Note: Please bear in mind that this is a discussion board, not a place to advertise childcare vacancies or recruit childminders/nannies etc. We don't mind the odd mumsnet regular mentioning that they're looking for a job/mindee (although you're probably better off in MN Local) but repeated job "ads" and posts from nanny/babysitting agencies aren't fair to people who are paying for small business ads. Do feel free to report any you see. Thanks, MNHQ.

Parent has asked for 2 year old to have no sleep during 11 hour day with me

(89 Posts)
childminder90210 Mon 08-Oct-12 13:17:31

Title says it all really parent has asked for 2 year old child not to have a sleep during the day as npt sleeping well at night, but child is with me for 11 hours and I feel its a bit unrealistic but unsure how to deal with this as n
ever been asked this before. My response so far has been well all i can do is try. Have you ever had this before and how did you deal with it as I feel its a little unfair to expect a child to go over 11 hours without a sleep at that age when its quite busy some days here too. Any thoughts or experiences welcome thanks

bowerbird Mon 08-Oct-12 13:23:45

I think that's an unreasonable request for a 2 year old and you should be clear about that with the parents. Besides, what are you supposed to do to keep the poor child awake? Poke them with a stick?

wedoNOTdomistyping Mon 08-Oct-12 13:29:22

I think this is a very common request from parents of 2 year olds. A lot of children drop their naps between the ages of 2 and 3.

However, whether it is reasonable depends on whether the child can cope or not.

I think you said the right thing saying you would give it a try. If the child copes then great. If not then suggest to the parent they have one short nap, maybe 45 minutes, and see how it goes with their sleep at night.

If the child still can't cope then do you drive? Maybe you could arrange a trip out so they could doze for 20 minutes in the car. They would fall asleep in the car if they were really child and no reasonable parent would insist you had to stay in or keep their child awake in the car.

SoldeInvierno Mon 08-Oct-12 13:30:19

Poor child. I think that sounds really cruel. He's too young to be awake all day without a little nap at least.

wishiwasonholiday Mon 08-Oct-12 13:35:10

My own 2 year old doesn't have a nap and if he does he'd up til 11pm so I think it's reasonable. We are busy all day cos I'm a cm, if we go to softplay or somewhere amd hes totally exhausted sometimes he naps on the way home but most days he doesn't.

ArthurShappey Mon 08-Oct-12 13:40:02

My DS dropped naps at 2. When I am home , he is awake for a full 12 hour day and goes to bed well and sleeps well. At nursery he has a 30-60 minute power nap after lunch and he is a bit of a nightmare at bedtime if I'm honest.

So I think the parent has a point. What about trying to just reduce his nap making it a maximum 30 minutes?

childminder90210 Mon 08-Oct-12 13:41:33

His usual routine with me is a nap before 11am for 30-60 mins depending on him, so in theory he should be tired at bedtime, I dont know how I will keep him awake tbh as I have school run in the afternoon which is a 25 min walk each way so quite tricky for him not to fall asleep in the buggy, thanks for your replies

mustbetimetochange Mon 08-Oct-12 13:42:52

my 2 year old doesn't nap

choceyes Mon 08-Oct-12 13:42:57

Depends whether the child is just turned 2 or nearly 3. I have a 2.1 month old and she definitely needs her day time nap (about 1.5hrs) and goes to sleep at night at about 7.30/8pm.
My DS, now nearly 4yrs, only dropped his day time nap at 3.5yrs. If he was at nursery all day then I always told staff to give him nap if he wanted it (he would make it pretty clear if he didn't) so he wasn't too tired on pick up and it means me and DH can spend more time with him in the evening.

Trying to make a 2yr old stay up for that long, if they are too tired, is cruel.

childminder90210 Mon 08-Oct-12 13:43:03

I just dont feel right about waking a sleeping child it doesnt seem fair to me

Brandnewbrighttomorrow Mon 08-Oct-12 13:43:32

My two year old can cope without a sleep now but only if she has a proper rest - i've just picked her up from nursery and we're watching a film now. My eldest dropped her daytime sleep before she turned 2 but dc2 carried on until he was 4. i think you've said the right thing, that you'll try - if the child does sleep i'd restrict it to 45 mins and try and make it as early as possible.

SamSmalaidh Mon 08-Oct-12 13:44:16

I'm pretty sure Ofsted's line is that you are required to provide space and time for a child to sleep if they want to.

