nursery declines naps for 3 to 4 year olds(75 Posts)
My DS just turned 3 and started at nursery 8am to 6pm 4 days a week (previously with a childminder). He has always been a good sleeper [lucky] and settles in under 10 mins for a daytime sleep for anything up to 1.5 hours and at night for 11 hours. NHS choices recommend 1 hour daytime and 11 hour night time for 3-4 year olds so it's not excessive against this.
The nursery are anti-nap for this age-group saying it's not good to take him away from the other children to have a sleep; he won't get to integrate so well with the afternoon slot kids who arrive after lunch; that it is part of the preparation for going to reception class. Then it comes down to staffing and getting a "special service" and they're worried if he has a sleep then every parent will want their kid to have one. Sigh. There is a room where the younger toddlers nap. When I signed him up there was talk of slowly phasing out the nap -in my mind this was over the year- but they seem to have implemented this instantly despite my asking for him to have one every day.
I am most concerned about his behaviour and development as an individual and that he needs a nap to function. The crankiness and meltdowns over these last two weeks when I get him home are distressing us both. I'd rather not have to rush bedtime to put him down for 7pm. 8pm bedtime seems to give enough time for snack, play/telly, bath, stories, bed. Having to do all that in 45 mins sets my head spinning.
My options are: new nursery without the amazing outdoor space and general fab facilities (in London) or just ride out the no-nap schedule and forgo what I think he needs developmentally. Wise women of mumsnet, what would you do/what have you done in similar situations?
I wouldn't be impressed either tbh. Our eldest at 3 1/2 naps every day, he would be very unhappy after 4/5 pm without
Ofsted are useless sometimes. They never want to get involved in specific issues like this. As long as nursery meeting basic requirements, there not interested!
I'd be very tempted to remove him from nursery. I wouldn't want a childcare setting dictating to me what my child needs. But, I can be a bit stubborn when it comes to issues like this. I suppose the sensible thing to do would be; weigh up situation as a whole; is he happy, is nursery otherwise meeting his needs, does he enjoy himself etc. If this is only issue, I'd possibly let it go. Only because moving a child to another setting could be difficult and unsettling for child. Plus other nursery might be worse lol, better the devil you know and all that! It's a difficult situation I guess. Depends how strongly you feel about it ultimately. Bloody nursery, they sound like a Pita!
Although all of this 'asking the child is ridiculous' How do you make a 3 year old nap in a nursery environment if they don't want to? Both of my daughters have been really tricky with napping at nursery from a young age. On the other hand I was in a few weeks ago and a 3.5 year old was curled up in a quiet corner .
You can't make a child nap, but if you ask a child "would you like a nap" 99% of the time the answer will be no. If you say "it's nap time, come and lie down" chances are a tired child will lie down and sleep.
That sounds like terrible care to me. Neither of my children wanted to nap at all after about 2 but I am aware some children need a nap right up until they're about 5!
This is why the UK preschool care is shit compared to that in the rest of Europe where small children are treated as...SMALL CHILDREN. I feel angry on your DS behalf OP.
My DD is at a state school in reception and even there, the teacher allows a tired 5 year old to go and lie down in the quiet corner. She says "Oh sometimes they're like clockwork mice and they run out of power."
My DDs' nursery have two groups sleeps and non sleepers. The nursery put them in the sleepers group until either they just don't settle or the parent requests that the nap is dropped. Additionally the parent can specify how long their child sleeps, so if they need a nap but two hours is too much, then they will wake the, up after the time specified.
I know what you mean TSC it sometimes seems that parents don't consider this...not all reception teachers are amenable to naps....mine both stopped at 2 and I was happy with that but here in the UK we do shove them out of toddlerhood rather quickly imo too.
TheSecondComing, some children need the sleep and if you don't figure out how to make sure that they get it, then you are doing them a disservice. My ds needs a minimum of 11 hours a night and if he's got a cold, then that goes up to 16+. As it turns out he has Functional Mitochondrial Disorder, but that was only diagnosed when he was 11. Before that as far as we knew he was simply a child who needed a lot of sleep. If he didn't get the sleep, he got very ill. I had to make sure he was in an educational environment that allowed that. My dd needs many hours a day less sleep and certainly doesn't need a midday nap. I think that more parents should be sensitive to the individual needs of their children and not try to stuff them into some box of pre conceived ideas.
