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nursery declines naps for 3 to 4 year olds

(75 Posts)
sisteroutlaw Wed 26-Jun-13 16:12:25

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?

SofiaAmes Wed 03-Jul-13 06:20:21

Some people need more sleep than others, and I think that shows at a very young age. My mother once had to pull me out of a nursery because they were insisting I nap at midday (I was 4) and weren't happy letting me quietly look at a book. I don't think I've had a midday nap more than once or twice in my whole life since I was 2. A college roommate and I once figured out that she slept 40 hours a week more than I did!!!!!!

Habbibu Tue 02-Jul-13 22:23:34

I do wonder if it's some sort of genetic developmental thing. Apparently I slept most afternoons until I started school aged 5. My dd only dropped her naps aged 4 after we went away with friends for a weekend and she decided naps were childish. She still fell asleep on afternoon car journeys until about 5.5. Ds (3.5) still sleeps most afternoons, and suffers if he misses 2 days on the run. He falls asleep on any longish car journey. We are all early risers, and seem very similar sleep wise.

My friend's dcs, on the other hand, all dropped their naps aged about 18 months, despite her desire for them to hang on for the sake of her sanity!

MrsOakenshield Tue 02-Jul-13 22:03:59

that sounds very odd. We have the opposite problem, we have had to ask DD's nursery not to put her down for a nap, as she won't sleep at bedtime till about 9/9.30, even with just a 20 minute nap (and she never naps at home). I would have doubts about a nursery preparing children for school at such a young age, they should be focussing on what's appropriate now. And isn't the Reception year meant to be about preparing them for school??

Jakeyblueblue Tue 02-Jul-13 21:57:10

I'd move nursery if they continue to refuse to facilitate a nap.
IMO there's no debate to be had regarding this issue. If a child is tired, they need to sleep, regardless of age.
I'm not sure why people think that all children have to follow a similar time line to all the rest. Also the motion people make toddlers nap so they can have an hours peace I'd ridiculous. Toddlers don't have an on / off switch!
My ds 2.0 goes to my mother in laws one day per week and she makes no attempt to get him to have a nap. The result is an irritable tired little boy when I pick him up, he then falls asleep in the car on the way home no matter what i do to keep him awake and as a result, is then difficult to get to bed later that night.
Its not difficult, if he's tired, he should sleep. If they can't recognise that then I'd question their suitability in the first place.

Ineedmorepatience Tue 02-Jul-13 21:37:34

I work in an early years setting and we provide a space for children to nap if they need it. We currently have 2 children (brothers) who nap fairly regularly the eldest is 4 and the youngest 2.10.

My own youngest child napped until age 4 and still slept well at night. I think napping should be encouraged not sniffed at. They are still little.

OP hope you manage to sort this out.

insancerre Tue 02-Jul-13 18:14:49

thingiebob, the nursery have to let them sleep- it's in the EYFS and they have to make provision for children who need to sleep and they have to cater for children's individual needs
most often or not, children are settled into the book area to slep as that's where the comfy furniture is, bean bags etc

Thingiebob Tue 02-Jul-13 14:08:34

I don't have a prob with napping toddlers, I'm just surprised by some of the ages on the posts above. Also a bit jealous. I would love to have a napping toddler. My dd dropped her sleep at 18 months and only sleeps for about 9 to 10 hrs a night.

I don't think DDs nursery would accommodate a nap for 3 yrs above. There is nowhere for them to sleep on the premises.

duchesse Tue 02-Jul-13 09:56:37

Well, thingie, many of them do. I can't see what the problem is. If a nursery has no provision for napping among older toddlers then I'd be asking serious questions about fitness for purpose. I'd much rather have a child napping than the crabby exhausted that was my DS who stopped napping at 18 months. So far I've had two nappers past the age of 2 and two who haven't. I can see no correlation to anything except maybe my desire to have children 3 and 4 napping so I can have an hour unimpeded every day.

babySophieRose Tue 02-Jul-13 09:32:44

Could you just ask them to let him have a nap if and when he is tired? That's what our nursery do, not particular times, but when they need to have one.

Thingiebob Tue 02-Jul-13 04:12:01

My DD is 3 years and five months and hasn't napped since before the age of 2! I am amazed that kids still nap at nearly school age. My DDs nursery has no provision for naps in the older child's room.

duchesse Mon 01-Jul-13 23:18:24

Good grief! French nurseries carry on the naps till nearly age 6. Tbh most children don't sleep in the afternoons after about age 4 (unless they've had a late night) but they do have a quiet hour after lunch. DD3 (3.10) only very recently (in the last 3-4 months) stopped having several afternoon naps a week. Typically she'd have one every 3-4 days. Now she's just really tired from about 5pm and I have to avoid taking her anywhere in the car at that time or risk a 2 hour nap followed by later bedtime.

maja00 Mon 01-Jul-13 22:58:09

OP, have you had a really serious, formal, sit-down meeting with the manager about this? I would really formalise it, put your request in writing etc.

sparkleshine Mon 01-Jul-13 22:54:50

Seems a bit wrong that the nursery won't allow a nap for your DS if you have specifically asked for him to have one. Those are his individual needs and should be catered for.