Brandnewbrighttomorrow Mon 08-Oct-12 13:47:58

Babies & small children sleep in 40-45 min cycles, they then have a vulnerable period for waking so if you make some noise at that point they're likely to wake - but only from a light sleep, not from deep dream sleep, which is when they are more likely to get disoriented and stroppy ime! The later the nap is the bigger the impact on bedtime I have found.

childminder90210 Mon 08-Oct-12 13:47:59

Thanks for all your replies I just felt it was a really hard situation, child is 2 years 2 months so only just 2 and its a long and usually busy day, and feel if stopping him sleeping makes him grumpy and irritable thats unfair on the other children in my care and my own children too

childminder90210 Mon 08-Oct-12 13:49:37

I agree brandnewbrighttomorrow which is why I try to do naps before lunch so by pick up time they are tired again, he rarely sleeps longer than 30-45 mins but sometimes does need a little bit longer

dotty2 Mon 08-Oct-12 13:49:41

DD2 dropped her regular nap at 18m - wouldn't sleep if put down in cot etc - and if she fell asleep in the buggy or car seat wouldn't sleep until after 9pm at night. She was at nursery and they used to put her on a mat with the other children when they had their sleep and she used to play quietly (or not - but never fall asleep). If she was asleep in the car seat or buggy I mostly used to wake her, but she would be grumpy and hard to entertain for a bit, so I can see that would be a problem if you are a CM with other children to care forn.

Brandnewbrighttomorrow Mon 08-Oct-12 13:52:19

I actually think making the daytime nap less consistent will lead to worse nights, not better. Until dc3 started nursery in the mornings she had a late morning nap every day - either 45 or 1.5 hours. Much less consistent now she's at nursery - she's less likely to sleep in the afternoons after she's been there, which is why I'm enforcing downtime as an alternative. Very difficult if you have other children to care for at the same time though.

childminder90210 Mon 08-Oct-12 13:53:03

My own son stopped sleeping in the day at 18 months but that was his choice and if a child I care for stops needing a sleep and can cope with the day then thats fine but its no fun for anyone with a tired grumpy child in the setting, I can understand parents wanting him to sleep at night, of course I do as I am a parent myself, but sometimes children do go through a phase of waking in the night. Sometimes this job is really hard to keep everyone concerned happy

mrswishywashy Mon 08-Oct-12 14:14:19

I had this in a nanny position. Parents didn't want 18 month old to sleep and I had her 11 hours a day. I really tried and felt very neglectful as toddler would fall asleep while eating or standing up and her behaviour was really rough; crying and screaming with frustration. Parents still struggled to get her in bed before 9pm and she was up at 5am! However, after about a month of trying I happened to proxy parent for a week - toddler was in bed at 7pm each evening and slept until after 7am and had a two hour nap each day, the change in her behaviour was amazing. So, when parents returned I continued her naps (usually two hours) in the morning and her bedtime with parents stayed the same. When I babysat she was in bed by 7pm. She needed the sleep as much as parents didn't believe it she really did - I did this for a whole year and really think the long term consequences of her lack of sleep in toddler years has had a detrimental effect to her primary school years. (ive been back to the family to do consultations and her behaviour is pretty bad however parents still don't understand the importance of sleep). In my book lack of sleep is exactly the same as lack of food - neglectful! So I would continue with the naps but maybe limit the times that you give to parents.

childminder90210 Mon 08-Oct-12 14:42:27

Thank you thats very interesting to know

HSMM Mon 08-Oct-12 15:02:43

Depends on the child, but a sleep at 11 will surely be better than a nap in the pushchair at 3. My DD always slept worse at night if she hadn't had enough sleep in the day ( she was too tired).

alibeenherealongtime Mon 08-Oct-12 16:16:38

I find this useful to give to parents, from the Sleep Clinic local to me

AGEApprox. amount of baby sleep needed:
Newborn16 to 18 hours per day
3 weeks15 to 18 hours per day
6 weeks15 to 16 hours per day
4 months9 to 12 hours plus two naps (2 to 3 hours each)
6 months10 to 11 hours plus two naps (2 to 3 hours each)
9 months10 to 12 hours plus two naps (1 to 2 hours each)
1 year10 to 11 hours plus one to two naps (1 to 2 hours each)
18 months10 to 12 hours plus usually one nap (1 to 2 hours)
2 years11 to 12 hours plus one nap (1 to 2 hours)
3 years10 to 11 hours plus possibly one nap (2 hours)

I agree some children don't need it, but some really do and can't sleep at night which parents mistake for not wanting to sleep, they are infact over tired and can't get to sleep.

I have a new child that has not slept through the night yet at 14 months old, he has been with me 4 weeks and now sleeps through the night 7 -7. He never had a nap before, now he naps an hour in the morning 9.30- 10.30 and after lunch 1.5 hours minimum.

My DS dropped his nap at 12 months, it resulted in him sleeping better/longer at night. I'd do what the parents ask TBH.

