bed by 8, I try to nurse him to sleep, and then we try to ignore him/let him play quietly until we are ready to go to bed at 10. Often I will use the computer and he will curl up on my lap around 9:30 and nurse himself to sleep. He and I share a room, which has a toddler bed next to a single (twin-sized) bed. We place him in the toddler bed after he has gone to sleep. When he wakes up, around midnight, he climbs into bed with me. He is nightweaned, so he doesn't nurse again until 6am.

 

Lately he has stopped nursing to sleep by 10. This means that when DH and I go to bed at 10, DS is still up. On these nights, I get ready for bed and then we get into my bed together and he nurses there, but often still doesn't fall asleep. He wants to get up and play. He wants to eat. I tell him, "No, it is not time to eat/play. It is bedtime." Sometimes he wants to see Daddy (who is in bed across the hall--we do not sleep together) and sometimes Daddy comes in and takes him away so that I can sleep. Sometimes (rarely) he will get into bed with Daddy and eventually fall asleep, but usually he cries for me once he gets to Daddy and I have to decide whether to let DH handle it or go relieve him after a while. At this point, he will usually nurse to sleep. So lately he has not been getting to sleep until 10:30-11. There is clearly a problem with our sleep situation. It is not working.

 

Anyway, DH had the brilliant idea today of asking our day care provider not to let DS nap during the day, in hopes that it would make him go to sleep earlier at night. This led to the day care director calling me at work to discuss what we should be doing to help DS sleep better at night. She said that he has been disruptive during quiet time at day care--he doesn't even nap there always, and he tends to keep others up--and he has become disobedient in general. She said it was clearly a control issue for him and we need to fix it now before he is 13 and out of control. 

 

She recommends a chart to document his bedtime routine, with stickers if he behaves/stays in bed. She says he should be in bed by 7:30 every night and we should say good night and walk away and not go back in until at least 20 minutes have passed. I said that there is not a chance that he would stay in bed, and she said to make sure the room is safe/there is nothing dangerous he can get into and then lock the door from the outside. After 20 minutes, check on him--put him back in bed, if necessary--but don't say a word to him and then leave for another 20 minutes. She recommended that I read "Solving Your Child's Sleep Problems" and told me about a local group I could call for advice, which she said was "like Nanny 911." She said I would see results within 2 weeks, but then it would get worse again before getting better and said, laughing, that some parents buy ear plugs during this time.

 

I don't know what to do. I agree that there is a problem. I agree with some of what she said: "Children need boundaries," and "Routine is important" (I agree with this in principle, but it has never seemed to work for our family). But I feel like her suggestions are overall not very respectful. Furthermore, most of it would never work for out family because of how we are currently set up. But I didn't know before today that he was having behaviour problems at day care due to our inability to reinforce boundaries at home. I know now that I need to do something, but what?


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#2 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 07:23 AM
 
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I work in a preschool/daycare setting. It is super hard to deal with a disruptive child at naptime when all the other kids are sleeping. We count on that hour and half to get administrative chores or special cleaning chores accomplished. To try to entertain ONE child at a whisper volume as to not disturb the others is very challenging.

Why don't you amp up your son's playtime in the evening? Take him to the park for an hour or more after dinner. Or find an activity you and your dh can take turns doing each evening with him. Wear out his little body so he sleeps. And look, I'm all for the family bed stuff but you've excluded your partner. That's not good in the log haul.
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#3 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just a comment on that last point: DH and I have never been able to share a bed. We slept separately before DS came along. We just sleep better apart. 


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#4 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 07:53 AM
 
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As a daycare provider, the day a parent asks me to keep a child up from nap is the day they are too old for my daycare.  So, you opened that can of worms by making that request.  

 

Nap time is for EVERYONE in the school or program.  Where do you think your son is going to spend nap time?  Are the teachers supposed to go outside and give up their prep/break times to play with him?  Is the whole group supposed to stay up together?  Should  he sit in the front office?  Where did you envision this napless day happening?

 

The other thing that I know without a doubt, is that kids who don't sleep well, have issues in every part of their day.  They throw more fits, they are more easily frustrated, they tend to get more hyper.  

