Champion Power Napper?

Punkie is exhaustedPunkie isn’t sleeping enough.  During the week, he just doesn’t sleep much at daycare.  For example, he slept for 20 minutes yesterday and less than 45 the day before.  Sometimes in the evening, before bedtime, he abruptly stops playing and just lays down on the floor (like in this photo).  By the weekend, he is usually completely wiped out and he tends to take marathon naps to catch up.

And he isn’t sleeping all that wonderfully at night.  Some nights, he is excellent – he sleeps straight through to the alarm.  A lot of other nights, though, he wakes up yelling or, if he sleeps through, he wakes up ready to start his day one or two hours before the alarm.  We’re talking before 4AM, people.

The small amount of sleep would be fine if he seemed to be doing okay, but he’s really tired.  The poor guy is tuckered out.

What’s happening is that, during the day at daycare, they don’t have the time or ability to sit with him until he falls asleep.  He seems to need that in order to fall asleep.  On a weekend, if I sit with him for maybe 10 minutes when he’s tired, he’ll fall asleep and stay asleep for an hour or more.  At daycare, he’s now one of the older babies and the staff is spending time with younger babies who just need more attention.  For a while, daycare insisted on swaddling him (an 8 month old baby), even though I told them to stop, probably because of this very issue.

And, to add insult to injury, they called him the champion of the power nap.  Really?  Obviously there is a problem here and it just makes it worse when they make light of it.

Not to take a snarky detour here, but the newer crop of young babies seem to be especially needy.  In fact, at least two of them are screaming every time my husband picks Punkie up or drops him off.  Does the poor kid listen to screaming every day?  This can’t be good for him – it must be very stressful to listen to that continuously all day.  And what kind of impact does that have on him?  I have no idea.

This is really breaking my heart.  Often, I wonder if I should quit my job and stay home with him so he gets what he needs.  The staff at daycare are really nice women who seem very, very fond of Punkie, but they just aren’t his mother.  But, if I stayed home with him, WOULD he get what he needs?  He would lack the social interaction that he really seems to enjoy.

I wonder if this kind of guilt and second guessing is felt by all working moms.

Maybe this is a problem with this particular daycare, but I suspect it’s like this everywhere.  The state mandates one staff member for every 4 babies, so the daycares in our area all staff 1:4.  We’d have to hire a nanny to have a smaller ratio.  When we originally set up child care for Punkie, I opted for a daycare because of the lower cost and because I was concerned about one person being alone with Punkie all day without any supervision – a nanny can be wonderful, but another nanny can abuse, neglect, or injure your child.

My husband and I recently toured another daycare that was highly recommended by one of my husband’s colleagues.  I think we’re going to switch when an opening is available at the new place.  It’s so unclear, though, if that’s the right decision.  First, there’s the potential of upsetting Punkie with an abrupt change in his day-to-day routine, baby friends, and teachers.  Second, the grass might not be greener – it’s possible that this daycare has the same issues or, heaven forbid, worse issues.    I just don’t know.

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4 thoughts on “Champion Power Napper?

  1. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I don’t think there is a “right” answer, but maybe it’s worth it to try to switch to the new daycare. I think kids are more adaptable than we sometimes give them credit for being, and who knows, he might end up loving the new spot! I know sometimes the grass is not really greener on the other side, but if it were me and it seemed like there was no way my baby was going to get even close to enough sleep at the daycare she was at, I would try something different. You never know! Whatever you decide to do, I hope things work out better and your little guy can get more sleep!

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    • Thanks, Diana 🙂 There are so many worse problems to have, but I have been fretting about this lately. Not sleeping is affecting the kid’s zest for life and I read that sleep is important for brain development. I’m 94% to the “new daycare” place and we’re on the wait list now.

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  2. Wow. I just stumbled across your blog looking for “working mom blogs” and it is great! You have all of the same thoughts my friends and I have (we’re all “geriatric” mothers as well… don’t you love that word?) and you are hilarious. I hope you do what feels best for Punkie and find comfort in that decision. And I agree with Diana, little dude probably needs more sleep!

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  3. Thanks, Bonniejean! Please come back often 🙂 When I was pregnant, the folks at the doctor’s office kept reminding me that I had “advanced maternal age.” I almost prefer “geriatric” – fewer syllables for the same, . . . uh, assessment.

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