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Getting them up in the morning
Our 17 month old daughter will be starting at a new daycare soon. Until now we had a nanny caring for her so we didn't have to get her ready before we left for work. Now, we'll have to have her up and dressed about an hour before she normally wakes up. Is there any way I can help to gently adjust her sleep schedule to make this change less traumatic? Can she do with an hour less sleep per night? She goes to bed about 8pm, wakes about 8am. Putting her to bed at 7pm seems awfully early. If I continue to let her sleep until 8am and go to work later, I won't be home from work until after our regular dinner time. I know every child's sleep needs are different, but I'd be interested to hear what other parents are doing and/or if anyone has dealt with a similar concern.
I have recently started working full-time--subbing for a friend at a job while she's on maternity leave. I may stay on at this place at least part-time even after she comes back, as I need the money. My problem is my morning routine with my 28-month-old son. He is a late sleeper--in bed by 8:30pm--sometimes a bit earlier--and up usually after 8am, sometimes as late as 9! I know, I'm lucky, but this is not conducive, obviously, to going out to work. I've been mostly working free-lance and teaching, both of which allow me later hours (but, unfortunately, not enough money) and so I've been able to maintain a morning routine that works well for both of us. He is VERY slow to get going--hates to get out of his crib, take off his pajamas, isn't hungry right away, etc. He's in day care 3 days a week and has a sitter 2 days, but the sitter's been coming at 10 and he's never at day care before then either. We usually have fairly leisurely mornings with some cuddle time and a book or two before dressing and getting started with the day, and this seems to have a real impact on the quality of his day . When I took on the job for my friend I told them I couldn't get there before 10, but that's still pushing it--I have to be ready to go to work at 9:30, and I just can't seem to make that happen. I am trying to get my son to bed a bit earlier but there are a couple of problems there: when I am out at work I can't get to day care to pick him up much before six and when he's with the nanny it's still 5:30. I don't want to rush him to dinner, bath and bed, because I won't have spent any play time with him at all, and it's clear to me that spending some time on the floor playing with him every day is essential to his well-being. So, while I can work on maybe a 15-minute push back on his bedtime, I don't think much more than that is realistic. I should add that I'm a single mom and his dad is with him 2 nights a week, so those nights are less problematic in terms of his being with and playing with a parent, but the rest of the time it's him and me, and I hate to try to cut back the overly-limited time we have together to begin with. I can get him up a bit earlier, but obviously it's not good to regularly deprive him of sleep. So it seems like picking up the morning pace is the solution, but how do I do this while still giving him a sense of peaceful, easy mornings rather than harried ones. One thing that would help would be if he'd agree to eat "fast" food for breakfast like frozen waffles or pre-made pancakes, but, being two, he's into food fixations, and right now will only eat oatmeal for breakast (and lunch and dinner if I'd let him)--sometimes 2 bowls worth, which takes longer to prepare and which ends up everywhere, so that I practically have to bathe him after breakfast! Anyway, I'd appreciate any suggestions for how to gently hurry him along a bit more in the morning, or any other suggestions for how to get an earlier, faster start without infecting him with my harried anxiety.
I also try to keep track of my guilt about being a working mom in the first place, which adds to my misery and crankiness and doesn't help her in the least. Susan
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