 

There are many reasons kids can't sleep well.   Too many to name.  But, if that is the only part of your day that you notice any "boundary" or "routine" problems, than perhaps there is a physical reason he can't sleep.  I don't know what they would be though.  I don't have any magic ideas for helping him sleep better.   I have one daycare child who was the WORST infant in the history of infants. He cried NON STOP for nine months.  His mom would come in crying some days because she just got to the  end of her rope.  His older brother was miserable because the baby just would not allow their parents to pay attention to him.  When he was nine months old, they (out of desperation and frustration) put up a crib in an empty bedroom.  They were at first angry at him, so they put him alone in a room.  The baby slept 7 hours.  Within two weeks, he was a new child.  He needed to sleep alone in a very quiet dark room.  His older brother needs to sleep with his parents.   (ETA:  This baby was extreme.  He was the size of a newborn at six months because he couldn't gain weight, he couldn't stop crying to eat, he kept his eyes covered by a blanket at all times)

 

I suggest looking into sleep methods, and seeing which one you like better.  What do you think will work with your family?   I know there are tons of books about helping children and adults have a better night's sleep.  But, maybe you need a mixture of two or more, or maybe one method will work for you.  

 

You could try keeping him up til 10:00.  My own child was home with me all day, and it wasn't a problem for her to stay up late and go to bed when she wanted to.  She was able to sleep late in the mornings, so I didn't worry about when she fell asleep.   But, since your son is staying awake until 10:00 anyway, maybe push his bedtime back to see if that helps?

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#5 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 07:56 AM
 
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Wow, No response to what i said about your son. Only a defense that I got the wrong impression of how your marriage works? I honestly have only met much older couples that no longer share a bed... like retirement age folks.

I'm not much for external reward systems with my own kids either but they are in use in many schools and daycare settings as a way to help kids change bad habits kids get into. So, in my preschool a child might be offered a sticker or some tiny trifle for a couple weeks until the teacher trains into them the "new" and right way to behave and then they drop the reward because its done its job.

You do need to talk to your son about your expectations and train him through play and role-modleing the right way to behave. Good behavior is a reward unto itself. Kids with bad behavior soon don't get invited to playdates and birthdays and special friend outings because the other parents simply won't want to deal with any shenanigans.
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#6 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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As a daycare provider, the day a parent asks me to keep a child up from nap is the day they are too old for my daycare.  So, you opened that can of worms by making that request.  

 

Nap time is for EVERYONE in the school or program.  Where do you think your son is going to spend nap time?  Are the teachers supposed to go outside and give up their prep/break times to play with him?  Is the whole group supposed to stay up together?  Should  he sit in the front office?  Where did you envision this napless day happening?

 

The other thing that I know without a doubt, is that kids who don't sleep well, have issues in every part of their day.  They throw more fits, they are more easily frustrated, they tend to get more hyper.  

 

There are many reasons kids can't sleep well.   Too many to name.  But, if that is the only part of your day that you notice any "boundary" or "routine" problems, than perhaps there is a physical reason he can't sleep.  I don't know what they would be though.  I don't have any magic ideas for helping him sleep better.   I have one daycare child who was the WORST infant in the history of infants. He cried NON STOP for nine months.  His mom would come in crying some days because she just got to the  end of her rope.  His older brother was miserable because the baby just would not allow their parents to pay attention to him.  When he was nine months old, they (out of desperation and frustration) put up a crib in an empty bedroom.  They were at first angry at him, so they put him alone in a room.  The baby slept 7 hours.  Within two weeks, he was a new child.  He needed to sleep alone in a very quiet dark room.  His older brother needs to sleep with his parents.   (ETA:  This baby was extreme.  He was the size of a newborn at six months because he couldn't gain weight, he couldn't stop crying to eat, he kept his eyes covered by a blanket at all times)

 

I suggest looking into sleep methods, and seeing which one you like better.  What do you think will work with your family?   I know there are tons of books about helping children and adults have a better night's sleep.  But, maybe you need a mixture of two or more, or maybe one method will work for you.  

 

You could try keeping him up til 10:00.  My own child was home with me all day, and it wasn't a problem for her to stay up late and go to bed when she wanted to.  She was able to sleep late in the mornings, so I didn't worry about when she fell asleep.   But, since your son is staying awake until 10:00 anyway, maybe push his bedtime back to see if that helps?

I had previously heard it mentioned in passing that some of the older kids do not sleep during nap time, so instead they go upstairs to play quietly with the other non-napping kids and I guess 1 teacher stays with them. That was not mentioned today--only that DS disrupts the other kids during nap time because he often refuses to nap himself. This was honestly the first time I have heard this. He had previously been described as "one of their best nappers" when he was sleeping 2 hours at a time, and we asked them to wake him after an hour.

