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How can I polietly ask people to stop letting the kids nap!?

(26 Posts)
user1477401725 Tue 25-Oct-16 14:41:06


I am mum to a boy, 3, and a girl, 14 months.
I work full time and rely on family members to look after the children while I'm in work. This was all going well....we had the children in a routine of bath time, story time, bed time....the boy by 8pm / 7pm on a school night and our daughter by around 6.30 / 7.

Around a month or so ago we realised that our little one would come home from wherever she had been that day and would still be awake...sometimes until gone 10pm!! We also noticed that she would 'tantrum' more often and became quite disruptive on times (Not like her).

After a few weeks we had a routine health visitor check up and I mentioned the late nights and bad behaviour and as we suspected she thinks it is down to being allowed to nap to late in the day. She suggested not to allow her to nap after midday, something I have tried and it works!
I have mentioned in conversation that the health visitor suggested keeping her awake after midday and that we struggle at night. My husband and I rarely eat together or get to even talk because she is awake and quite disruptive.

How can I re-enforce the no nap after midday rule without sounding ungrateful for them watching her while I work? HELP PLEASE!

NotAClue82 Tue 25-Oct-16 14:44:11

You can't. If you don't want your children to nap after a certain hour, I suggest you pay for childcare.

PeggyMitchell123 Tue 25-Oct-16 14:51:39

You could ask but if your dd is falling asleep after midday it would be a lot to ask a family member to deal with a grouchy tired toddler. Bring it up and see what happens.

If it doesn't work then paid childcare is your way forward.

Ziggitypop Tue 25-Oct-16 14:52:12

You can discuss it with them and explain what her behaviour's like if she does nap, however, it may be that for them, Stopping her napping is a major hassle eg can't take her out in the car in case she drops off or having to put up with whining/tantrums in the late afternoon if she hasn't had a decent amount of sleep. Is there one main person who cares for her? You could sit down with them and throw a few ideas around depending on what their experiences are?

Artandco Tue 25-Oct-16 14:53:02

You can't. It's perfectly normal for a 1 and 3 year old to nap. At 14 months mine would need to nap twice anyway

If your working all day, surely 6.30pm bed means you rarely see them anyway? Isn't a late nap and 9pm bedtime better? Then you can all eat together, play and see them 6-9 pm

CatchIt Tue 25-Oct-16 14:56:24

Yes you can! My mil often looks after my dd and when she got to the same point, I just asked her if she could help avoid dd having a nap as she wouldn't go to bed at a reasonable time. Boom, done.

I think as it impacts your time with your dh, it's quite reasonable, it just depends how you ask.

NoCapes Tue 25-Oct-16 14:59:42

If other family members are the main caregiver, as they are here then You have to do things their way I'm afraid
If you want to dictate, do it yourself or pay for professional childcare

Rolocookies Tue 25-Oct-16 15:00:50

Even if you paid for childcare many places would refuse to not let them nap. They might discourage it but they wouldn't force the issue.

NerrSnerr Tue 25-Oct-16 15:04:35

I don't know if you can. I agree with discouraging late naps if possible (after 3pm or similar) but expecting a 14 month not to nap after midday seems extreme. If a child really wants to sleep most childcare providers will let them. Have you spoken to the family members about it? Are you paying them? Are they putting them down for a nap so they can rest?

FV45 Tue 25-Oct-16 15:05:39

How many different places do your children go to? Are you going to have to have this conversation with quite a few family members?

It is quite unusual for a 14 month old to not nap at all. What time does she wake in the morning?

You can't be seeing much of either of them if you work full time and your DD is in bed around 6.30pm. Maybe a shorter nap might work? Or a nap straight after lunch rather than late in the afternoon.

I worked when mine were that age and loved that they napped as it meant they could stay up a bit later. NOT 10pm though!

Iguessyourestuckwithme Tue 25-Oct-16 15:05:45

Most 14 month olds are having a 2 hour nap after lunch - 12/2 1/3 - strange response from health visitor denying the baby a nap after 12. Thats 7 hours awake

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Tue 25-Oct-16 15:07:05

Sorry, I also think it's incredibly unreasonable of you to expect unpaid family members to put up with grumpy, overtired, toddlers so that you & DH (the children's actual parents) can sit down and enjoy a quiet, child free, dinner every evening!

If you want to dictate such things, employ a nanny or one of you work part-time to be with the DCs yourself in an afternoon & keep them awake!

frikadela01 Tue 25-Oct-16 15:10:39

Firstly I agree with others that a 14 month old having a nap in the afternoon is normal. My 19 Mo th old niece still has about an hour in the afternoon and sleeps fine at night.

