Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

working mom/daycare advice needed

Hi ,

I need some advice on how I can change this situation.  My daughter is 17 months old and has been at the same daycare since she was 3 months old.  She has always been a little hard to get to nap but we have always managed.  Her problem is that she doesn't have a consistent routine mainly because of my work schedule.  Within the past few weeks she has resisted napping to the point that my daycare provider can not get her down for a nap at all.  When she doesn't nap she is a completely "different" child and is disrupting everyone esle's nap because she is a whiny little twit.  Not to mention that when I pick her up she is a nightmare or falls right asleep when we are halfway down the road and then her bedtime gets later (not ideal for me as a working mom). So a little background... My daughter was a difficult newborn (cried a lot) but never diagnosed with anything.  We attributed it to us being new parents and not knowing what to do. It is a home daycare and when my daughter transitioned to toddler...the daycare provider took on another infant.  At first my daughter had become really jealous of the attention but has since adjusted but she has not adjusted to not sleeping in the pack n play.  This is kind of ironic because she wouldn't sleep in the pack n play for the longest time.  She is also in the temper tantrum stages which makes this whole situation worse.  Any suggestions on how I can fix this?  When she has a nap...She is a very sweet loving little girl and it breaks my heart to see her like this.  And I hate to hear that she is the troublesome child at daycare (never worded like that) but that is the gist of her actions.  Anyone go through this and have some insight?

Re: working mom/daycare advice needed

  • A twit? Yikes, kind of harsh but hey, it's your kid.

    So is she in daycare 5 days a week? If so, how does she not have a consistent routine?

    It's incredibly important with children of all ages to be 100% consistent when it comes to sleeping and discipline. Kids need structure and something consistent to rely on as often as possible. Whether your child is in daycare 5 days a week or only 2, both you and the childcare provider need to tag team this problem and be on the same page in order to make this successful.

    Also, as kids gets older, you have to keep adjusting their nap times so you are putting them down at the optimal time. Putting them down when they aren't "ready" can be disastrous. Does she take one nap? 2 naps?

    When my 3.5 was going through nap strikes like this I would leave him. If I knew he was tired and I was putting him down at the right time, I would leave him in his crib for an hour, regardless of if he slept or not. Now I'm not saying I would let him cry for an hour because he never did that but he would definitely throw a fit. But whatever happened I was consistent.

  • She goes 3 days a week --- not the same days.  Of the other two she goes one day with her grandmother and one day with me and then on the weekends she is with my husband when I am working or both of us if I am  not.  I am working with the daycare provider to keep her on my schedule for now ---I think she is trying to put her down too late (12:00)  ... my daughter usually is tired around 10:30 - 11:00 when she is home with me --- she is transitioning from two naps to one --- some days she takes one, other days she still needs the two.  What is a typical nap time for 17 month old? 
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  • When my son was 16-17 months old I tried moving him from 2 naps to 1 nap and it was a shit show. He clearly wasn't ready so I stopped pushing it and waited for it to happen a little more organically.

    At 17 months old there isn't a "typical" nap time because it all has to depend on what works for your kid. If your daughter is tired around 10:30 then put her down at 10:30. She can take another nap later in the afternoon. That was my sons schedule around that age.

    We slowly pushed my sons morning nap closer to lunch time but we did it very, very slowly over a few weeks and eventually, around 18 months old he was down to one long nap at noon.

    Hope some of this helps.

  • My son is 18 months and very similar situation.  1 day with MIL, 2 days with just me, 2 days at day care, 1 day with my husband and 1 day with both of us.  He would nap at day care but hard to get down at same time as the other kids and usually up earlier.  If he was picked up in good time he would go for an afternoon nap but so many days he would be so thrown off and over tired it would turn into just a 1 hour early afternoon nap.  At home with us he always went down at about 1030. 
    We are also transitioning to 1 nap around 2pm. It is going ok so far.  I know routine is important but not all our jobs allow that.
    Maybe when she is at home with you, keep her up until 12. try to work with that schedule. Keeping them up until nap time seems to be easier than keeping a grumpy baby up until bed time.
  • I agree, consistency is the key! Does LO have a lovey? Anything to make all the different environments she's in to be as similar as possible.
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  • we are working on the consistency but that's where the problem lies.  no she doesn't have a special lovey....she likes different things different days but hasn't isolated one thing. 
  • I would push a lovey for consistency while you figure out schedules - either a blanket or something snuggly that she can cuddle, but give it to her before every nap and bedtime, wherever she is. Even if she ignores it while she's getting to sleep, it's something that is always there no matter what room she wakes up in.

    Does she have any kind of sound maker at home? I do daycare and we struggled for months with the little boys naps before his mom mentioned they play a rain sounds cd 100% of the time he sleeps at home (sigh.) and it was like a switch flipped when we got one for our house.

    Is she in a crib at home and Grandmas and just not at daycare? If so it may be good for you to get another pack n play for daycare if there's space.

    And last one, do you have any sort of pre-nap routine? Something super simple like throwing the blanket around her shoulders and giving her a big hug before laying her down can be a great signal for sleep from whoever is putting her down. This is another thing we struggled with with my daycare kiddo because his mom always nurses him to sleep and I obviously couldn't do that ;)

    Long post, but hopefully it helps to have some things that can be consistent for her even if her location/caregiver has to change so much.
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