 

It sounds like you are suggesting that we try the CIO approach to see if that works, but I have been trying to avoid that since he was born. I honestly don't know what to do though, which is why I was posting here.

 

I am definitely going to try pushing his bed time back since with a 10:00 bedtime be doesn't get to sleep until 10:30-11. Maybe a 9:00 bed time will get him to sleep by 10. We will work on a more defined routine with him in bed by 9. That is the short-term plan unless I can get a better idea.


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#7 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, No response to what i said about your son. Only a defense that I got the wrong impression of how your marriage works? I honestly have only met much older couples that no longer share a bed... like retirement age folks.

I'm not much for external reward systems with my own kids either but they are in use in many schools and daycare settings as a way to help kids change bad habits kids get into. So, in my preschool a child might be offered a sticker or some tiny trifle for a couple weeks until the teacher trains into them the "new" and right way to behave and then they drop the reward because its done its job.

You do need to talk to your son about your expectations and train him through play and role-modleing the right way to behave. Good behavior is a reward unto itself. Kids with bad behavior soon don't get invited to playdates and birthdays and special friend outings because the other parents simply won't want to deal with any shenanigans.

Sorry! I just wanted to get that out so it wouldn't distract from the situation, although I honestly don't know where I will sleep once DS is ready to sleep on his own. But that is not the issue.

 

I didn't comment on the other comment because I didn't want to be too critical, but honestly nothing seems to wear out this kid and I have been worried about getting him to wired up before bed time as I think it will make him take longer to wind down.

 

I agree with talking to him about expectations and consequences. I am unsure about the reward chart, but I am considering it as a last resort. Thanks!


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#8 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 09:04 AM
 
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It sounds like you are suggesting that we try the CIO approach to see if that works, but I have been trying to avoid that since he was born. I honestly don't know what to do though, which is why I was posting here.

 

No..I wouldn't ever do cry it out with my own child.  I just am suggesting you look into different methods and find one, or a mix of several that works for you.  Or simply stop putting him to bed before 10:00.  

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#9 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We have stopped putting him to bed before 10 but now we are going to have to start again. We will experiment and see what works, I guess. Thanks for the suggestions!


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#10 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 09:14 AM
 
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I have two night owls who often are up to 10 pm or later, and one early bird who will happily put himself to sleep at 7:30.  It seems to be mostly hard-wired.  Our first child was definitely high-needs in the area of sleep, which is not something that most people understand.  We had to experiment a lot to find out what worked for us, and just ignore all the advice that wasn't helpful.

 

For our night owls, what we've found is that we need to pay close attention to when they get tired, and then do a streamlined routine to get them into bed with us ASAP.  If we miss that window, they will get a second (or third) wind, and suddenly find the energy to stay up and play for a couple more hours.  But we have to wait for it--starting the bedtime routine when they don't feel tired just won't work.  Still, we do have times where we have to just turn out the lights, tell them to lie down and go to sleep, and play dead.

 

One thing that stuck out to me was that you only mentioned sitting near him or nursing him to sleep for your bedtime routines.  What about reading books to him in bed with you?--a bedtime thing to do together that isn't nursing.  You might consider shortening the last nursing of the day.  Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution book might also be helpful--what I got from it was the Pantley Pull-Off, where you attempt to unlatch the child before they're fully asleep, to gently help them learn to go to sleep without being directly attached to the boob.  I found her charts of how long a child should be sleeping at each age discouraging, though--just hard numbers, with no ranges to cover the variations of normal.  My children probably all have ADD, which is linked to fewer hours of sleep at night, but the poor sleep is caused by the ADD, and so is the ADD behavior.  So I wouldn't necessarily connect his behavior directly to his sleep patterns, unless you observe that correlation yourself.

 

Your daycare provider works for you, and while it would be much easier for her if your son napped, you are paying for her to care for him during that time, whether he is napping or not.  He's only three, and should be expected to spend most of his time acting like a three-year-old.  It's fairly common for children to drop their afternoon nap at that age.

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#11 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 09:15 AM
 
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It also sounds like the daycare provider is advocating a CIO approach.  I understand that daycare providers are required to offer nap time to kids, but I'm not going to buy the idea that they need kids to nap because of administrative work or anything else.  Children need naps because most kids need naps, not to serve any function of a daycare.  duck.gif

 

My girls get squirrelly at bedtime, too, and it is hard to get them settled-- at your son's age, or at their current ages (6 and 8).  Bedtime is their happiest time, for some reason.  