There is a big difference between a just 3 yo and a nearly 4 yo. I'm sure many just 3 yo still need a sleep, but it is probably more uncommon in nearly 4 yos. There is also a difference between managing to stay awake and it being the right thing for the child. DD doesn't normally nap, but gets quite grumpy as a result. If she has a nap it magically transforms her back into a happy child.
My daughter is at a private prep nursery- no naps once they move upstairs at age three. It is ran by ageing Norland nannies and I think most of the mums would be shot down in flames at even suggesting it.
My DS is 2.11 and would still nap for 2+ hours if he could! I have started waking him after 1.5 hours and it is still a struggle to wake him then. If he doesn't have a nap about 12.30ish he will crash later - literally lie down on the floor and go to sleep or fall asleep in his dinner, or go to bed early and wake early.
It suits him to have a decent nap after lunch, so why shouldn't he? He has a good nap, enjoys his afternoon and then sleeps well at night.
In fact, DP is putting DS to bed now - his nap's late because we've been out this morning and he is miserable and beside himself.
Second coming- as a sleep consultant I would still be including naps in most 3 year old sleep schedules.
Our own 2 and 3 year olds sleep 1.30-2hrs daily. They sleep approx 12 hrs at night. I would be exhausted too If I was them.
For example this morning we all woke at 8.30, we have walked 30 mins to family, they then spent approx 10-12 running around with cousins in park ( whilst we sat half that time or swapped what adults joined in, they were constently moving). Then walked back another 30mins. Dh is just putting them down for a nap now and they are exhausted, they will nap until around 3.30. This afternoon we will go for a swim, then out to a restaurant. They will sleep around 9pm.
We work a lot and go out after work together. I would be annoyed if nursery didn't let them nap as try would be exhausted at 6pm, which is when we finish and go eat/ see family/ spend time together.
I work in a nursery and ime there are always a handful of children in the 2-3 room who still nap for an hour or 2 after their 3rd birthday, and a couple every year who still nap if they do a full day in the nursery class so go to the younger children's sleep room. I don't think it is true that it is very unusual for children to nap after 2.5.
Are you a SAHM TheSecondComing? Maybe that is the difference - children who are at home most of the time don't get so tired, and SAHMs would rather they were in bed earlier in the evening. Children at nursery are on the go constantly, it's very stimulating and tiring and they need the break - then they want to spend time with their parents after work in the evening.
I wouldn't say that either, but being at home and being at nursery are quite different.
My DS is starting preschool in September (we're in France) and they still have 2 hour naps for the 3 year olds, and the 4 year olds can nap as well if they want to. They're not expected to give them up until 5.
I think people here would think it was odd if a 3 year old didn't nap.
I find this odd tbh. My DS is 3 and the youngest in his class. He's been in the nursery class since he was 3 plus ten days and there's no provision for naps. They lie on the carpet for 15 mins quiet time after lunch but that's it. Never occurred to me to be concerned about his development!
My older daughter used to have an afternoon nap especially after play group mornings when she'd walked there and back. I stopped doing it the term before she started school. She wasn't keen on ME napping though. I remember one after noon just before her sister was born trying to close my eyes for a few minutes, and she was prising my eyelids open saying,"Don't go to sleep Mummy".I think your little boy should have a nap if he needs it. It's a very long day for him.
The latest research indicates that it's actually better (more restful) to break up sleep and not have it all in one go at night. TheSecondComing, is it possible that what works for your family might not work for everyone. Just because the children in your limited circle don't need daytime naps, doesn't mean that it's a universal truth. As I pointed out, my ds gets very ill if he doesn't get a daytime sleep. I think the op was just trying to point out that her child needs sleep during the day and wasn't being provided the appropriate care to meet that need.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.