View Full Version : Sleep help?

03-19-2014, 01:41 PM
I have a very stubborn child (when it comes to naps). He's been here about 5 weeks. Adjusted smoothly and quickly. He is almost 13 months old. Is calm, busy and happy all day. Eats well, plays well. He is a difficult sleeper at home. Here I can get him down for a nap with 2-3minutes of back rubbing. That's not an issue and really I wouldn't mind having to do that twice a day, every day IF the kid stayed asleep. The first week he's sleep anywhere from 45-1hr40min, now were down to 20min stretches.

He has no ability to put himself to sleep (doesn't need to at home). So, when he wakes he can't go back to sleep unless I go in...which I no longer do. This is week 2 of my just plopping in bed (with music from home) and leaving. I figure if he needs to learn to put himself to sleep he needs to do it at the beginning of nap when he is tired, as if he wakes after 20min he's rested enough to not have to sleep.

BUT the kid will not go to sleep. He sits (never lies) alllllll nappppp longgggg. I'm talking up to 2hrs. Sitting there, staring at the door. He is falling over asleep, sits back up shakes himself awake and sits...then falls over asleep. I have a video camera. It was hilarious the first day now it's just annoying!

Two hours passes and the kid is still sitting there, awake, having only slept micro seconds before fall and waking himself. Twice a day. I don't leave for a full 2hrs in the morning, I put him down first and get him up last (my group all does 2 naps). In the afternoon I've been leaving the 2hrs.

I feel bad but it seems like the only way to get anywhere is to bore the kid to sleep! But even that is not working. I don't want to go in and backrub to get him to sleep as I feel we'll never wean him off that. But, I feel bad sending the kid home exhausted everyday (he falls asleep in car on way home and naps).

The kid is happy all day so I'm not really worried. If the kid was falling apart and miserable I'd be more worried (as in stressed and pulling my hair out). At home the kid does two 2hr naps (but parents are right there keeping him asleep). They have acknowledged that they set very bad habits for the kid and need to make changes.

Anyways, the kid is not screaming, is not stressed while in the crib. He cries out - after falling over asleep he cries and sits up...then stops and sits there. There is some short off and on crying but as far as I can tell it is a "come get me" cry not a stressed/panicked cry. I figure if the kid can sit there calm and quiet the majority of the time then the crying is not a urgent cry.

Any suggestions? Anyone have kids that did this? How long before they napped?

bright sparks
03-19-2014, 01:56 PM
I had a kiddo who would sit and nod off, eventually he would stay asleep and after a couple of days like this, staying asleep sat up, I would gently lay him down and if he stirred I would gently shush him and leave the room. This backfired a lot so I ended up leaving him and eventually he no longer sat up. Took a good few weeks but his parents were the type to constantly try to sooth him too....constantly watching the video monitor at every move and thinking there was something wrong with the moving around during his sleep. I think you are doing all you can. I think I would remove the music to be honest. It may be calming and soothing, but enough localized noise to keep him awake. Also I would for sure let the parents know that they need to make changes at home in order to see better results at daycare. Have a good conversation about what the issues are with leaving him and offer kind words of advice. Just be sure to reinforce to them that the inconsistency is not good for him and no matter what you do at daycare, if they aren't on the same page at home it is undone when Monday rolls around. It is an extremely important and essential part of psychosocial development for a child to be able to self sooth and if the adults in their life are preventing him from learning it is detrimental and effects them later on in other areas.

If seeing him sleep this way annoys you, turn the monitor off. He isn't even upset as you said so just leave him to it. He isn't disruptive so I don't really see this as a big issue. He goes home tired which is a shame but not the end of the world and he is happy at your place in between napping. Things could be a lot worse. In the best interest of the child the parents need to be working collaboratively with you to deal with this as sleep is so important especially at this age, but beyond that during the time he is at your place, I wouldn't worry about his current sleeping habits.

03-19-2014, 02:10 PM
Thanks Bright Sparks...good to hear someone else had a child doing this and it ended, eventually! I'd turn the monitor off but it rotates through all the nap rooms and prefer to have it on to know who actually slept and when. I have it on silence so I don't have to listen to them. It's more just the kid is clearly exhausted but is fighting it soooooo hard. Why?? Sleep already!! I can't complain too much...could be worse the child could be up there screaming non-stop and upsetting themselves and everyone else.

I totally agree with the need for children to self sooth. It does no good to have a child completely dependent on adults for sleep.

I will think about cutting the music. I have the feeling that that change will result in a screaming child. He knows this music means sleep, it's what he has on at home for sleep.

bright sparks
03-19-2014, 02:27 PM
Ah yes Id be a bit worried about removing the music as well then if that's what they associate with going to sleep. Better to probably focus on the parents initially then and to have them leave the child with just music and to cry it out or not if he just doesn't sleep and go from there.

03-25-2014, 12:09 PM
Have you tried offering only one nap? How old are the kids? If you kept them busy all morning and offered their nap after lunch he might sleep better. Just a thought.

03-25-2014, 12:21 PM
This child is only 12 months, my whole group is 12-16months they all nap 2x a day. Mainly because the 16month old only does 30min naps most of the time so I still do 2 naps or it is a longgggg day for that child! I do leave him in the crib much longer but he can't sleep past one sleep cycle.

The child above is only 12 months and does two 2-3hour naps while at home (with help of course) so still requires 2 naps. I also hope that doing nap routine 2x a day will enforce what is expected faster than once a day and once he finally figures out how to put himself to sleep and sleeps then I will see about switching to 1 nap. I figure it's not just a tired issue s he manages to not sleep at all in the morning while up there and still can't put himself to sleep in the afternoon here. As of yet, he is still unable to put himself to sleep even though he is unable to keep his eyes open and is falling over asleep in crib the whole nap time. Gahhh. Ahhh well...the child is calm and happy so I will continue on in hopes he figures it out someday soon.

5 Little Monkeys
03-25-2014, 12:57 PM
Kind of in the same boat. I have an 19 month old who has been here for over a month. He is the perfect child in the sense that he plays well, eats well, transitioned beautifully (like seriously, there was no transition period lol) and his parents are great to deal with. The only issue I have (and it's not even really an issue) is that he doesn't nap!! If he does, it's for maybe 30-60 minutes. He is always really quiet and stays in his playpen for the whole naptime without a peep!! I have him in the hallway outside of my naproom because he ALWAYS poops an hour into nap (doesn't matter if I keep him up, he still poops an hour after going down). I go down and change him and put him back into his playpen. He will sometimes fall asleep but not for very long. His parents said that he does the same thing at home too. They brought a white noise machine this week and he's used it yesterday and today. I really don't see the point of the machine but whatever, I'll use it. I can him hear through the vents right now just quietly chatting to himself lol.

He sleeps throughout the night for 12-14 hours depending on the day and I think he just isn't ready or needing a nap. Thankfully he is quiet though so I can't really complain. He is never cranky or tired either which I find unusual. Oh well...maybe one day he will nap longer haha.

Hopefully your boy "gets it" soon and will nap too!