 

I suggest you start as early as possible for a while.  Dinner.  Bath.  Bedtime.  I know, it's like purgatory for a parent to crawl into bed at 7:30!!  Get it started as early as possible because at first this is going to take a long time.  No TV for anybody in the evening (save it for after he goes to bed).  Keep sugars, even fruit sugars to a minimum or not at all in the evening.  Remove toys (except lovey) and books from the bedroom.  Storytime is in the living room.  Bedroom is as dark as possible and boring.  Sing him a couple of songs, nurse, hold his hand, but don't budge.  If he gets up, bring him back and start the routine over: sing, nurse, hold his hand.  Don't necessarily close your eyes: that can upset kids.  Sleep is still something mysterious and just a bit scary.  Stay your patience (this is where I routinely lost it!)  Do not vary the routine from night to night.  Start at the same time, and eventually he is likely to shorten his resistance.  You are likely to not ever overcome it, because my girls at 6 and 8 are still in High Play Mode after stories, but you can make it reasonable.

 

Eventually, once he can make it from stories to sleep in a reasonable amount of time, start pushing back bedtime to make evenings less rushed.  Engage him in a puzzle or other quiet playtime.  Read extra stories.  Still no TV or heavy carbs.  Eventually you'll be able to get up and enjoy an evening alone with dh.  Mmmmaybe.  My oldest needs about the same amount of sleep I do, so I'm shooting my own foot off when I creep out to watch TV.

 

And don't sweat the sleeping in separate beds.  I don't think the "retired couple" comment was very sensitive.  DH and I are not compatible sleepers, either, and I would love to sleep separately.  Maybe more retired couples do because they no longer think that sleeping together is necessary to prove their love and commitment to each other.  (Another tomato? tomato.gif)

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#12 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 09:24 AM
 
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You might consider shortening the last nursing of the day.  Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution book might also be helpful--what I got from it was the Pantley Pull-Off, where you attempt to unlatch the child before they're fully asleep, to gently help them learn to go to sleep without being directly attached to the boob. 

This is where I found singing helpful.  The unlatch was not the last thing they remember before drifting off--they could hear me singing still and were less  likely to fuss.  In fact, it worked perfectly.

 

I know of other parents who just let their kids stay up with them and fall asleep as necessary.  Some kids need busyness to allow them to be tired--make the setting quiet and austere and they feel the need to fill it up!

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#13 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 09:37 AM
 
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CIO advocates are often insensitive, so that may explain some of what you were told. Make sure he is properly hydrated. If thirsty too long, thirst goes away, but the person is unable to get to sleep. Getting morning sunshine helps get one ready to sleep at night. Also, if he is hungry he may be able to sleep. You could try providing an after dinner snack.

What makes this so hard is that you are trying to fit his natural schedule with the daycare schedule. I wish you well.
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#14 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Vaske, thank you for understanding! I agree with the windows. That is why we try to get him ready for bed by 8 (i.e., diaper, teeth brushed, etc.) because if he does start to fall asleep early, we don't want to wake him up by getting him ready for bed. Then I look for opportunities to nurse him to sleep, yes, but DH reads him books during that time too. But I am getting the sense that we do need a more defined routine. A major problem is the fact that we don't get home until 6, so there is not opportunity to do much in the evening. We have supper and on nice days we go outside. Of course he wants to watch videos, and this is something we need to cut down/cut out. But by then it is time to get ready for bed.

 

SweetSilver, thank you too for your suggestions and the understanding. I agree that what she told me was to follow the CIO approach. I just thanked her for her opinions/suggestions and now I'm trying to figure out how to deal with them. I do not believe he cries it out while there, but apparently does not stop talking. I don't know about the early bedtime, but I understand that the routine has to be the same night to night. This is where I need to focus my efforts. DH and I will have to come to an agreement about how this will look night after night and then tell DS. We can do up a chart so he understands what is expected (I don't think stickers are necessary at this point). But maybe after I am able to get him to sleep by 9, I can try earlier bedtimes following the same routine. I think that is the opposite of what you suggested, but it just seems more realistic to me.


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#15 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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CIO advocates are often insensitive, so that may explain some of what you were told. Make sure he is properly hydrated. If thirsty too long, thirst goes away, but the person is unable to get to sleep. Getting morning sunshine helps get one ready to sleep at night. Also, if he is hungry he may be able to sleep. You could try providing an after dinner snack.

