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How do sleep-refusing babies manage to sleep at nursery?

(21 Posts)
PickledLily Sat 05-Jan-13 20:35:03

DD will be starting nursery when she turns 1. She will not self-settle. Getting her to nap currently involves rocking, cuddling, dummy, white noise and any other rod that I can find for my own back. I have no idea how they will manage to get her to sleep at nursery. I imagine she will either be left to cry in the sleep room sad or she will be having a party and keeping the other babies awake grin.

Anyone with a sleep refuser at nursery? Did they just magically nap? Or did they come home having had no sleep?

Does anyone have any advice?

CitizenOscar Sat 05-Jan-13 20:39:32

Depends on child and the nursery. Mine never self settled but nursery don't have a problem. His sleep has improved generally anyway, but where necessary they have rocked/stroked him to sleep. Some children sleep better just through "peer pressure" - seeing all the others sleep.

I'd talk to the nursery about how they usually handle it. It's pretty common.

YoSaffBridge Sat 05-Jan-13 20:52:58

It's not quite the same, but my eternal 30 minute napper sleeps like an absolute dream for up to 2 hours at the childminders. A lot of babies really do do stuff at nursery or the CM's that they just won't do at home!

DuttyWine Sat 05-Jan-13 21:07:08

Maybe the busy environment will make your dc so tired they fall asleep easier at nursery, don't worry though if its a good nursery they will find a way. I used to use a pram and rock sleep fighters off to sleep in it as long as the parents were happy with it. There should be a staff member to be able to cuddle your baby to sleep if needs be. Good luck.

RubyrooUK Sat 05-Jan-13 21:47:55

My 2 year old is a terrible napper. Today he was so tired when we were playing that he fell asleep sitting up at 3pm despite denying tiredness and screaming blue murder at any suggestion of a sleep.

However, he loves to sleep at nursery. They started off cuddling him at nap times and bouncing him in a bouncer chair which calmed him. Then eventually he got the hang of it. (Needless to say this was not replicated at home despite an identical bouncy chair.)

Now he actually goes and voluntarily troops through into a room with other toddlers, lies down on a mattress/mat and passes out. I came early one today and could not believe my eyes.

So I would say that a good nursery will find their way round sleep refusal. They don't believe in controlled crying/crying it out at DS' nursery, so cuddles, bouncing chairs and intuition seem to be the main weapons.

RubyrooUK Sat 05-Jan-13 21:49:01

...came early one day, I meant....

ElphabaTheGreen Sun 06-Jan-13 10:21:38

Nursery manages to get two to three naps a day into my 7mo sleep refuser. They rock him in a pram or in a baby bouncer and he's out like a light. If I hadn't seen it myself I'd've never believed it as those tricks never work for me (it's either boob or no sleep). I can only assume they pipe sedatives through the central heating system.

Don't worry - they're pros at nursery and they'll do whatever it takes (but they won't leave her to cry, so don't worry).

PickledLily Sun 06-Jan-13 10:36:27

Oh, this is all so very reassuring! Thank you. I'm liking the idea of sedatives in the central heating. In fact, if the nursery can get her to sleep when I fail, I'm tempted to start DD sooner.

I have a formal briefing session with them before she starts so I will talk them through her sleep avoidance tactics then.

ElphabaTheGreen Sun 06-Jan-13 13:49:57

I took it as given that they'd know every sleep avoidance strategy in the book so I literally said, 'I'm terribly sorry, but through no lack of trying on my part, the only way he'll nap is breastfeeding to sleep then the rest of it on my lap. Good luck.' Left him there for a three hour stretch during settling in and he'd had 45 minutes in the pram by the time I got back.

His naps are completely at odds with the rest of the babies, though. I turned up to collect him once - all babies were dutifully asleep in the cots, lights were out...DS was playing away merrily in the middle of the playroom while the staff were having a cuppa and looking on in bemusement.

Don't worry - it'll be fine. Give yourself a good long settling in period and lots of days/half days with her at nursery and you at home so you're not at work worrying about her not sleeping.

steben Sun 06-Jan-13 13:53:52

Don't have a sleep refuser but my daughter attended nursery with a few and I would regularly see them rocking/shushing and patting those that were so hopefully you will be reassured by that smile

Pozzled Sun 06-Jan-13 13:55:33

DD2 is another one who has always slept very badly at home, but has no problems at nursery. She's 18 months and at home I can either feed to sleep or take her for a walk in the pushchair- nothing else works. She started nursery in September, and right from the start she would sleep on the mats in the main room. I think it's because there's always someone close by, so she feels safe.