BornToShopForcedToWork Mon 08-Oct-12 16:53:12

In my experience children tend to sleep bad at night because they get too tired during the day.

colditz Mon 08-Oct-12 16:54:48

Depends how old .... just two, or nearly three? Either way I'd comply with the parent. Ds2 dropped his nap from 19 months, and if he did have a sleep he's be up until midnight

knackeredmother Mon 08-Oct-12 17:04:07

I am in a similar situation with my nanny. My son is 2 and never naps with me. When our nanny has him she puts him down for 2 hours and then we have to cope with a child up until midnight!
We have repeatedly asked that she stops but she always replies that he needed it. I wouldn't ask her to shake him awake if he fell asleep but I do not want her to actively try to get him to nap.
Could your parents mean similar to this?
I have issues as I suspect my nanny enjoys the 2 hour break regardless of the fallout for us.

GrimAndHumourless Mon 08-Oct-12 17:08:50

article 31 of the UN CRC applies, the child's right to rest; you can try to keep child awake of course, in accordance with parental request but it's not in the child's best interests if they are tired and need sleep.

So I would say to the parent yes of course you can try but you will not, should not and cannot guarantee no sleep on any day

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 08-Oct-12 18:00:08

im a believer that sleep breeds sleep and many a time parents have said dont let them sleep 2hrs/after 3pm,etc or wont sleep at night/up till 10/11pm but if i ever babysit etc then child always in bed sleep by 7 and sleep 12hrs till 7am

sometimes i think children play their parents up as havnt seen them all day

an average child of 2 needs sleep, though there will always be those who give up sleep at 18mths lol

obv i dont ignore a parents request but it is very hard to keep a 2yr up all day esp if a busy day/in car/school runs

what i suggest is a sleep late am/before lunch so have all afternoon to tire out,rather then fall asleep shattered at 3/4pm during school run or even worse at tea

MyBestfriendsWedding Mon 08-Oct-12 18:00:46

Some children in childcare have a very long day. I sometimes have toddlers with me from 7:30am in the morning so I expect the little ones do need a nap after a busy morning doing activites. Your mindee may cope a day here and there without a nap, but alot of children of this age have a catch-up nap, maybe once or twice a week. Maybe this is the way forward in decreasing his naps. I'm having an issue with my 3 yr old who gets up early and can't cope without a nap. Bedtimes can be tricky if I've not managed his nap properly. It can be a difficult transition, one which I'm going to have to tackle myself very soon.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 08-Oct-12 18:01:54

knackered mum, tbh most children will happily fall asleep if used to a routine so yes prob does sleep well for your nanny,as used to a nap say 1/3pm after lunch

saying that in your case i would ask to limit to an hour an day or every other day as it is disrupting your nightime

BigFatLegsInWoolyTIghts Mon 08-Oct-12 18:09:54

Blonde that's rubbish. I was and am a saHM and my DDs both dropped sleeps at the age of just turned 2.

They saw me ALL day and if they napped they had problems going to sleep. It was NOT because they had not seen me all day. hmm And you might be a big believer in sleep breeding sleep but these parents are not.

They need to have their request respected.

whistlestopcafe Mon 08-Oct-12 18:13:15

Mine both dropped their naps as soon as they turned 2, I would have preferred them to continue but they both had other ideas. Occasionally if they were in their pushchairs they would drop off and then we would have an absolute nightmare getting them down in the evening. Perhaps the parents of the mindees are having the same issue.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 08-Oct-12 18:19:47

as i said some children do drop them, but some dont and it is very hard to keep a tired 2yr up all day, esp only had say 9hrs sleep if not in bed asleep till 9pm and awake at 6am - yes its a viscous circle

obv any childcarer should respect the parents views, but it is sometimes impossible to keep a toddler awake esp if older children and school runs - hence why i suggest a morning sleep

my point was that often parents that have nannies say that their child/ren wont settle at night, yet if the nanny puts them down they will

MousyMouse Mon 08-Oct-12 18:21:27

depends is he/she closer to three in age?
maybe she/he doesn't sleep at a reasonable time if napping? dc2 is like that, if taking a nap in nursery there is no point in bedtime before 10pm...

MousyMouse Mon 08-Oct-12 18:22:33

btw we introduced 'quit time' instead. cuddle up und read stories so dc gets a rest.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 08-Oct-12 18:27:07

thats what i have done in the past with those children whose parents have said please stop the sleep

quiet time/looking at books/ceebeebies for 30/60mins

if a child isnt going to bed at nightime and settling then yes cut out their sleep but you cant go from 2hrs a day to nothing, so either cut down to an hour an day for a week or two then no sleep or allow a sleep every few days

knackeredmother Mon 08-Oct-12 18:28:41

Blondes, I agree with that as if our nanny babysits then dc go to sleep at night!

GhouliaYelps Mon 08-Oct-12 18:38:05

I agree with Blondes.

It seems the parents are not putting their child's wellbeing first at all. If he wasn't overtired he would fall asleep v nicely and happily at bedtime in the evening. Keeping a 2 yo awake is simply cruel.