However if you really do want to knock the naps on the head then you go to the person looking after them and say "would it be possible to try and discourage dd from napping during the afternoon". No need for hand wringing or how to do it "politely" just ask. If you can't ask the family member you trust to look after your children something so simple then I'm not sure they should be looking after your children.

ANewStartOverseas Tue 25-Oct-16 15:10:57

Well, I have to say I never even imagine my dc not to nap at 14 months old but I know that's what some parents do.

In short, yes you can mn turn it. You can explain what is the consequence of a late nap (you'll have to define what a late nap is though. 4.00pm for me is a late nap and I can see how it would disrupt her sleep. A 1.00pm nap isn't late).
But ultimately no you can't force the people who look after them for you to do so, esp if they are family members doing you a favour. It would be slightly different with a childminder or nursery. But then, they would also be more likely to be in sort of routine anyway....

As an aside, my dcs have always struggled much more with sleep when they are overtired and then when they are rested.
So I'm wondering if your fantastic solution that works when you are at home with dc2 isn't actually backfiring when you then leave her with other people.

ANewStartOverseas Tue 25-Oct-16 15:12:57

Btw, both my dcs had a nap until they were 3yo, for about 1h30. They were in bed by 7.00pm and awake at 7.00am.

Floralnomad Tue 25-Oct-16 15:14:23

I agree with pp , you can't , you can ask them to try but as they are providing presumably free / cheap childcare you cannot push the point .

Artandco Tue 25-Oct-16 15:31:00

Also surely if they are tired they will just sleep? At 1 they are presumably in pram or sling or car seat on and off, they will just fall asleep. Mine fell asleep in high chair or playing also before, not much can be done

DinosaursRoar Tue 25-Oct-16 15:39:06

My DC2 was like that, and at 3 she's the same, any sleep after noon - even if it's just 5 minutes, then she'll be awake until 10pm, but angry because she's not had enough sleep in the day... Before noon, not a problem. Both DCs had dropped afternoon naps by 18 months, it's not all children that need a couple of hours each afternoon, annoyingly!

Actually, when she was younger, it was more trying to get routine where she slept before noon, so 11:30ish. Now it's more about not getting her in the car after 2:30pm without some sort of distraction (like a snack, or a toy to play with, or songs on she likes listening too).

Depending on who it is doing care, asking that a nap at 11:30am might go better, maybe a walk in the buggy at that time if your DC will sleep in there.

Otherwise, you might need to think if you would be better off paying for childcare or just sucking it up for the next couple of years - crap evenings are the cost of free childcare.

Frazzled2207 Tue 25-Oct-16 15:40:08

I don't believe 14mo doesn't need a nap.
Family look after my 17mo and I say he needs to be woken up by 3 as IME although he can last until 2/3 he won't go to bed at a sensible hour if he naps too lare.
Also, I think limiting the nap, say to an hour max, is not unreasonable

Frazzled2207 Tue 25-Oct-16 15:41:37

Sorry, I'm sure some 14mos don't nap but it must be rare

DinosaursRoar Tue 25-Oct-16 15:42:56

oh and my DC1 would sleep in the afternoon in the carseat or buggy if you went far enough, and then stay up in the evening - but if you didn't go out in the car/buggy, he wouldn't sleep at home and wouldn't be grumpy - he didn't need the sleep, but would sleep if in the car/buggy. Was hard though, it meant I had to stay in after lunch until he could walk.

If the people doing free childcare have other DC they have to pick up from school etc, you might find this isn't a practical request. However, if you go for paid for childcare, a nursery might be better than a childminder who has to do the school run for older mindees!

Sirzy Tue 25-Oct-16 15:44:33

I think it's unfair to expect relatives who are being kind enough to provide childcare to deal with overtired, possibly grumpy children all afternoon just to make your evenings a bit easier!

ANewStartOverseas Tue 25-Oct-16 15:44:36

You also need to ask why is it that your DC is sleeping in the afternoon?

Is it because they fell asleep in the car/buggy whilst going out to do something with the toddler?
If it because your dc2 was so tired that she got grumpy and she clearly needed the nap?
Is that the people who look after them are finding it hard work and can't cope wo her having a nap so they can rest for a bit too?

If the issue is that they are struggling to cope, they aren't going to stop the nap...

Perhaps you could ask them not to let her sleep as long? Ds2 was like your dd if I let him nap but is also a grump if I don't let him nap! Once I reduced his nap to about 45-60 mins he wasn't grumpy and will still go to sleep at bedtime smile

Artandco Tue 25-Oct-16 17:49:45

But how do you keep a one year old awake? Mine would literally fall asleep anywhere if tired

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