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cms - how much input should parent have on naps?

(55 Posts)
RattyRoland Tue 05-Mar-13 21:48:38

My ds is 13mo and recently started with cm two days a week. Cm is great, really like her. The only thing that troubles me is she wants ds to nap an hour at 10am and 1hr30mins at 130pm. In my experience ds won't nap at these times, so he has a routine of sleeping 1h30m at noon at home.

Cm seems quite certain she wants naps at her times but says ds cries and takes ages to settle at 130, I think because he's not tired then- he would never nap as much and so soon after the first nap at home. Ive mentioned this to cm but she suggested I do my usual routine of one noon nap at home and she'll do hers with ds.

This means he has two routines and I'm finding him hard to settle to nap, as is cm, hopefully not CIO though sad is it normal that cm does own routine and parent different and would I risk alienating a really good cm by asking her if she'll agree to nap him at noon like I do?

HSMMaCM Tue 05-Mar-13 21:58:30

Why doesn't she want him to nap at noon? Is she collecting children from pre school or something? You need to know why she wants to do something different. If there's not a good reason, then she should do the same as you.

MajaBiene Tue 05-Mar-13 22:02:22

Children might have to nap slightly differently at the CMs - so 12 might not be doable, but 12.30 or 1pm is - but she should't be trying to make him take two naps when usually he only has one.

VoldemortsNipple Tue 05-Mar-13 22:08:43

I don't think you're being unreasonable in your request. As HSM says, unless there is a good reason why she can't let your dc sleep at noon. But even then, she should be keeping to a routine which is best for your dc and not herself.

Sometimes at nursery we get requests from parents with children your age, for them not to sleep at all in the day, which we have to refuse as it is not in the best interest of the child.

Could you ask the childmindee to cut out the morning sleep and just have a sleep early afternoon.

catkind Tue 05-Mar-13 22:27:06

CM should be trying to follow your routine unless she's agreed with you reasons not to. The EYFS which she is supposed to be following is all about working with you and treating each child as an individual. She shouldn't be trying to force your child to nap for her own convenience, and if she is she's not that great a CM. You say she's certain SHE wants him to nap at 1.30, that's not on. If she was certain HE wanted to nap at 1.30 it'd be different - children can be different in a non-home environment.

We've talked CM through what our baby does at home, and asked her to follow baby's cues as far as possible. Result seems to be baby napping a little later at CM's and a lot longer - just wish she'd do the same at home! Funnily enough, what she does at CM is more like your home schedule, what she does at home is more like your CM schedule except the naps are only half an hour. But this is CM following what baby wants, not vice versa.

RattyRoland Tue 05-Mar-13 23:51:35

Thanks all. I'm finding the naps thing very hard - she's certain he should sleep at these times and I'm not sure she'll agree to change without me insisting which I feel could damage our relationship. I do think she's a great cm, I'm quite worried though that ds had a great napping schedule and now he's struggling with a new one sad

MajaBiene Tue 05-Mar-13 23:53:43

Why on earth does she think that your DS needs to go back to two naps at those times though?

Twinklestarstwinklestars Wed 06-Mar-13 02:33:27

Seems odd that she's insisting he has 2 naps when he normally only has one, I would never insist on this you can't force them to sleep at certain times.

ZuleikaD Wed 06-Mar-13 07:27:53

I think you're right to insist he only has one, if that's what he has at home (though IME most babies of 13m are still having two naps, but the first one much earlier, like 9am). I also think it's reasonable to query why he can't have his afternoon nap earlier. If she's trying to make him fit in with another child's routine then she just needs to suck it up and put him down when you ask, but if she has to pick up from a morning nursery session or something then it's a bit different. Though she should still be able to get him down closer to 12.30, I would have thought.

Flisspaps Wed 06-Mar-13 07:44:31

I'm a CM - I expect children to nap if/when they need to, not to a schedule convenient to me.