What makes this so hard is that you are trying to fit his natural schedule with the daycare schedule. I wish you well.

Thanks! She did suggest a bedtime snack (which would be immediately after supper if he was going to bed at 7:30, as suggested) and he does have a water bottle that he keeps in bed with him in case he gets thirsty during the night.


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#16 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 10:01 AM
 
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My 8 year old would routinely stay up until 9:30 if we let her and sleep until 8:00am.  It was even worse when she was younger.  

 

Figuring out food sensitivities helped a lot.  

Making sure she goes pee just before lying down helps - even if she visited the potty only 20 minutes before.  

Getting enough protein eaten in the day makes a big difference too, starting with breakfast.  

Often when she could not sleep and kept tossing and turning for hours it was because she was hungry but could not recognize her restlessness as hunger.  

She also has a very active imagination and started having nightmares at about 2 1/2 years old. She still struggles with feeling safe going to sleep.

 

Every child is different and I'm sure you will find what works for yours. 

 

: )

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#17 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 10:18 AM
 
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There are so many things that can cause sleep troubles. You have really good suggestions here, but if nothing works, he could have a sleep disorder or something else physical like an allergy or food sensitivity or reflux or something. Hopefully not.

As for not napping, not all kids that age nap, and I know most daycares require it. I understand the comments that they're working for you and if your son doesn't nap, they have to find a way to deal with it, but on the other hand, I think if there schedule is set up so they have lunch during nap or whatever and can't reasonably accommodate it, their way of dealing with the problem might be telling you to find another daycare. And it might be hard to find one that doesn't require naps. I had one kid who would never nap, and I didn't when I was a kid and I was in daycare and remember how hard that was so I absolutely empathize, but I think the reality of the situation is that they're going to require a bit of down time during that nap one way or another.

My kids have always gone to bed fairly easily. We have a regular nighttime routine and just follow it every night. I put them both in bed at 8, but the older one is allowed to read in bed until 9.

Someone said having a protein-based breakfast can help with this. I don't know about this specific problem, but my more high-needs child was helped immensely and in a number of ways by following that advice. She has eggs for breakfast and never cereal or any kind of grain that early. In fact, she also never has sweets of any sort before noon, so no pancakes unless we're having breakfast for dinner. It is amazing how much of a difference that made in her behavior, up to and including bedtime. It made such a dramatic difference and she is so much happier that she has never fought me on that in all the years we've been doing it.

Good luck with this! It sounds like a challenge.
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#18 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 10:18 AM
 
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My daughter was also all over the place with sleep till she was three and a half.  I read every book and we tried every thing.  The thing that helped us most was Sleepless in America.  I didn't even read the part about night waking because once we committed to two weeks of arranging or lives with sleep as the priority, everything else worked itself out and we didn't have to be nearly as hardcore about it...but you really have to commit.

 

Two of the biggies were getting up at the same time every day and getting our evening routine down.  Bath/books/bed didn't cut it.  After dinner, our house had to be BORING.  Low lights, lots of repeating what was going to happen - dinner, bath, tv (Little Bear, the most boring show known to childrenkind worked for us but she didn't get a lot of tv so she would sit still for that), singing bed.  Bath, tv, singing, bed. Tv, singing bed.  Just keep repeating.  At bedtime I put her in her space (or if he sleeps in your bed, that's fine), sang the same five songs and then said, "I have to go to the bathroom" and left.  I'd come back and sing again, then remember I had to do something else.  I Just kept leaving and coming back.  By the end of the first week, I could sing her songs once, tell her I had to load the dishwasher and she was asleep by the time I came back.  She STILL won't go to sleep if I'm in the room and she's seven!  I'm just a distraction...but I didn't like to leave her crying as she is a child that gets worked up instead of settling down with crying.  Once she finally figured out how to flip that switch and get to sleep, there's been no turning back.  It's such a relief after so many years of fighting bedtime and broken sleep.
 

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#19 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 10:24 AM
 
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Your daycare provider works for you, and while it would be much easier for her if your son napped, you are paying for her to care for him during that time, whether he is napping or not.  He's only three, and should be expected to spend most of his time acting like a three-year-old.  It's fairly common for children to drop their afternoon nap at that age.

