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How do you get babies to nap with older children around?

(16 Posts)
Muffinpig Mon 05-Nov-12 15:39:10

If you have older charges eg 3/4yo, and an under 1, what do you do with the older ones while you're putting the baby down for a nap?

If the older ones are left on their own they get noisy/argue or shout up the stairs and wake the baby up. She needs 10-15 mins to wind down and get drowsy before she can be left. Any tips?

HSMM Mon 05-Nov-12 15:50:26

Colouring? Play dough? Is there anything that will keep them still and quiet for 15 mins? Can you do a story time for everyone before taking the baby up, so the 15 mins wind down is with everyone? My tactics vary depending on the children, so I don't know if this is much help.

ZuleikaD Mon 05-Nov-12 16:53:14

My under-1 mindee has just got used to sleeping with a bit more noise than she gets at home.

wishiwasonholiday Mon 05-Nov-12 18:44:53

My 5 month old mindee naps in the living room, she must just be used to noise though!

Iggly Mon 05-Nov-12 18:46:19

Tv? I do this with my own children.

Muffinpig Mon 05-Nov-12 19:04:34

She needs the 10-15min in the dark on her own before she will get drowsy. The older ones also can argue sometimes and I'm just worried that she'll be nearly ready for sleep then they'll shout/scream and wake her up and she'll have to start all over again. Also worried about the safety of leaving the older boys on their own and what they could get up to. Its hard!

Akasa Mon 05-Nov-12 20:40:39

I think I would approach this on two fronts. Firstly, the little one needs to break the routine of needing someone around for 10-15 minutes. Do the parents say she is the same at home - if so, it is not a routine I would be happy with. Maybe I have been lucky but those going for their sleep can simply be placed in the cot (possibly with a familiar comforter) and I walk out of the room without a murmur - it can be hard at first.

Secondly, as far as the older ones are concerned I would explain to them that shouting and screaming it not acceptable and certainly not when someone is trying to go to sleep - I am sorry but I do not allow such behaviour - my own children were not like that and I would certainly not tolerate it from a mindee.

I sound like a bit of a dragon I suppose but its my game and I set the rules!

Akasa Mon 05-Nov-12 20:44:29

Forgot to say, you refer to the under-1 having a nap........at that age my mindees will usually have a good sleep of at least two hours and I tend not to lay them in their cots until they are getting drowsy so the "nodding off" is pretty quick.

Stars22 Mon 05-Nov-12 20:56:54

I am a nanny doing a nannyshare, today i had three 5 year old girls and 1 year old boy. I chose to get the little one to sleep when i knew he would be more than ready for a sleep and when the girls were playing nicely. Older ones were told not to shout or talking very loudly while downstairs (we were downstairs) and if they needed me to come in the room quietly and whisper to me. Little one has to nap in pushchair tho, i wouldnt be able to get him off any other way as we were not at his house today.

minderjinx Mon 05-Nov-12 21:16:03

I'm afraid I wouldn't dream of leaving the 3/4 year olds alone for 15 minutes, so probably would not have taken on the baby. My babies sleep in a quiet(ish) room just off the playroom so I can see and hear everyone at once. I give them a hug, put them down, say goodbye and go, only peeping in every few minutes while they sleep. However, I also agree with Akasa that the older children shouting and screaming is not acceptable behaviour. I must be a dragon too!

Iggly Mon 05-Nov-12 21:16:06

Could you try a light show or something for the young one?

As a parent I wouldn't be happy at mine being left if she needed comfort getting drowsy.

HSMM Mon 05-Nov-12 21:40:34

I'm a dragon too smile , but I do have CCTV in the room where the cots are, so I can keep an eye on a settling baby.

A 3 yr old should be able to understand they can't shout when a baby's sleeping.

Muffinpig Tue 06-Nov-12 09:59:35

Thanks all. I'm actually asking as the parent of the under-1, but wanted to get the CM's viewpoint. Unfortunately you can't just plop her in the cot and let her go to sleep, I've been trying this for 10 months and never managed it!

akasa when you day its hard at first do you mean you let them cry? This is what I'm worried about really as I won't leave her to cry for more than 5 mins at home. Is leaving her to cry really the only alternative? I wish she would just lie down and go to sleep like my DS did, but she has always resisted sleep.

Iggly Tue 06-Nov-12 10:09:32

Sounds like my DD! (she's 11 months). I've had varying success with feeding, rocking then giving her a glow sea horse which she rolls about with then sleeps. Less successful now she can stand though.

ZuleikaD Tue 06-Nov-12 10:20:22

Things are often very different in a different environment though, muffin - I know that the routine I do with my under-1 mindee is quite different from the routine she has at home but after the first couple of weeks she's been fine with it. I never left her to cry, I sat with her until she went to sleep (luckily my 3 and 2 yos can be left for 15 minutes). What your DD does at home with you may be very different to how she reacts at a CM's. Has your DD actually started at the CM's?

forevergreek Tue 06-Nov-12 14:07:48

Will she settle with the older children in the room?

1 year old here naps, ( so does 3 year old). But 3 year old usually sits on a beanbag quietly in the room reading to himself whilst I change baby/ put in cot. He then has a nap also in same room

I must be a dragon too as would tell the 3 year olds it isn't acceptable to shout around when baby is sleeping. Could they read quietly in the room whilst she is settled?

Do they still nap also ? ( I assume not), but if no nap can they not have an hours quiet time still? So at say 1pm, everyone has the choice of either a nap or laying / sitting down quietly on the sofa with some books.

I find it calms everyone down and creates a much smoother and relaxing afternoon as they aren't so overtired themselves ( which tends to lead to the whole shouting/ screaming)

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