RattyRoland Wed 06-Mar-13 08:04:01

Thanks again. I'm going to have the conversation with her tomorrow when he's next with her. I've discussed with dh and we really like the cm in every other way, but think the naps thing isn't working and is really unfair on ds as he's so unsettled now. Unfortunately if cm won't compromise a bit and things don't improve then I'll have to quit my job as we most cms very booked up and we found it hard to find this one...sad

AThingInYourLife Wed 06-Mar-13 08:10:37

Don't quit your job FFS, just tell this woman that you are paying her to look after your son and she needs to accommodate his needs, which are for a single nap at around noon.

MrsMushroom Wed 06-Mar-13 08:12:21

It's a case of she who pays the piper I'm afraid. Your views come first just as they would with a nanny.

As for worrying about damaging your relationship with her you should not be in fear of that unless she's extremely unprofessional. I would put my foot down and insist.

I also agree with FLisspaps....she's right.

MerryMingeWhingesAgain Wed 06-Mar-13 08:22:05

As a parent, I wouldn't expect a CM to be able to ensure the DC gets a nap at the exact same time as they do at home, they have to fit in a bit with the cm's day. But adding an extra nap he doesn't seem to need or want is going well beyond this IMHO and not really on.

RattyRoland Wed 06-Mar-13 08:30:55

Ok I feel very reassured now, I will definitely have the conversation with cm tomorrow and hopefully she'll agree to my request...if not will have to look for another cm.

anewyear Wed 06-Mar-13 09:04:39

Another childminder here, Agree with Flisspaps

AThingInYourLife Wed 06-Mar-13 09:30:06

No, I wouldn't expect a nap at the same time at home.

I would expect the child's existing habits to be taken into consideration, but obviously the day has its own rhythm at CMs.

But I would very unhappy with a strict, very different, sleep schedule being imposed by a CM.

And I would be cross if I spoke to the CM about how her imposed naps were upsetting the child and was not taken seriously.

cory Wed 06-Mar-13 09:59:58

It might be difficult for the CM if she is looking after more than one child: if everybody is very rigid about their child's nap times, she could end up never getting out of the house- and then the parents would complain about that. When we chose our CM one the things that swayed us in her favour was that she was looking after other children too, so company for dd- but also meant she to fit in with others. Which was precisely what we wanted for her, but might not be every parent's cup of tea.

AThingInYourLife Wed 06-Mar-13 10:10:23

Fitting in with other children would never require adding new morning naps.

It might mean napping later than usual or having to be woken up to go on school run.

But what is being imposed is weird and unnecessarily prescriptive.

momb Wed 06-Mar-13 10:16:53

If she has other commitments with the children in her care at 12, then it may not be possible for her to honour your request for a noon nap. This being the case, she may be giving him a shorter nap in the morning becasue he is falling asleep in his lunch at 12.30 or whatever and she isn't able to nap him over lunch time.
Talk to her. This isn't a deal breaker and it may be that between the two of you it is possible to come up with a plan to gradually move his naps back at home too (maybe for an hour?) so that she doesn't need to chhange his routine so much.

fivesacrowd Wed 06-Mar-13 10:20:01

Yet another cm agreeing with fissflaps. It would be much easier for me if all my mindees fell asleep at the same time and when it suited me best, but child centred cm doesn't work like that. Tbh most of the babies I have will sleep anywhere so will nap in the pram or the car if we're out and about or go down in the cot if we're in the house. I let them sleep when they're tired.
Have you said that your ds has to be put down in a cot for sleeps? If the cm needs to be out and about at the times your ds normally sleeps then this could explain her wanting to change his naps, but still doesn't make it ok though.

AThingInYourLife Wed 06-Mar-13 10:20:12

She's trying to increase his daily naptime by an hour.

One can only presume because sleeping children require no minding.