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Mon 08-Oct-12 19:25:34

But he doesn't sleep when he DOES have a nap Ghoulia

LingDiLong Mon 08-Oct-12 20:22:20

Oh blimey, some slightly hysterical responses here. Cruel? Against the UN convention on children's rights?! Look, some kids actually DO sleep better without a nap and I think it's up to a parent to decide whether their child falls into that category. My DD dropped her nap at that sort of age. I didn't want her to and persisted with it for as long as possible, but for some wierd reason even 30 minutes daytime sleep seems to knock around 2 hours off her night time sleep resulting in a permanently miserable and exhausted little girl. Since I stopped her napping altogether she does a solid 12 hours every night and is much happier.

I don't think it's unfair or cruel of the child's parent to ask you to try this as a solution to their sleep problem.

I DO appreciate though (as a childminder) how hard it is if you have to get out with the 2 year old in the buggy so they then fall asleep and if they are so tired and grumpy that it makes it hard or impossible to do your job. I'd give it a good try for a week and see how it goes.

GrimAndHumourless Mon 08-Oct-12 20:26:26

I don't think that reminding practitioners that the rights of the child should be at the heart of their practice is hysterical smile

MyBestfriendsWedding Mon 08-Oct-12 20:29:08

If the parents would like the nap taken away due to sleep issues of an evening, I would ask the parents to kick-start the new routine over the weekend, or the time he isn't with you. The parent can then decide if it's working ok or if he needs a much smaller nap (40 mins) to keep him going until bedtime. It's a very tricky time with nap dropping as some children only adapt to the loss of a nap over a period of time, and not going cold turkey, which I don't feel is any good for a child. Also, I found in the early weeks of a child dropping their nap, they are exhaused by tea time and they're really hard to keep awake (which is ok when they are home and in PJ's), but some children don't leave their childcare until 6pm. Hope you can work through the change without too much of a problem.

LingDiLong Mon 08-Oct-12 20:32:09

I would agree if we weren't talking about dropping a nap at the age of 2. Something that, in some cases, actually BENEFITS the child. The child has a right to get as much sleep as they need to be happy and healthy, sometimes a nap actually interferes with that. To imply that a parent is cruel or acting against a child's rights to want to drop their nap at the age of 2 absolutely smacks of hysteria to me.

Rosebud05 Mon 08-Oct-12 20:33:18

There is a huge variation between 2 year olds in terms of sleeping needs etc.

I agree that you need to try to respect the wishes of the child's parents - my ds was a terrible sleeper at 2 and it really, really isn't pleasant to be up a few times in the night then up for the day at 5.30am with a full working day ahead...

If the child isn't able to cope, then you need to talk it through with the parents.

HolyAutumnGoldBatman Mon 08-Oct-12 20:39:24

'sometimes i think children play their parents up as havnt seen them all day'

This is defintely true in some cases (not all, BigFat). Children go to bed easily and straight to sleep with nanny, but up until midnight with parents. It's not the sleep that's changed, it's who is putting them to bed!

3duracellbunnies Mon 08-Oct-12 20:50:47

I'm glad none of you encountered dd1 when she was little, she never slept, 10 mins in the morning and 10 min in the afternoon were her maximum, from 2 months old! Nursery were convinced that we were wrong and they would get her to sleep, strangely she wouldn't sleep for them either, whatever they did. Some children just don't need much sleep, she still doesn't.

Ds however is 3 and he still usually has a sleep, he didn't today so probably will tomorrow. It is almost impossible on a school run for them not to fall asleep in a pushchair if they are tired. I would raise the issue of the school run, if it is not their children whom you are collecting then maybe they need to find alternative childcare. I find with ds that any sleep before 4pm has little impact on him, but after 4pm and it will be a problem. Maybe highlight that skipping the morning sleep will make it more likely that they sleep later in the day. I would maybe try to limit the sleep a little bit, or try and encourage a sleep just every other day.

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 08-Oct-12 20:56:33

DD has always been a clockwork sleeper. She needs 12 hours sleep every day - pretty much whenever she goes to bed, she will wake 12 hours later. And by choice she will always be in bed by 1930. From 15 to 18 months she slept every day without fail from 1330 to 1500. Then she stopped sleeping during the day - and believe me, as I was at home with her then I would have loved it if she had carried on napping!

When she first started nursery at 22 months she started napping again on those days, but then got into the swing of nursery but they kept her in the routine of napping during the day, with the result that she would be up until 2030, 2100, even 2200 one time. She just didn't need the nap. Eventually nursery got the message and stopped putting her down and she is back into her routine of sleeping 12 hours at night. It was sooooo frustrating that they didn't have to deal with the fall out of her having a daytime nap but got the benefit of having her asleep for an hour or so!

OP, lots of two year olds don't nap any more, and you have to respect the parents' wishes on this, but they should understand that you can't guarantee no sleep at all eg if you are out and about and she falls asleep in the buggy. But please don't encourage her to nap because you think it's what she should have, or not tell the parents about her napping with you.