My DS (3.7) doesn't generally have a nap anymore and hasn't for a few months unless we've had a busy morning and we are in the car after lunch or not slept well night before.
At nursery he doesn't nap, usually too busy and playing but I doubt they would refuse it if he needed it or noticed he was tired.
When he was about 2 1/2- 3yrs old I said to not let him sleep longer than an hour and half and not after 3pm as it started to affect his bed time and they were fine with this. It worked for all of us.
Some had a sleep or rested and some carried on playing, both fine for the staff.

breatheslowly Mon 01-Jul-13 19:05:27

Does the nursery have a waiting list? Would threatening to move him have any effect?

sisteroutlaw Mon 01-Jul-13 14:55:42

Just checking in - didn't realise napping could excite so many! grin

Still not resolved this with the nursery. DS exhausted and batty when I pick him up.

Some useful comments for me to recycle in my next talk with the nursery: doing him a disservice; different needs; annoyed as we don't get to spend quality time together in the evenings (he is wretched ergo the house is a hole of toddler-ridden misery); big difference btw a just 3 and a nearly 4 year old developmentally; pre-school provision is different from school provision; on the go all day - what a long day. Plus he wants to spend time with us in the evening and I don't want to bundle him off to bed when we've hardly caught up. Poor mite. Sorry can't name-check individually although I feel for you sneezysnatcher that your DC doesn't nap. Am pg at the mo and dread the meltdown toddler + newborn moments that await...

Had an ace weekend though mumsnetters - busy busy toddler action, yet with naps wink

lolalotta Sun 30-Jun-13 06:10:53

Had to send my DD into nursery for 4 days this week instead of two, she was exhausted. They offered her a nap, she declined wink, she is 3.5. It's crazy, they should be working with you child's needs!

SneezySnatcher Sat 29-Jun-13 21:35:04

TBH I'm just envy that any children have naps at age 3. DD dropped her last nap at 2.1 (and they were hit and miss before that). Now I've got a newborn too I would pay her to have a nap if it would work.

OP - if your DS needs a nap then you need to find a new nursery or CM. Sleep is so important <props eyes open with matchsticks>

Goldmandra Sat 29-Jun-13 21:07:38

How is the fact that other children can manage without naps at this age relevant?

The OP's child needs a nap and the nursery should be making provision for it. The argument that other parents will start asking for their child to have a nap if they know this child is having one is ridiculous. It is a clear indication that the nursery is failing to meet the needs of other children too.

Why would a three year old need to manage without a nap now just because he or she won't be able to have one at school? How is getting ready for school relevant or important at the age of three?

Pre-school provision is different from school provision for a reason and treating three year olds as if they were at school is not getting them ready for school.

Good Early Years settings get children ready for school by enabling them to develop their independence, resilience and communication gradually over their pre-school year, not treating them as if they were already there.

CreatureRetorts Sat 29-Jun-13 20:35:03

Oh and I asked Tania sleep woman about naps in the web chat - she said most kids drop the nap between 3&4.

CreatureRetorts Sat 29-Jun-13 20:33:51

My 3.9 year old has a day nap every other day - he needs it and gets upset without one for more than two days in a row. So we let him.
He doesn't go to school until next year so I'm not bothered about him napping now.
He's getting better at skipping them - I remember the first time he didn't have a nap aged 2.6. He basically had a meltdown from 2pm until he crashed at 5pm <shudders at memory>

forevergreek Sat 29-Jun-13 20:21:34

Kids in America often nap at kindergarten until 6/7 years so a child of 3 snoozing seems normal

tumbletumble Sat 29-Jun-13 17:21:35

PS I'm a SAHM too, if that is relevant.

tumbletumble Sat 29-Jun-13 17:19:00

Hi TheSecondComing

I agree with you that most DC drop their nap between age 2 and 3. However, some don't, and clearly some of their parents have been attracted to this thread by the title and wish to share their experience.

DD had a 2 hour nap nearly every day until she was 4.3. It certainly wasn't because she wasn't getting enough sleep at night (11+ hours) and it wasn't to 'suit' me (I have 2 other DC who dropped their nap at a more normal age). She is just a child who needs more sleep than average.

In answer to your question about how she managed at school, luckily she has a September birthday so was nearly 5 by the time she started school. Not sure how she would have coped if she'd been an August baby.


5madthings Sat 29-Jun-13 17:10:17

It really depends on the child.

Ds1 was never a napper.

Ds2 did a bit but outgrew it by age two, ditto ds3.

Ds4 was and still can be a napper. He carried on having a nap for ages, he would take himself off to bed and still does. He is five and in reception, he stays awake for school but then we have a 45min walk home and may stop at park for a bit on way. He will go upstairs to get changed out of his uniform and then when I go up a few mi s later he will be in bed asleep still in his uniform. Will nap till dinner time, hgabe dinner, play a bit then go to bed at 7:30pm.

Dd is just two and a half and is dropping her nap, she will nap every few days it depends what we are doing.

But I have other friends whose children napped until age 4+ and some that gave it up by 18mths.

If a child needs a nap the nursery should make sure they get it.

maja00 Sat 29-Jun-13 17:07:54

The fact that you apparently know hundreds of kids isn't very relevant to whether the OP's child needs a nap.

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