ReetPetit Wed 06-Mar-13 11:02:27

strange hmm does she go out at all/groups or anything?

i would think your ds nap times would actually suit most cms as they have morning school run, morning activity/group, lunch, then nap (ime), then either another activity out or at home then school run....

i find it odd she is trying to add a morning nap, unless she feels he really needs it - is he getting up much earlier the days he is with her? maybe he is irritable and tired and she finds a sleep works better but surely not if he is not tired.

i would speak to her about it. you sound like a reasonable parent and aren't really asking for much - at least he does sleep! and does he self settle? if so, i think she should count her lucky stars,she is being a bit weird tbh imo

Seb101 Wed 06-Mar-13 11:17:57

To a certain extent your child will need to fit into the childminders routine and the routine of other children. If all the children slept exactly when parents would like, you would always have a sleeping child and never get out the house. Especially if like me you prefer to have children sleep in a cot at home. She may be trying to add the morning nap so that your lo will last longer into the afternoon and therefore nap with the other children then. I don't think its a big problem. The amount of sleep she is trying to get your lo to have isnt unreasonable for his age. If this is a new thing I'd suggest giving it some time for your lo to adapt. Children i've looked after have sometimes slept drastically different nap times/lengths than they do at home. They can cope prefectly well with this. If the childminder is otherwise good, I cetainly wouldnt see this issue as a deal breaker. She is probably trying to juggle lots of childrens needs and is trying to make her setting run smoothly. The childminder may also be trying to get all the children to nap at the same time. I've always done this and achieved it well. It may sound a little selfish, but I believe a childminder that has had an hours break when all the kids are asleep is probably going to perform better in the afternoon. I know I do! I need that break and therefore work very hard to get my children to sleep at the same time whenever possible. Having said all that, if your lo doesnt adjust and isnt coping with the childminders routine, then she should of course adjust it to suit their needs. But I'd give it a chance.

ReetPetit Wed 06-Mar-13 11:58:38

agree with seb - if this is what she is trying to do, get all the mindees to sleep at the same time - then i don't see any problem with this. It is much better for you/your lo/your cm that she has had a break, than she is frazzled.

I think you really need to ask her about her motivation. Maybe she just feels he needs the morning sleep on those days? Babies behave very different with childcarers than at home so maybe she is finding him hard work and thinks the longer sleep/morning sleep will help him/her/other mindees.

don't necessarily assume she is doing this all for her own benefit, there may be any number of reasons - including possibly a lunch time nursery/playgroup run which coincides with when you want him to sleep.

RattyRoland Wed 06-Mar-13 14:03:33

Thanks. We really like her as a cm and respect her routines, hence we've been happy to go with her suggestions. I'm sure she has been lo's best interest,at heart, I asked this qn though as I wasn't sure how flexible cms usually are and didn't want to offend her!

I do think shes excellent with children, I will discuss napping options with her tomorrow and update smile

minderjinx Wed 06-Mar-13 14:09:05

At my place a noon nap would mean missing lunch. I would probably try to get a toddler used to a noon nap to last a bit longer and put them down after lunch, or maybe if they were falling asleep over lunch, then let them have a morning catnap to keep them going. It simply would not be practicable to have everyone napping at different times through the day, bearing in mind that would also mean eating at different times too, and limiting the opportunities for any activities or trips. That said, I talk over our current routines and discuss the extent to which any new ones' own current routines would be able to be accommodated before a new little one starts. I have to say I find the comments about paying the piper and calling the tune unreasonable and slightly offensive. When you opt for a childminder for your child, you accept that they will be welcomed into a family where the needs of all the children are balanced and some compromises made. You pay for shared care and you are expected to be flexible accordingly. It is really no different to what happens with second or subsequent siblings. If you do want to "call the tune" you need to pay the price for exclusive care - and there are plenty of posts on here to suggest that even those who do that are sometimes disappointed that their expectations are not met in some detail.

MUM2BLESS Wed 06-Mar-13 14:28:54

Each Cm does things slightly differently. We have to ensure that whatever we do it meets the needs of all the children where possible.

The youngest I care for is 3 and still sleep during the day. She wakes up early and is at mine usually just before 7 30. She does not really sleep at home.

You do have an input in what happens re your child, however the cm may have other children who need to nap and it makes sense to me to have them all napping at the same time. Does your little one need to sleep at 10am? would the noon sleep be enough?

AThingInYourLife Wed 06-Mar-13 14:31:21

Just because I don't want to employ a nanny doesn't mean I expect my views about what is best for my children ignored by the person I pay to look after them.

