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20mo no longer naps at nursery, but he needs the sleep still!

(5 Posts)
Ginformation Thu 23-May-13 15:43:22

He only goes to nursery one full day a week, and he used to nap there for 45-60mins which is less than his usual 2-2.5h nap, but enough to keep him going. Now he has stopped napping so is completely knackered by the time it comes to driving home, having tea and the bedtime routine- he can't cope. The next day he is also out of sorts. At nursery they just have mats in a slightly darker room (the 'sensory room') which is open onto the main baby room. I have often marvelled how any of the children sleep there at all!

Any advice?

omama Thu 23-May-13 21:31:26

Sadly no, my ds was exactly the same, nursery naps completely stopped around age 2.

Only thing that helped us is getting him straight to bed as soon as we get home, so he's generally fast asleep by 6.30pm (at that age i'd prob even have done 6pm). I've found with no nap that the earlier he goes to bed the longer he sleeps overnight. If i keep him up til usual bedtime he's way overtired & has a restless night.

The next day he's always shattered so we let him have a longer nap & that seems to sort him out. Hth.xx

Ginformation Fri 24-May-13 00:15:09

Thank you. Will try shortening the bed time faff on nursery days to get him settled earlier.

wickedwithofthenorth Sat 25-May-13 21:07:59

As a nursery nurse I think you might find it useful to question the nursery staff more closely about what is happening at nap times. It sounds like your little one does really still need a sleep. If his struggling to cope on the drive home I'm betting that his probably flagging towards the end of the nursery day.
Personally I'd be asking:
-when is he tried for a sleep? How long is he given to settle to sleep? Is there an adult in the sleep area or are the adults in the baby room supervising the sleeping/trying to sleep children?
-could he be tried for a sleep latter than he is now? If he doesn't sleep could they try him again later on?
-if he won't sleep could they encourage him to rest instead?
-what is the general routine around sleep time? What are none sleeping peers up to when he is tried for a sleep?
-are they giving him a choice about sleeping?

I've found that children around 2 at the nursery I work in go through a phase where they appear to need to drop their sleep but in reality they struggle to cope at the end of the day and then create a nightmare for parents at home time. In my nursery this seems to co inside with moving or beginning visits to the final age group where the oldest children don't sleep.
Sometimes nursery nurses will think nothing of putting these children to bed as soon as they've eaten lunch, or into bed while en route outside with another group of children. Imagination can also be starting to take hold at this stage so some children need longer than they used to fall asleep: I can think of children I've cared for taking up to an hour to fall asleep, with me just about to get them up as they've fallen asleep.
After years of being in charge of the 2-3s at my nursery I've learned that some children need help to wind down and we tend to do quite activities while children are settling and encourage those who have just dropped a sleep to rest quietly with a book for a while after.

Your ds sleeps so much at home I'd find it strange, but not altogether unheard of, for him suddenly not to need any sleep one day of the week. So if a parent of one of my key children told me what you have posted I'd be looking at how we could help that child rest/sleep.
If you feel like discussing it with the nursery think about what acceptable solutions you could suggest. For example allowing a short sleep closer to pick up time. How long you want him left to try to sleep; one parent once asked us to leave their child until they feel asleep or got upset between their normal nap time at home and nursery tea time, around 2 hours, that child always fell asleep eventually! Would you like them to in force a quite play time if he doesn't sleep?
In some cases where we've known sleep is needed we've resorted to down right bribery: saying certain children need to sleep to join in with special evening activities, as they couldn't safely cope otherwise. But the difference of saying after you've had a good sleep we'll be going to the swings etc has worked wonders!

Ginformation Sat 25-May-13 23:06:10

Thank you wicked, very helpful. Interesting what you say about imagination, I have noticed ds showing signs of imaginative play. He does take some convincing to disengage from activities when he is tired, he doesn't want to miss anything! I will speak to the staff. Although this week he did manage a 45m nap, at least it is something!

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