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Naptime problems

  1. #1
    sonic-dragon is offline Registered User
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    Naptime problems

    Hi all

    We have 2 year old twins who have been in bilingual kindergarten/nursery for 3 months, in the afternoon session, starting at 1pm.

    Our twins are early risers - between 5 and 6AM. Until recently they have been napping at 10AM til 11.30 or 12, ready to wake up, have lunch and go to kg. So that was perfect.

    Unfortunately recently we have been unable to get them to sleep in the morning. They become sleepy at 11.30 or 12, which is a disaster, as they then won't eat lunch, fight violently with each other, have tantrumms when getting ready to go to kg, on the way home (and at home) afterwards, and the kg said they are sometimes falling asleep there ! All in all, it's been a very difficult time.

    The advice given by the kg is to put them to bed late at night and let them sleep in in the morning, apparently it is common in HK in general and among the families at our kg in particular for the children to go to bed at 11pm and get up at 11am. For a variety of reasons we don't want to try that. We have tried putting them to bed later than normal, hoping they can sleep in a little longer, but 11pm is out of the question, and in any case they still wake around 5.30am even now we are putting them to bed later, which just exacerbates the daytime (lack of a) nap problem.

    So, we were considering two options - to find a kg with places available in the morning session, or to persevere and try to "train" them not to have a nap in the daytime. As far as the latter idea is concerned, we have been advised that this is not a good idea, because, while all children are different, in general, 2 year olds do *need* a daytime nap. Unfortunately all kgs in our area are full at present, so it looks like we only have one option.

    Any advice on how we can make this work would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    SD

  2. #2
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    Find them a place in the morning session even if it takes some time. Plenty of people are leaving HK this time of year and plenty of people are getting fired so you might just get lucky.

    Trying to keep a 2year old up til 11 is bizarre. It's completely against their body rhythms. I would never trust anything that comes out of the mouth of the people that run HK kindies as you know they are purely financially motivated and will tell you what you want/need to hear to keep your children in school.

    We would only ever consider morning sessions for our two little ones with play dates and activities in the afternoon so it doesn't matter if they miss a sleep and get grumpy. Your twins might just be going through a stage in regards to their naps. When my eldest was 2 it looked like he'd dropped his nap but boy was he a cranky chap. He went back to them after a few weeks and we're all better for it. The more sleep he gets the better he is. I think if you sort out the kindie problem the rest will work itself out.

  3. #3
    sonic-dragon is offline Registered User
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    Hi there

    thanks for your reply.

    I'm not hopefull about finding a kg with an available morning session, as all the ones I have tried (ie all the ones within a reasonable travelling distance) have long waiting lists, including the one they are at, and only one was willing to put them on their waiting list. For the kg they are at there is a very long waiting list already, and we've been on it since we booked their place there earlier this year, and we are nowhere near the front.

    As for believing what the kg says, actually I do believe them, because I personally spoke to around 20 helpers dropping off or picking up, and they told me the same. Anyway, that's beside the point because, as I mentioned, we don't want to put them to bed at 11 (I'm asleep by 9 myself !).

    So, really, we're looking at strategies for having no daytime nap, as there doesn't seem to be an alternative.....they seem to be able to go to bed at 5pm or shortly after and sleep till 5am with a bottle around 8.30pm (while half asleep) , so it's all about the daytime nap and whether they can either get used to not having one (and whether we are doing any damage by trying), or start having one in the morning again.

    Another point raised by the kg actually, is that if they have woken early, and not had a nap by the time they arrive then they won't be getting the best out of it anyway, even of they don't fall asleep there.

    Thanks again
    SD

  4. #4
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    I'm not doubting that other families are keeping their children up late but I'm doubting that it's a 'reasonable' and 'healthy' thing to do to a 2 year old.

  5. #5
    sonic-dragon is offline Registered User
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    OK, but as I said, we're not planning to do that.....

  6. #6
    aussie mum is offline Registered User
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    If it were me I would probably take them out of kindy until a morning session was available. they are only 2 afterall.

  7. #7
    sonic-dragon is offline Registered User
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    Yes, that's another option, though in reality it would mean giving up until K1 starts next August, as the chance of a morning session becomming available is close to zero. For the two waiting lists we are on, there are more children on the lists than there are total places, so unless all the kids in all the morning classes, are taken out, and then some people drop off the waiting too, it's not going to happen.

  8. #8
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
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    Although I prefer morning sessions as well, my take is a little different. Having been a patient to one of US leading pediatricians / sleep expert I am a strong believer in early bed times. My children sleep better and longer (in the morning) if they go to bed early. Research has shown that children who are overtired have more trouble falling and staying asleep compared to children who are well rested. They also tend to wake up earlier in the morning. My twins go to bed at 6.30-7.00 pm and will sleep 12 hours most days. My oldest was even better, going to bed at 6 pm between age 4 months and 2 years of age, sleeping 13 hours straight. I can count the exceptions on one hand. She napped until age 3 1/2. I strongly believe in sleep begets sleep, and by establishing a healthy and earlier bed time routine, they may actually sleep longer in the morning and/or at least take a decent nap. Nap times that correspond to our natural sleep cycles are usually 9 am (morning nap) and around 1 pm (and possibly a late afternoon nap around 3 pm for infants).

    I don't think you can blame them for not taking a nap at 10 am, that's pretty early in the morning even if they wake up between 5 and 6 am. I would shoot for an earlier bedtime (somewhere between 6 and 7 pm). I think research has also shown that 90% of children nap until age 2 and 3, so with an afternoon session it's definitely not easy. You may want to pull them out for a little bit and/or until you have a morning spot. In the end they won't enjoy school if they're just to tired. It's not beneficial for your children or your wallet.

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