I am a client. My business is conditional on my concerns about their care being taken seriously.

If you need my money less than you need your routines, then I guess you are free to do whatever suits you.

It's not remotely disrespectful to think someone you hire to do a job should do it to your satisfaction.

Seb101 Wed 06-Mar-13 16:03:20

Almost impossible to make sure every parent is completely satisfied imo. All parents have to compromise at some level. It doesn't mean a childminder is not doing what their paid to do if they can't meet your requirements 100%, maybe she's doing her best to meet everyone's needs (including her own) as best she can. The only way to dictate an exact routine of your own is to hire a nanny for one on one care.

ReetPetit Wed 06-Mar-13 20:31:27

agree with Seb 100% again. If you want that level of control AThing, you really do need to pay someone to care for your child exclusively. We will, of course, try and accomadate parents wishes but it is not always possible and if that is not acceptable to you, you need to pay for 1-2-1.

It's the same as a nursery or school setting, you accept that your child is one of 30 or so and you learn to adapt to that. Childminding is a similiar scenario but on a small scale.

doughnut44 Wed 06-Mar-13 21:35:01

I wish I could get children to sleep when I want them to. My mindees sleep when they need it and for how long they need it for

AThingInYourLife Wed 06-Mar-13 22:18:05

It's nothing like a nursery or school setting. That's why I choose it.

Wanting to be treated like my business matters and like my child's needs are more important than the routine of a CM is not "control" and I've had two very successful relationships with very different CMs who were both extremely good at what they do.

But someone who thinks they get to dictate the amount of sleep and the exact timing of my child's sleep might want to look at their own control issues.

I don't pay a childminder to treat my child like a robot.

I'm extremely glad neither of you are anywhere near my children. You sound shockingly unprofessional and uncaring.

"I wish I could get children to sleep when I want them to. My mindees sleep when they need it and for how long they need it for"

This is the kind CM I choose to do business with.

catkind Wed 06-Mar-13 22:21:09

This thread is making me appreciate our CM even more than I already did. We never had to try to "control" what she does, from the first day we met her she was asking about what our routine is and how we do things because that's how she finds children settle quickest and easiest. If anything it's us telling her not to worry and DD will fit in around her routine. Second baby, she's used to fitting in!. Though certainly for us, fitting in is always easiest in the direction of keeping them busy so they stay awake longer rather than trying to get a not-tired baby to nap sooner.

HSMMaCM Wed 06-Mar-13 22:25:06

This is why I said OP needs to know why CM is doing this. Is it an unavoidable pre school run? Is it that the DC is so tired at CM they fall asleep early? Is it that the CM wants the child to fit in with her own routines? We don't know. I try an accommodate parents wishes as much as possible and where I can't, we work together to reach a compromise. My mindees do not all sleep at the same time and it is nice to have 1 or 2 to work with while a couple are asleep.

minderjinx Wed 06-Mar-13 22:28:41

AThing, I don't believe anyone here has suggested that parents' wishes should be ignored, simply that there has to be a bit of give and take and possibly a few compromises to try to best meet everyone's needs in a shared care situation of any kind, either within a family or in childcare.

doughnut44 Wed 06-Mar-13 23:17:30

Athing, thank you for liking my way of minding. I would however say that a parent is indeed paying me for doing a job but they are paying me to do it my way. I just happen to believe in sleeping on more or less demand rather than strict routine. This sort of thing is discussed before the parents decide whether or not to come to me.
I wouldn't/couldn't allow a parent to dictate to me what I should be doing during the day - there has to be give and take both ways and at the end of the day, if what the parent wanted didn't fit in with how I childmind I would have to turn their business away for both our sakes. It has happened where a parent has wanted me to mind their child but their child sleeps in the morning and not the afternoon. I am out every morning and prefer it if the children sleep after lunch (which they generally do but not always) so the morning nap would not suit - therefore I turned the child down much to the disgust of this parent. I was sorry not to be able to help but that's the way it goes.

catkind Wed 06-Mar-13 23:56:41

Come to think of it, even all the nurseries we looked round kept babies on their home schedule in their "baby rooms", mostly up to 18 months or 2.