3duracellbunnies Mon 08-Oct-12 21:01:57

Oh and she was always far worse going to sleep with someone else!

booki Mon 08-Oct-12 21:02:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Can you try it at least once and see how it goes? If he falls asleep in the buggy or is really difficult then at least you can tell the parents what happened. My 3yo will not go to bed til 9pm if she naps at all, I agree 2.2 seems a little young but children are all different.

childminder90210 Mon 08-Oct-12 22:29:31

I kept him awake all day today which resulted in him falling asleep whilst eating his dinner. So I advised that I felt a 30 min sleep very early on would just carry him through his long day and so he would nt be irritable at pick up time and parents could enjoy the time before bed time.

I hate handing over irritable grumpy children to parents who have been out at work all day and feel that the needs of the child should come first and he clearly needs a sleep to get through a long busy day in childcare.

All children are different and different things work for different people but the most important thing is that the child is happy and content. AFAIK he is going to bed ok but waking in the night, but this is only a recent thing in last few weeks not a persistant problem

narmada Mon 08-Oct-12 22:31:21

Surely you have to try what the parents ask? If our DS who is nearly 2 has a nap in the day he is awake until ten pm. DD was totally different and gave up her nap only because she went to preschool at three and a bit.

The parents are probably at their wits end and willing to try anything.

SamSmalaidh Mon 08-Oct-12 22:35:07

You should work with the parents, but not if it is to the detriment of the child's welfare.

FunnysInLaJardin Mon 08-Oct-12 22:36:56

we struggle with this. DS2 is 2.5 and sometimes can cope without a nap and then goes to sleep at about 7ish. He really does enjoy his nap though but then stays awake until 9pm or later. He has a cold and napped for 3 hours today, so late to bed. I don't think you can stop a child napping if they ned to. DS2 fell asleep in his dinner a couple of months ago, quite literally grin

MaryPoppinsBag Mon 08-Oct-12 23:11:29

Sometimes parents are wrong.
I have read through this thread thinking I bet he falls asleep at school run or at tea time.

One of my mindees still needs a nap some days at just turned 3. His old CM used to let him sleep for 2 + hours at 3pm which did affect his sleep at night.
I listened to parents request and his naps are shorter. I don't prod him awake I just move him from the buggy if he falls asleep on school run. Or if an earlier nap during quiet time wake him to get him ready to go on school run.

3duracellbunnies Mon 08-Oct-12 23:13:55

I don't think I've ever had more night wakings due to naps, not going to bed at a reasonable hour I've had in bucket loads, but waking is usually due to being ill, uncomfortable, bad bedtime habits which they then want in the night too, needing to do a wee once potty traininng has started, teeth, sound of heating going on/off, when dd picked up worms at preschool that woke her up, but not nap times.

Why not suggest that they keep a sleep diary. They are probably knackered working all day and then up half the night. Working out the triggers is probably the most useful thing.

goldygumdrops Tue 09-Oct-12 07:28:06

Are you quite busy with him? I ask because when my mum looks after my little girl she is constantly entertaining her - reading books, painting, playing on the floor, interacting all the time. When i look after her most of the time, i do play with her of course, but i also have patches of time when i am not interacting with her and she is playing alone. After a day with my mum she is soooooo tired. With me she just has one short nap, with my mum a longer one. Maybe these parents are not so 'full on' with their child so he is not so tired when with them, whilst you are more playful and activity based with him so he does get more tired?

I think they are being very unreasonable for what its worth. If he needs to nap, he needs to nap. And loads of children that age have night wakings. Its part of being a parent. And 11 hours is a very very long day with a small toddler to keep them on the go.

I could make other judgements but i will hold back grin biscuit

thearistocat Tue 09-Oct-12 11:05:43

The problem with doing as she says is that if you try, and fail, then the nap that does happen will undoubtedly be at 5/6pm which WILL affect his nighttime sleep! Surely a 1.30pm-2.30 PM won't affect night sleep for a two year old.

I'd just do it I think and say he fell asleep and you felt that if you woke him he would be unhappy which would be unfair on him, and upset the other children. It's a hard one though.

MousyMouse Tue 09-Oct-12 11:08:49

Surely a 1.30pm-2.30 PM won't affect night sleep for a two year old.
oh yes it does for us...

PropositionJoe Tue 09-Oct-12 11:11:52

You are wrong to feel bad about waking a sleeping child and if he does have a nap with you then you must wake him up and keep it short, to be fair to the parents. He may be grumpy in the evening, if he is it will only be for a short while and they may well prefer it to being kept up all night.

Nodecentnickname Tue 09-Oct-12 11:17:23

A nap durng the day would balls up my 2 yr old sleep pattern. She would be up until really late.

She dropped her nap at 18 months.

I can't believe those figs provided by the sleep clinic! My little one has never required that much sleep.

