The time of my 2 year old’s lunchtime nap will clash with his nursery slot.
My son is due to start nursery in January 2006, when he will be 2 years old. I am also due to give birth to my second son on 2.2.06.
My son goes to a crèche three times a week and loves it. He is definitely ready for nursery as he loves being and playing with other children.
My problem is that the only nursery I can get him into near me in London only have afternoon spaces available from 1.15-3.45pm.
He currently wakes at 7/7.30am and still has a lunchtime nap of two hours, at 1-3pm. He needs this or is overtired in the afternoon. He goes to bed at 7.30pm and usually lies chatting in his cot until he falls asleep around 8pm.
He has always been a good sleeper. He is happy in his cot [he still wears a grobag] until he falls asleep. When he wakes he never cries, just chats to his teddybears.
I am really worried about his nap schedule when he goes to nursery. Obviously I could do with the time when he is at nursery to do errands and to be with the baby. My son also needs the stimulation and company of other children and, in my opinion, will cope very well with going as he is an outgoing child who is very happy in the care of other people. But I cannot cope with a newborn and an over tired toddler!
Should I let my son have 2 one hour sleeps, one before nursery and one after? Or 2 hours in the morning? But then will he make it through to bedtime? I am sure that once nursery starts I will have to put him to bed earlier and he will fall asleep quicker but I do not want to be up at 6am.
I thought other mothers must have had this problem or does everyone manage to find a morning slot for their toddler?
Trying to change your son’s good sleeping patterns could well take some trial and error before you hit on the right combination. At two he will still need a sleep of sorts but with the hours you have been allocated this is probably going to have to be in two naps. It is doubtful whether he will be willing to sleep for 2 hours earlier in the morning, be woken and given lunch before speeding off to nursery.
Ask at nursery what other children of his age do? You may find he could have an hours nap when first there which would be his normal time for sleeping. Although you are keen for him to play with the other children adjusting to new people, a new baby and new sleeping times may all be a little too much at first.
You may need to build in quiet times into his mornings in the first few weeks when he is adjusting to being out in the afternoons. If you feel he would be willing to sleep before his lunch for an hour then try putting him down but most toddlers do take some time to come round after their daytime sleep. If you have to rush him through his lunch in order to make his nursery time, the whole time of day could become fraught and unpleasant.
Consider keeping a nap in at 1-2pm when he is first there, and the possible need for a short nap at 3.45pm. This could help him enjoy his time at home with you and stay roughly with his usual bedtime, perhaps making his bedtime 15mins earlier.
It is difficult to know how he is going to react to missing out on some of his sleep. Many toddlers adapt well to nursery hours and, although do not sleep for so long when there, manage to get through. As long as you are vigilant in watching his reactions and adjusting to an earlier bedtime, if needed, he should benefit from his nursery times without becoming chronically over tired and difficult.