AThingInYourLife Thu 07-Mar-13 00:44:39

A childminder who is insisting on an extra hour of naptime and two separate naps instead of one and complaining to the mother that the child won't sleep at the times she has designated for a nap is not acting professionally.

Here's my instructions to CM: "she normally sleeps at x time for around x minutes." The end.

The CM can do whatever the fuck she chooses when it comes to naps while they are with her as long as it doesn't affect me.

So if my child is upset or out of sorts due to having too much/too little sleep or sleeping at the wrong time, I expect that to be sorted.

If the child is happy I will never query how much sleep they are getting.

As I find they are sleeping less (or occasionally more) or shifting times, I will mention it for info. But whether it makes any difference to what happens during the day at CMs is a matter of complete indifference to me. Unless the child is unhappy, tired, not settling well at night etc.

And I certainly will not be listening to a CM bellyaching about how my child won't sleep to her schedule. Your routine? Your problem.

ZuleikaD Thu 07-Mar-13 06:18:39

catkind, nurseries say they keep babies on their home schedule. That's not the same as doing it.

Flisspaps Thu 07-Mar-13 09:57:55

As far as I can see, under the EYFS principle of 'The Unique Child' any CM or nursery should accept that not all children will need to sleep at the same time.

There is a difference between adapting a child's schedule slightly - be that a nap just half an hour later in order to have lunch first, a later lunch to allow a nap when it's needed or sleeping in a pushchair on the school run instead of in a cot - and trying to make a child go to sleep when they don't need to, in order for you to 'have a break' or because 'that is what the children in my setting do'.

If I am working and have three early years children around, I might not get a break. That's just my tough luck.

catkind Thu 07-Mar-13 12:20:16

LOL ZuleikaD, well possibly not, but when we visited some were asleep and some awake, so they certainly weren't all on the same schedule.

Akasa Fri 08-Mar-13 22:25:37

I am sure most childminders will try their utmost to accommodate parents' wishes but time and time again, I find that childrens' sleep patterns and routines are totally different at my house when compared to their routine at home.

An 8 month girl who started with me in November came with a "warning" from the parents that she never sleeps for more than 20 minutes but this will probably happen about 5 or 6 times in a full day. On her first day with me, she slept straight through for 3 hours (I was really quite worried and checked her so frequently, I assumed I would wake her up). Now almost four months later, she still has one 3 hour sleep with me at just about 1 year old, yet at home is still on the 20 minute cat-naps.

I tend to allow the child to dictate the amount of sleep their body needs but always make sure that parents know what I am doing and why.

insancerre Sun 10-Mar-13 10:43:22

She is not a good cm if she is trying to force a baby into her routine.
A good cm recognises that each baby is diferent and should be allowing each one to have their own routine.
A good cm recognises that the parent knows the child best and should be working with the parent to meet the child's needs.

Op, you are the customer and the cm should be amenable to your wishes. Tell her that your DS is to sleep after lunch, as you have previously requested and as he does at home. he doesn't need 2 routines- he has his own routine which she should be following.

ZuleikaD Sun 10-Mar-13 11:17:17

insancerre it's perfectly possible to be a good CM while still allowing for some flexibility in a child's routine to accommodate the other children in the setting (eg moving a nap by half an hour so as to do a school run or whatever). But the OP is quite right to question why this CM wants to push an extra nap.

doughnut44 Sun 10-Mar-13 20:55:19

insancerre, a good childminder cannot allow each child to have their own routine as there is a possibility she will never be able to get out of the house.
The childminder will have policies and the customer will have to adhere to those policies or else take their business elsewhere.

Flisspaps Sun 10-Mar-13 22:37:58

I'm a 'Good' childminder, my policy is that children sleep as and when they need to.

There is no need for children to sleep if they are not tired. There is every chance they'll sleep differently with a CM than at home, and that is fine but a good CM won't impose a routine upon a child - like the one detailed in the OP.