That said, if your mindee is really tired and normally has a nap, it's going to be tricky for you. Especially of he has a full on day of fun at yours. I would let him conk out at tea time then hand him over to the parents! Then they can see that he needs a nap.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 09-Oct-12 12:41:19

Do what the mum asks you for a week and see what happens - ie will prob fall asleep on school run / tea : or even worse on way home with parents

Then suggest an am sleep

I wouldn't advise lying to parents but what a friend did was to put charge down for a sleep 11/12 and not tell parents they slept and child went to bed 7pm happily as parents relaxed more / sometimes children pick up on parents emotions

Is a small white lie bad if parents nanny and child are happy with the outcome??

As I said in earlier post often children that have nannies will settle better for them if babysitting then parents

purplehouse Tue 09-Oct-12 12:55:15

It's a difficult age. If mine slept in the day when they were 2yo, they would then stay up until 11pm or later. It is easier to achieve not sleeping in the day when they are with mum/dad at home. I don't think they can insist that you forcibly keep the child awake but you can offer to encourage the child to stay awake.

MummytoMog Tue 09-Oct-12 13:03:20

My just three year old dropped her nap about six months ago. I don't stop her from sleeping if she falls asleep, but she is a total mare at bedtime if she does. I asked her CM to stop trying to force her to sleep in the afternoons - I understand that it's easier for them if all the kids nap at the same time, but I also pay them to look after my daughter whether she's asleep or not. They still tried to make her sleep and then complained because she got upset. We're not really using them any more, as the forced nap was the last straw on a strained relationship.

Bethnick Tue 09-Oct-12 14:31:55

BY LAW a nanny or any other child carer can not deny a child rest SLEEP food or drink when it is NEEDED!!!!!!!!! if the child is tired a power nap of 15 mins should be fine do not compromise your care of that child I had to explain this to a LOT of my parents and just "dropping" a nap is not always good people wean a child off bottols on to solids and potty train them I don't understand how people think ALL children can just drop a massive part of their day.

every child is different EVERY CHILD MATTERS.

madelineashton Tue 09-Oct-12 17:49:21

Yes Beth, I think that's worth remembering sometimes... it's every CHILD matters. Not every PARENT'S NEED FOR A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP matters!

Italiana Tue 09-Oct-12 18:41:42

Children cannot be forced to stay awake....a short sleep during the day does not prevent a child sleeping at night...there must be another reason (always is) look it up and if not sure ask to get advice from health visitor on how to deal with it

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Tue 09-Oct-12 19:20:20

Yes it can Italiana. You can't make sweeping generalizations about ALL children. My DDs both would not sleep until about 9.30pm or 10.pm if they had napped and this was for both, at around the age of just two.

When I made an effort to engage them in something interesting at their usual nap time, they perked up. At 7.30 they slept.

CelineMcBean Tue 09-Oct-12 19:45:08

Agree with the parents and others on this thread. My child stopped napping in the day around 2yo. Nanny would take him out in buggy and he would nap (never napped with us or the day he went to nursery) despite us repeatedly asking her not to. He would then be up until 10.30pm at earliest. It was an utter arse ache and made me miserable dealing with overtired child.

She would also not tell us if he had napped unless asked and he didn't need to be in the buggy. She just found it easier.

We decided to let the nanny go because we appeared to be suffering for her easier life. Problem solved.

<<btw I have a lot of time for nannies and would use another but I have no time for employees who fail to follow reasonable requests>>

Italiana Tue 09-Oct-12 19:46:12

Mine is not a sweeping statement at all but what I have learnt from professionals over the years...of course all children are different...have you ever tried keeping a sleepy child awake?
Do you not feel that an 11 hour day is very long for a young child to be kept awake and going without some rest?
Lets check some facts and come back

CelineMcBean Tue 09-Oct-12 19:48:18

And he really didn't need the sleep. Or the buggy but would nap in the car or buggy (as would I if rocked in a warm place during the day blush).

Yes every child matters and an over-tired, grizzly child for 4.5hrs in the evening with his parents is not in his best interest.

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 09-Oct-12 19:58:18

"a short sleep during the day does not prevent a child sleeping at night".

Yes, Italiana, it can. It did with both mine, and still does with DD (2.5) unless she is really really tired or poorly.

There's a difference between parents wanting "a good night's sleep" (madeline), and the whole family being kept awake with a grouchy toddler until 10pm because the afternoon nap means She Just Won't Go To Bed. For us, those evenings meant that I got nothing at all done because the only way to stop DD crying was to sit and cuddle her on my lap. So DH had to do absolutely everything and we could give little attention to DS (the normal routine is to put DD to bed then have 30-45 mins just with DS (6). I don't see how this is in anyone's best interest.

Even worse, we would get into a vicious circle, where a nap meant that DD would be up very late; she had to be prised out of bed to get to nursery the next day, so was well short of the 12 hours that she really needs every day; was consequently tired at nursery, so needed a nap; so wouldn't go to bed until very late... On one occasion when DD was still in a cot, we had to put her to bed at nearly 11pm and close the door because we were both falling over with sleep deprivation, and we just had to break the cycle. Again, this experience is in no-one's best interest.

