Parenting & Family

Toddler wont take naps at home, but does at daycare

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  • Jul 23rd, 2020 1:50 am
[OP]
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Apr 13, 2017
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Toddler wont take naps at home, but does at daycare

Our little one just resumed daycare 2 weeks ago (was there 1 week in March) . When the daycare was closed, at home, it was a real struggle to get her to take naps after lunch. Required a lot of rocking and sometimes breastfeeding to get her to take that 1-2 hour nap.

At daycare though, her teacher says she takes 1-2 hour naps everyday, without any rocking. Sometime the teacher taps her lightly. However, weekends have been difficult for us to get her to take naps. She is resisting naps too much to the point that she is cranky in the evening. Any tricks to get her to nap?
8 replies
Sr. Member
Dec 25, 2018
746 posts
1393 upvotes
I would take whatever the teacher says with a grain of salt. We have cameras at our daycare luckily (or maybe not as it’s stressful to watch) and it’s amazing how often the teachers say something that doesn’t match up. She ate the whole meal but we saw she barely touched it. She slept 2 full hours but we saw she slept maybe 45 minutes.

How old is she that you are still breastfeeding? I’d assume toddler is 1.5yr+ but who knows.

I would try tough love. Sleep or I’ll leave you alone to sleep. That usually works (I have to stay around until she sleeps) and NO talking while going to sleep.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 13, 2017
2913 posts
1395 upvotes
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stevepoint wrote: I would take whatever the teacher says with a grain of salt. We have cameras at our daycare luckily (or maybe not as it’s stressful to watch) and it’s amazing how often the teachers say something that doesn’t match up. She ate the whole meal but we saw she barely touched it. She slept 2 full hours but we saw she slept maybe 45 minutes.

How old is she that you are still breastfeeding? I’d assume toddler is 1.5yr+ but who knows.

I would try tough love. Sleep or I’ll leave you alone to sleep. That usually works (I have to stay around until she sleeps) and NO talking while going to sleep.
Yes, about 1.5+ . The day care does have camera, but they stopped the live feed sometime earlier this year. We only get some videos through the day.

We tried the technique of us falling asleep, but she just left the room to play in the living room.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
17911 posts
8799 upvotes
My thoughts are that, assuming the daycare is indeed able to get her to sleep without trouble, you have created a routine that your child wants to go through in order to nap (or not nap). It sounds like you would notice a big difference if they are napping at daycare (you mention on the weekends they are cranky).

Have you talked to the daycare about their routine? For example, do they play music? Do they immediately sleep after eating or is there a period of reading/playing? Lights on? Lights off? Time they are put down? Do you have the same daily wake-up time on daycare and non-daycare days?

To me you have three choices:
a) Mimic what daycare does in hopes of getting the same results
b) Keep doing what you're doing and be frustrated
c) Try a new routine and all the fits / tantrums it will take to adapt

I would try (a) first if they are successful. It's much easier than (c) and once you get them napping, easier to try and switch things up with gradual changes. (B) is obviously where you are at. (C) will likely take some fits as you'll need to likely change what they want from you at nap time and, if you haven't experienced it, a 1.5 year old can get very cranky because they lack the ability to communicate what they want. But I have the feeling every parent knows that ;)
Deal Addict
Oct 24, 2010
2406 posts
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Ottawa
Children often do different things with different caregivers.

We've had two dayhome operators that have said the same thing about or two year old, ever since he started at dayhomes at 16 months: a gentle back rub and he falls asleep within a few minutes, for a 1.5 hours nap.

My mother-in-law has been living with us for over 4 months now. She says the same thing. Whenever she puts him to sleep, whether it's for a nap or at bed time, she's in and out of his room within 15 minutes.

For my wife and I, it's touch and go and always has been. It can takes anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour for him to settle and go to sleep, for his nap or at bed time. A gentle back rub helps sometimes, but more often than not it's just a matter of letting him calm and settle. We stay in the room, but we don't engage with him unless he's upset (we're not cry-it-out supporters). If he's just talking, playing, rolling around, etc we let him continue on his own until he finally calms down and eventually falls asleep. Sometime it takes a while, but it works for us, and we don't feel like we're neglecting him.

Thankfully for us, once he does fall asleep, he sleeps fine (these days). It wasn't until about 18 months that he was sleeping for 1.5-2.5 hours at nap time and 11-12 hours at night without any intervention, but now he is the majority of the time. Unless he's not feeling well, generally we only have to go into his room once at night at most (a couple nights a week), and it's usually because he wants a drink of water; after which, he falls back asleep within minutes.
Deal Addict
Nov 28, 2013
2794 posts
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Quebec
Kids always act different with or without their parent

we put the baby to sleep here at 7PM, he's always up at 5h30 AM

He goes to his grandma for the night, she put him to bed at 7PM he wakes up at 6h30-7h30

damn you kid do that at home!
[OP]
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Apr 13, 2017
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Thank you all. I guess it’s just a phase we need to go through .
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 9, 2003
25095 posts
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Markham, ON
that's because at daycare there are other kids that mostly take naps...pressure to conform with peers.

no different that potty training etc...

all home...she's the queen
Deal Addict
Nov 13, 2013
3513 posts
2125 upvotes
Ottawa
Agree it is totally normal. Mine adjusts by going to sleep later when in care and on the weekends doesn't nap and goes to bed earlier. He still needs the nap as if he hasn't been having naps for more than a few days he gets tired. This is the key question you should ask yourself. My daughter was forced to nap when 4 and she no longer needed it so we didn't worry at all when she didn't have one on vacation. If your child still needs a nap and daycare is closed you should probably force the issue. Keep her up late the night before a few days in a row and find a routine that gets her to sleep at home.

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