Teladi Sun 06-Jan-13 14:00:44

Slight different issue but with the same result, my separation-anxiety-tastic 8mo wouldn't go NEAR a cot at nursery without screaming the place down. She was already flipping out about me not being there, there was no way she was going to go to sleep! So they put her in a buggy and pushed it back and forth, back and forth, til she went to sleep. Twice a day, each day for the first 2 months or so that she was there... it was normal and they didn't bat an eyelid. After that she was better and less allergic to the cot room, and she now (at 16 mo) takes her usual length of snoozes in there.

On the subject of the separation anxiety, the staff also gave her lots of cuddles and reassurance whenever she needed it and now I'm pretty sure they are among her favourite people.

Agree with Elphaba above about the settling in sessions and extra half days, its a bit grim when you are sitting at home during the 'settling in' session and you know there will be issues, but it makes it much better when you go back to work. 100% worth the investment IMO.

sleepdodger Sun 06-Jan-13 23:59:10

Ds never slept for me as a baby
Nursery from 8mo... 2 good naps a day blush

UmDieEcke Mon 07-Jan-13 00:20:29

At DD's nursery they slept on a mat on the floor and one nursery nurse would sit between 2 children and pat shush them until they were asleep.

Snazzynewyear Mon 07-Jan-13 00:24:31

At my DS's nursery the kids slept beautifully due to all the tricks described above. They will handle it, don't you worry!

LakeFlyPie Mon 07-Jan-13 00:29:16

Both DSs bf to sleep day and night at home, slept like proverbial babies at nursery confused

DS2 (2yrs) who won't go down in his cot awake without a prolonged protest sleeps on a mat for his afternoon nap.

I'd love to see CCTV of how it happens and watch it with him grin

3birthdaybunnies Mon 07-Jan-13 00:31:03

Ha ha ha! Dd1 was a sleep refuser from day 2, 10 mins in the morning, 10 in the afternoon - that was a good day. The nursery assured us that she would sleep for them, they always sleep, we put them in a pushchair, rock them etc, they all eventually sleep. After a month they said to us 'she just doesn't sleep, whatever we do' uh yes, that's what we told you before you took her on.

She just ended up gate crashing their coffee break, that's what you pay them for, and also why we didn't go down the cm route, she was fairly high maintenance as a baby. Some children are just durracel bunnies, and I had 3 of them, she was intense, but a lovely 7yr old who still doesn't sleep

NatashaBee Mon 07-Jan-13 00:46:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PickledLily Mon 07-Jan-13 19:51:38

Brilliant! Thanks everyone. Well, DD will certainly put them through their paces. Let's see if they have the magic touch.

surroundedbyblondes Mon 07-Jan-13 20:05:16

Another one who had a demanding DC! Lovely nursery staff let DD2 sleep in her buggy at first, walking her round the playground the first days, wheeling it indoors when she had dropped off. Gradually this became her climbing willingly into her stationary buggy parked in the cot room, and today (5 months after she started there) she finally slept on a mattress. She was delighted about her achievement also, and told me very proudly about it this afternoon when she came home grin

While nursery staff in my experience will let them grumble and whinge a bit more than I do when I have DD2 at home (not a criticism, it must be a necessity when they have several to deal with) I have never known them to practice controlled crying or cry it out. Once during her settling in period they called me to say that they couldn't manage to get her to sleep and did I want them to keep trying or did I want to come and get her, as she had got herself a bit upset and overtired/overstimulated. I was very impressed by their honesty and the fact that they weren't just painting a rosy picture of things. Now I know when they say things have gone well, that they are telling the truth. I also never have had the impression that they are resentful or grumpy to either DD2 or to me for the extra effort required in helping her get to sleep. It's all par for the course to them, and they take it in their stride. They are amazing smile

Emsmaman Tue 08-Jan-13 12:14:50

DD has always napped really well at nursery (joined at 12mo) even though a shocker at home! They really are different when around non-family, and other children & babies....

i made it clear from the outset that dd needed a lot of help to get to sleep and she always got it, although I did have one occasion where I collected her at 6pm and found her still asleep <raging>. They never did that again though.

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