WinkyWinkola Tue 09-Oct-12 20:00:32

A short sleep certainly stopped my 2 year olds from going to sleep at night until after 11pm. I once timed my dd - she had 3 mins sleep and that was her wide awake until 11pm that night.

catkind Tue 09-Oct-12 20:11:05

Can the child not have a rest by reading a quiet story with them or something instead of putting them down for a nap? My 2 yr old was generally awake for more than 11 hours of a day with no trouble. He'd have quiet times and rest and then be ready to run riot again. Napping did not increase his total amount of sleep, and certainly did not increase his overall wellbeing. You need to work with the parents on this one.
What we did at a similar point was agree with nursery that they wouldn't put him down for a nap, but let him sleep as long as he wanted if he dropped off or asked to sleep. He'd sleep at nursery maybe once a fortnight and was much happier all round. Could you come to a compromise like this with the parents?

Iggly Tue 09-Oct-12 20:34:41

Toddlers don't wake at night because they're getting too much day sleep IMO. Theyre still teething (molars), going through developmental leaps etc. restricting day sleep when they're tired just makes them bone exhausted so they crash out. Not a healthy way to sleep.

When there are bedtime battles however, then yes look at day sleep.

Sleep is so so important. Lack of sleep, chronic lack of sleep results in behavioural issues which might be written off as "terrible twos" etc. I've even read some literature which says it might be the cause of some behaviours which are mistaken for autism etc.

I've been through bedtime battles, broken sleep etc but ds has got through them and always reverts back to sleeping through with a nap. He's 3 and since starting preschool needs a nap more than ever.

bbcessex Tue 09-Oct-12 21:18:57

My eldest would nap all day and still sleep all night.

My youngest dropped her nap at 2 years old. Any sleep whatsoever (even 20 mins) would result in a 10.30pm bedtime..

She was at nursery when I asked them to drop her nap.. they refused initially, mainly because it didn't suit them (although they maintained the "She needs it" mantra).

I went in after lunch one day, watched on their CCTV, and saw them desperately trying to coax her into sleep with the roomful of other sleepy tots.. she wouldn't have slept if they had kept her occupied - which they did after that episode. She stayed there until aged 4, never had a nap again (went in to an older children's room during sleep time, which she loved) and there was no issue.

To answer Italiana - have I ever tried to keep a sleepy child awake - well of course I have - I'm a parent! Lots of parents try desperately to keep their sleepy child awake when it's not an appropriate time - after lunch, or at 5pm - in the car for instance - And I've done it, by "look at that cow", "lets make dinosaur noises", "who can be the loudest etc".. its not always easy but it's possible, and they soon perk up. Why on earth would you want them to sleep at the wrong time, and then be out of sync? confused

CelineMcBean Tue 09-Oct-12 21:55:12

Can I just say a massive *thank you*to all of you who have corroborated the napping can lead to ridiculous bedtime issue? My nanny's attitude and the attitude of some of my friends I talked to about the problem - with their 2 hour a day napping 3 and 4 year olds - was that a few minutes sleep didn't make any difference. Well it bloody well did and it was a nightmare.

I remember when my (otherwise lovely nanny) was on notice and when asked about sleep she would say "oh, he just closed his eyes for a few minutes" and I would seethe knowing that was another miserable evening ahead for all of us while she would be at home doing as she jolly well pleased having caused the issue.

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 09-Oct-12 23:02:35

bbcessex, I think something similar was happening at DD's nursery until we stamped our feet and she went into the bigger children's room when the others were napping. Turning the lights down, playing soothing music and encouraging DD to lie on a bed was trying to get her to nap (because it's quite nice to have them all napping at the same time, no?), not "letting her sleep if she asks to"

I am also just incredibly jealous of parents of 2, 3, 4 year olds who still get an hour or so to themselves when their little ones are napping!

narmada Tue 09-Oct-12 23:04:55

Italiana, you sound very certain but I think that you are slightly misguided.

I would agree that most children aged 2 do actually need an afternoon sleep. However, some clearly do not. We have the exact problem that familiessharegerms talks about - getting into a vicious cycle of nap -late bedtime - tired in am - nap - late bedtime, hideously screamy etc etc etc.

There is commonly, IME, a period where the nap is on its way out that is tricky to manage. Some day sleep messes up bedtime, but no day sleep makes the child a bit grumpy and tired in the day.

Surely, what nannies and childminders should be doing is working with the parents to meet the needs of the individual child, not trying to impose a one-size-fits-all policy on sleep on all their charges? It can be tempting to think that all children are like the children you've known to date (or like the books say they should be) but in reality there is a wide spectrum of normal (not suggesting that you're doing this OP, by the way!).