I can promise you, if you tell your daycare provider she works for you, you will be finding a new daycare provider.  Your daycare provider does NOT work for you.  You pay your daycare provider to take care of your child with many,many other children while you are working.  It's a safe place that your child has fun, is well cared for, but they do not WORK for you.  

 

A nanny works for you.

 

A daycare provider works for themselves.  A daycare provider has insane rules to follow that the government has imposed, and they must follow those rules.  But, a daycare client can and will be replaced within a few days.  Because they don't work FOR the parents.  

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#20 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 10:35 AM
 
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...and you are not going to find a "daycare" that doesn't require naps, because they have to offer it, most kids need it, and having one or more children not nap could be disruptive.  You could find a shared-nanny situation that might be more accommodating, but of course the expense to go with that would be phenomenal.  

 

Growing up, we came home late as well, and were in bed (not sleeping but lights-out) at 9.  Dinner was at 7:30, and there were no kids' shows on TV.  Walter Cronkite (zzzzzzzz), 60 minutes (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz), and the occasional Star Trek rerun were what my parents watched (I hated Star Trek!)


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#21 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 11:21 AM
 
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Things that might help:

 

No TV/ media after dinner 

Turn down the lights after dinner, try to create a soft and quiet atmosphere

A hot (as hot as you can safely make it) lavender bath 

A massage with some lavender lotion

Warm milk with honey, or a night time tea with honey (chamomile and peach is one I give my boys)

 

I would also model a nice quiet activity after dinner as well.  Maybe some knitting, or reading a book?  I would try to avoid being 'busy' at times when you are trying to encourage him to wind down

 

Someone suggested that perhaps you should try giving him his own space to sleep?  I have heard of those few babies/ children that really do sleep better by themselves in their own room or bed. Not suggesting CIO, but maybe it's just too hard for him to unwind when he has you or your DH right there next to him.

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#22 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 11:23 AM
 
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...and you are not going to find a "daycare" that doesn't require naps, because they have to offer it, most kids need it, and having one or more children not nap could be disruptive.  You could find a shared-nanny situation that might be more accommodating, but of course the expense to go with that would be phenomenal.  

Growing up, we came home late as well, and were in bed (not sleeping but lights-out) at 9.  Dinner was at 7:30, and there were no kids' shows on TV.  Walter Cronkite (zzzzzzzz), 60 minutes (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz), and the occasional Star Trek rerun were what my parents watched (I hated Star Trek!)

Just to add a bit to this, because I, too, worked in daycare....
DCP's DO require downtime, for cleaning or paperwork or sometimes, just for a breather, and the only time most of them get downtime is at naptime.

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#23 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 11:37 AM
 
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There have been a lot of good suggestions made on this thread.

 

The only thing I want to add is that enforcing bedtime for a three year old is very different than doing cry-it-out with an infant. A crying infant doesn't know that you're coming back. A three year old knows you're out in the living room (or wherever). You can explain the new routine to them and while they might not like it, they understand what you're talking about. You can tuck them in bed and then walk them back to bed every time they get out, without having a long discussion, just say "time for bed." 

 

I say this now, as a mom with older children: It is ok to teach your young child that they have to go to bed at bedtime.

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#24 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, everyone. I have explored food sensitivities in the past and not come up with anything, but I am getting myself checked out for sensitivities next month, which may lead to further exploration with DS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fortune Teller View Post

Things that might help:

 

No TV/ media after dinner 

Turn down the lights after dinner, try to create a soft and quiet atmosphere

A hot (as hot as you can safely make it) lavender bath 

A massage with some lavender lotion

Warm milk with honey, or a night time tea with honey (chamomile and peach is one I give my boys)

 

I would also model a nice quiet activity after dinner as well.  Maybe some knitting, or reading a book?  I would try to avoid being 'busy' at times when you are trying to encourage him to wind down

 

Someone suggested that perhaps you should try giving him his own space to sleep?  I have heard of those few babies/ children that really do sleep better by themselves in their own room or bed. Not suggesting CIO, but maybe it's just too hard for him to unwind when he has you or your DH right there next to him.

 

 

I agree with the no TV after dinner (which is hard since we tend to have dinner right away, but we can work with this rule). 

I agree with the soft/quiet atmosphere. Reading will be a good activity for the whole family.

I will look into lavender, and maybe warm milk and honey (although he gets Mommy milk, so I don't know if it is necessary).

