Sunday, April 10, 2016

He's never napped the way he's supposed to, and it got worse when he started daycare. How long did it take him to get used to napping in a noisy daycare?


From the beginning, he's been a bit of an odd sleeper. At 11 weeks, he was sleeping soundly through the night (~10 pm to ~5:30 am), and he never napped the way he was supposed to. We tried everything we could think of to get him to nap including the following:
  • breastfeeding him to sleep
  • rocking him to sleep in a quiet room
  • white noise (a heater, a fan, and/or a white noise machine)
  • warming his sheets
  • exhausting him to sleep through activity
  • letting him sleep in our laps with noise all around him
  • letting him sleep in our laps in quiet rooms
  • wearing him and walking on a treadmill until he slept
Some helped a little, and on a good day, he naps for 2-3 hours between 8 am and 5 pm.

He's very sensitive to noise also. Something as simple as my knee popping when I stand up or the sink turning on in another room is enough to get him fully awake. Thus, it's likely no surprise that he has trouble sleeping at daycare where he has to listen to other children crying. Surely he'd get used to it within a few weeks and start taking long naps though right?

Napping Data

Our goal is for him to get 2 hours of nap time while he's at daycare (8:30 am to 5:00 pm). The most obvious check on if he's getting better at it is to plot his nap length vs time throughout his entire tenure at daycare. He started at 12 weeks old on January 11th, and the data show the following:

As you can pretty clearly see, he's made no significant improvements with time. Another way to look at it would be to see how consistent his naps are. A histogram is provided below:

He pretty steadily gets ~1 hour per day. His average number of naps a day is 2.1 +/- 0.4. He typically naps at ~11 am and again at ~2 pm.


We worried a lot about this. We even switched day cares to try to help with it, but he was much worse at the other daycare (<45 minutes of naps per day) so we moved him back. We ended up being sort of ok with it because:
  • He sleeps 11-12 hours solidly at night and in the morning
  • He doesn't nap much better at home in completely ideal conditions
  • He is moving to a different class with older babies who have more regular nap schedules starting in a few weeks
  • He is developing normally and hitting all milestones
  • He does not seem grumpy or overly fatigued
  • I was a worse napper than him as a baby; I apparently started sleeping through the night at 5 weeks and never napped


  1. I had bought white noise machine for my baby and now my baby sleeps very tasty

  2. White noise machines are one of the most effective ways to mask disturbing noise at night and help relax. We’ve been using white noise to help with sleep ever since our firstborn came along. ..

    1. We use one at home and he seems to like it. The daycare doesn't allow them though. They have one for the entire room that they use during naptime, but it doesn't seem to be enough to drown out sounds from the other babies.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. My baby girl got on a great nap schedule while I was on maternity leave. And then I started leaving her in the daycare when I started my job again. After work I spend more hours with her and its miserable! I can get her kind of back on track over the joyful weekend, but then the cycle repeats on Monday.
    Christian Daycare in Lake County

  5. Very young infants choose their own sleep schedule.
    But I agree with some of the commenters that white noise machines can help to keep them sleeping.
    Sounds like your baby is doing just fine to me.

  6. My son is 20 months old and at I home I nurse him to sleep. I have always asked my daycare provider if he goes down okay for his naps and she has stated yes. Yesterday I found out she is putting a blanket over the playpen he sleeps in so he can see out and he cry's himself to sleep. I kept him out today and my husband and I are going to confront her tonight. I'm so upset and don't know what to say, any suggestion or is the normal?

    1. Can they see him in the playpen? I vaguely remember one of the regulations for daycares (in Texas at least which is probably pretty de-regulated) being that the kids had to sleep where a worker could see them at all times.

  7. As a mom we we are unable to give our baby so much time because we work different place or company. So day care is the best choice for our growing baby.

  8. Do not feel compelled to purchase a vehicle. Sales reps dependably endeavor to settle on you settle on a choice to purchase now, and will attempt to influence you to settle on an immediate arrangement.
    used car dealerships