On the issue of waking a child, really, you shouldn't feel bad about this. If I get a rare chance for an afternoon nap, then I have to set an alarm to ensure I don't sleep longer than an hour or so otherwise I'm up until 2 a.m. and therein starts a horrible cycle of late to bed, overtired ... Some children are the same.

I think the truth of the matter is that in family life, everyone's needs should be met as far as possible. Obviously, knowingly depriving a child of needed sleep is cruel, as is prodding them awake when they are so tired they are falling asleep in their food. But there is nothing wrong with avoiding the things that always send you child to sleep (cars, pram rides) if you know a sleep's not in their best interests in the long term.

steppemum Netherlands Tue 09-Oct-12 23:24:42

I have only read page one, and I am amazed at all the people saying it is cruel, and poor child etc

She is 2

All 3 of my dcs dropped their last nap at 2. Then they had NO daytime naps for (wait for the shock) 12 whole hours between waking up and going to sleep!!!

One of the 3 dcs would have a down time after lunch (tv usually) and he fell asleep about 2x per week. Other 2 dcs didn't fall asleep.

When I was a kid, my brothers and i also dropped our naps at around 2.

Some kids go on napping til 3 or 4, some don't.

bigpaws Wed 10-Oct-12 06:45:07

As a CM and a parent, I want to share my mixed experience on this topic.

Each child is different. Likewise, each day is different.

As a parent, my DD2 dropped her daytime sleep before she was 2. Purely because bedtimes were horrendous. The worse time was 2-3.30pm, she perked up once DD1 came home from school.

As a childminder, it can be very difficult keeping a tetchy 2yo awake. They perhaps don't respond to you the way your own child would.

However, having the experience I had with my DDs, I fully empathise with the parents in this situation. Late to bed; tired irritable parents; etc.... Therefore, I support the decision of no daytime sleep.

What I don't agree with, is one of my parents that let their child nap during the day at a weekend, yet I work my butt off keeping them awake in the week as requested!! Total routine breaker!

madelineashton Wed 10-Oct-12 07:05:32

But the child in question does appear to need a sleep confused

kilmuir Wed 10-Oct-12 07:23:24

But steppemum did you not let them sleep or was it something they no longer needed?
I think you should try making the naps shorter, if the child really needs a nap its unfair

HSMM Wed 10-Oct-12 09:08:13

I childmind a 3 yr old, who does not really need a sleep any more, but his mother has asked me to let him nap for approx 30mins after lunch, so he doesn't fall asleep on the way home in the car. Falling asleep later in the day makes her night-time a battle ground. I think this family might find that instead of a short nap at 11am, their child will fall asleep on the school run later in the day.

This child does not seem to have trouble getting to sleep at night, but is waking during the night, so perhaps the suggestion of a sleep diary is a good one (ie ... does child wake when the next door neighbour leaves for shift work, when the heating comes on, or whatever).

As others have said, it's always a tricky stage when they are starting to grow out of the need for a sleep.

steppemum Netherlands Wed 10-Oct-12 10:00:34

with mine 2 of them moved to a bed at this age. before they moved, I would put them in a cot and they would cry for quite a while then fall asleep (before that they wouldn't cry, but would settle and snuggle.) So they were already protesting the nap. Once we moved to the bed, they simply would not stay in it.

My ds was tired and probably did still need his nap, but short of tying him to the bed there was no way. We did down time for about 1 year. After lunch, quiet dvd and rest on sofa. He sat still for that half and hour (unheard of at other times) and about once every 3 days he actually fell asleep.

dd2 dropped her nap earlier than that as she climbed out of her cot at 18 months. By then I had a car, and we often went for a drive after lunch, she fell asleep within about 2 minutes in the car. By 2 she wasn't that bothered so I stopped the car. They all fell asleep in the car at awkward times too.

Yes, they were at times tired and needed sleep, but wouldn't go down. If they slept at all after 1pm then we had trouble with bed time. I never tried to keep them awake

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 10-Oct-12 13:55:54

So op what had you been doing?

If no am sleep does charge fall asleep in buggy on way to school?

Italiana Wed 10-Oct-12 16:17:28

Not misguided but guided by children's physical needs especially those in care for 11 hours a day

After 86 messages it is obvious we have so many opinions and no agreement so hope this c/ms will find a compromise with the parent for everyone's benefit ?

narmada Wed 10-Oct-12 16:42:15

But italiana, not all children's phsyical needs are the same!

Italiana Wed 10-Oct-12 19:49:35

Exactly !
I had a mother who insisted her child get 1 hour sleep each afternoon so the child was duly put in bed only to stare at the ceiling for the whole time as I checked him regularly...at least he got a rest
Another insisted I wake the child after 1 1/2 hours...the first did not need the sleep as he was nearly 4, the second being a baby did and got woken up in the middle...which is right and which is wrong?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now