 

As for the sleeping arrangements, I don't think he is able to sleep without someone there. He has his own toddler bed, but it barely stays in it as it is. If we were to leave the room, he would follow, absolutely. No question. I have never left him in his room awake and not have him come out after me. Even if I tell him I'm going to the bathroom, he follows or cries (if it is in the middle of the night and he is too tired to follow) until I come back. So I really do not see how it is possible that he is a child who sleeps better by himself. This is why the DCP suggests locking him in his room to prevent him following us out.


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#25 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 12:00 PM
 
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Oh, man, the locking in the bedroom.... does this person have kids?   I would never lock my child in a bedroom, no matter the age!  Talk about the opposite of loving reassurance!  Hopefully her draconian suggestions don't filter into the daycare....

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#26 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 12:30 PM
 
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I wouldn't lock him in his room, but I would lead him back to bed...as many times as it took and probably many nights in a row.  He's three, he's not an infant.  If you leave the room, he knows you're not gone forever.  He may not like it, but that's ok.  Things need to change and they can't change if you don't make changes

 

Kindergartens still have to provide so many minutes of "quiet rest" or nap time in most states.  He's not going to see an end to that expectation for a LONG time if he stays in any kind of school system. 
 

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#27 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 01:02 PM
 
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You have received some good advice.

 

The best thing I ever read was "sleep breeds sleep." This is why keeping a child up at nap time in hopes he will sleep better at night usually backfires.

.

I have three kids and none have ever had sleep issues; I count myself as very blessed. Also, we had some pretty consistent night time routines. My kids were NOTallowed to watch TV until they fell asleep- it is the worst thing for their brains. We would do the bath/story thing- I know there is advice saying toddlers don't need baths every night, but it worked for us because it was the calming time. Until my kid reached the pre-teen years, they went to bed between 7:30-8:30 (I miss those days, LOL) Dh and I really needed that down time and couple time in those early years. It helped us to be 100% attentive during the evening hours because we knew we would have time afterwards (not to mention I get up at 5:00 am every day and needed sleep).

 

If your child is having serious sleep issues, you might want to check medical reasons and or dietary reasons first. I was always a no-caffeine person. My son was 8 and playing playground football. After practice sometimes, the coach would buy the kids an icee and drink. My son asked for cream soda- no caffeine in it, so I said fine. However, it was RED cream soda- holy crap, he was up for hours, wired on the red dye. We quickly learned that he couldn't tolerate fruit snacks or anything that had red dye in it. He is now 17 and still will put himself to bed at 9on school nights; weekends are a different story, but he is a really good sleeper. My girls need music to go to sleep, always have, but I don't have a problem with that. Good luck.

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#28 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 02:10 PM
 
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It is really difficult to follow attachment parenting advice and keep a schedule. The two seem mutually exclusive. I imagine the daycare person's personal feelings about locking a child in a bedroom do influence the daycare. That's beside the point if both parents need to work. Do you have other child care options?
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#29 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 02:21 PM
 
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You say he napped fine at daycare while he was still napping--for two hours, in fact. How come you got the daycare to wake him up in the middle of his nap (after an hour)? Would YOU like to be woken up in the middle of your nap? Of course you wouldn't! That would suck.

 

It's possible being woken up in the middle of his nap all the time by these people is part of what made him so cranky. Can you just go back to napping at daycare, since he obviously still wants to? It won't prevent him from sleeping at night; sleep doesn't work like that.

 

As for night-time issues, you can solve those separately. If your daycare provider asks about that again, just say, "Oh, he's doing a lot better now," even if he isn't. Bed time is not their domain, not their problem, and not their business.

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#30 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 02:37 PM
 
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You say he napped fine at daycare while he was still napping--for two hours, in fact. How come you got the daycare to wake him up in the middle of his nap (after an hour)? Would YOU like to be woken up in the middle of your nap? Of course you wouldn't! That would suck.

It's possible being woken up in the middle of his nap all the time by these people is part of what made him so cranky. Can you just go back to napping at daycare, since he obviously still wants to? It won't prevent him from sleeping at night; sleep doesn't work like that.


As for night-time issues, you can solve those separately. If your daycare provider asks about that again, just say, "Oh, he's doing a lot better now," even if he isn't. Bed time is not their domain, not their problem, and not their business.

One of us must be missing the point. I thought the OP found out that he wasn't napping at all anymore when she asked them to send him with the other non-nappers upstairs at naptime.

I agree that the bedtime routine is none of their business, though. They/she just used the nap request as an excuse to criticize, in my opinion.
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