A child who needs to sleep when you go out shouldn't be an issue. My own DS usually needs to nap as we go out to do a school run so I get him dressed to go out, put him in the buggy and he falls asleep just before we leave.

Naps are something that can be worked around, they don't need to be done to a strict timetable.

doughnut44 Mon 11-Mar-13 13:39:10

But if you are out at an activity and a child is asleep or tired then they are missing out so surely it is better to try and get a child to fit in with a routine. I agree that you can't impose a routine on a child but for me it is better if the child fits in with me.
I go out every morning and stay in for the afternoon so therefore it is better for all involved if the children are awake in the morning and then sleep straight after lunch. When they wake up nice and refreshed we do an activity then hopefully the children will be tired and ready for bed when the parents want them to be. I try to engineer that for my mindees for both their benefit and mine.
I have twins today who came tired. We went to the library, had lunch and now they are asleep and will most likely wake in about 5 mins. They will then have a lovely afternoon baking with me whereas if I let them fall asleep this morning they would have been cranky about 3.30pm - just before mum comes to collect them.

Flisspaps Mon 11-Mar-13 17:17:25

I disagree. If a child is tired, then they're probably not going to get that much out of the activity.

If a child 'misses out' on the activity, they're gaining by getting rest that they clearly need.

Certainly if I were looking for a childminder, I would be put off by one who tried to 'engineer' my children's needs to suit their own, or one who tried to keep my child awake in order to take part in an activity. If that meant they'd be cranky by the time I came to pick them up, then so be it, that's part of being a parent. The needs of the child come first.

ZuleikaD Mon 11-Mar-13 17:55:28

I agree with Fliss - I think the sleep when they need it is far more important than the activity. I suppose the best answer is to take on children whose routines (give or take a little) can fit best with the way you do things.

doughnut44 Mon 11-Mar-13 21:05:50

I wouldn't do it straight away with a new child - it happens gradually. Like weaning them off the bottle and onto food. It's amazing how quick children adapt. Got to say though - it doesn't always work so that's that out the window. It's very hard to explain in writing what I am trying to say. I have no hard and fast rules - just what I try and it always suits everyone - except when a parent asks me to keep a child awake just so they can get an early night.

catkind Fri 15-Mar-13 23:33:25

Always a contentious one doughnut. I hope parents wouldn't ask you to keep a child up "just so they can get an early night". How about "so the child can get a good night's sleep"?
Rather rubs me up the wrong way as we did have to ask nursery to not put DS down for a nap, when they thought he should still have one. It was a last resort. I would be very upset to think they thought we were asking "just to get an early night". Some children at the dropping nap stage get in a vicious circle of napping then not being able to settle at bedtime so they come in the next day even more tired, so they nap again etc etc.

doughnut44 Sat 16-Mar-13 09:28:26

This is because a child of 20 months wakes up in the night a couple of times and the parents are tired. Sorry I didn't post right. I don't believe that preventing a child sleeping during the day aids night time sleep. In my experience you just get a very ratty child

catkind Sat 16-Mar-13 12:25:48

Mine tend more to the not going to sleep till late if they sleep too much/too late in the day. I could imagine if I did by some miracle still get them to sleep at 7 then they'd wake more in the night, or rather stay awake and wake me up because they weren't drowsy enough to resettle. I certainly find that if for some reason bedtime happens too early. They're all different!
But are they suggesting this from experience of their own child when it doesn't nap, or as something to try because they don't know what else to do about night wakings? If the former I think perhaps you have to trust their experience, if the latter perhaps they should trust yours smile
But we digress... or not entirely because it's still about who gets to decide sleep routines.

Scarfmaker Mon 18-Mar-13 23:20:17

I've been childminding for nearly 12 years and between 12-1pm all my mindees have lunch. It's something I've just always done (and I have my lunch too). If a 13 month was sleeping from noon-1.30pm then that to me would mean a very late lunch, as they would wake up very hungry and then a very late dinner.

Most of the children I look after come along early so at 13 months usually have a nap between 8.30-9.30 so that they can make it through toddler group until 12-1pm when they have lunch.

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