so nothing makes me more excited than getting feedback from mommies, daddies or caregiver as to WHAT you’d like help with or would love to hear how i/we do things here.
**while i may do things differently than the parents do, they are 100% okay with the skills and tactics and have mostly emulated the same routines and schedules to keep the kids comfortable and because it works and its’ what kids need.**
i’m not sure it was ever discussed but we have always followed my two-hour nap rule. children that are under 3 need approximately 15-hours of sleep per 24-hour cycle. which means if they’re sleeping 12-hours overnight, then they owe you either a 3-hour nap or AT LEAST two 1.5 hour naps.
i’m strict. but not in a mean way, just in a firm if you keep asking it’s not going to change my answer way, AND if you whine about it, i make it longer way. i’m a former preschool director. i know that children NEED limits and they love to push them. that’s all they’re doing!
when i’m home with the 3 & 5 year olds during the day, i still require a 2-hour “nap”.
here’s the scoop. they need the rest. you know that. it’s their job to object. and that’s fine!
there just things in life that i personally believe are not up for negotiation. such as, they cannot ride without a car-seat. well in my mind, nap time is the same. non-negotiable.
the 3-year old who just moved/migrated to a big girl bed in the past 6-months is the roughest of the 3 but the rule/deal i made with her is she doesn’t have to sleep. she can play with the assortment of stuffed animals she requires to sleep with (i remember being the same way and my parents asking how there was room for me in there!). she can read a book quietly, which i have to remind her multiple times does not include reading a book i a loud Dora voice, but in her head, or just looking at the pictures. and she doesn’t get out of bed to find me, if she needs to go to the bathroom she can call to me or just go. when “quiet time” is over, i will come back and get her, and every time she gets out of bed, i add 10 more minutes on at the end and she knows i can see her on the baby monitor in her room.
well, 9 out of 10 times, by the time the 90 minute mark has hit, she’s OUT LIKE A LIGHT and for at least another hour or two and we end up having to make nose to help her get up before she sleeps through the night!! she NEEDS the sleep, but she’s 3. she’s stubborn and it’s age appropriate and crying happens. and often we have to threaten or take away iPad or tv time. but, the hard part is passed once we’ve laid that ground work. it’s never easy in the beginning like with anything but it HAS gotten better!
if tears are what you’re worried about, take a shower. do dishes with your iPod on. THE CRYING SUCKS. but, they get passed it. i just have been giving some advice to a friend in nor cal for the past few weeks as she works on sleep training her very defiant 4.5 month old and after almost 2-whole weeks of doing EVERYTHING i’ve told her, she’s got her sleeping through the night and taking 2-hour naps! SUCCESS!! mommy is happy! baby is happy! and life is happier in their house. that’s what i want to help people achieve.
back to here in this house:
the 5.5 year old is totally different. i can tell when he’s tired. or maybe just needs some video game time/ quiet time, but regardless, when they play hard, they need to rest their bodies no matter what. generally i put him in his parents room or on the guest room bed with a marathon of his favorite TV shows from the DVR and again, before the hour is up, he’s out like a light. last time we did this, both gave me a hard time, i think took away iPad viewing for the next day and was on to other things, when they both just passed out almost 2-hour after quiet time started! i didn’t know quite what to do, but my rule of never waking a sleeping child won and i let them sleep. they needed it!
THAT’S how we achieve the minimum of 2-hour nap at our house.
IT DID NOT HAPPEN ON IT’S OWN!!
It took LOTS of work and LOTS of tears from us both but we got there, and it was worth it because they are happier children and i can be a better caregiver to them if i know i’m getting a 2-hour break or more…..otherwise it’s burnout city for all of us which just isn’t healthy or good! THEY need the break. the rest. that’s why ANY daycare or licensed childcare facility in the state of CA, and likely many other states require a 1pm-3pm quiet period. we do the same here and it works like a charm!!
i’ll talk all about the baby and his sleeping because he’s a serious rock star, i’m so proud of him, but it starts into sleep training and several other baby related topics i’m gonna save that for the next post!