Posted by: Hannah | 09/05/2012

no sleep ’til Brooklyn

Luna’s mom called last night to ask if I could keep Luna until 2:30pm for the indeterminate future; i.e., until her collarbone and ribs heal enough that she can drive. There being no good reason to say no – she is after all arranging to pick her up before the school bus arrives, so my numbers are still OK – I agreed. Besides, being totally mercenary, at that number of hours I can charge my full day rate, and extra money during the second-most expensive month of the year is always a good thing.

But oh, I was fretting. Getting Luna to nap is a nightmare. The other littles, including Baby G, get packed off to their respective rooms at the same time every day, after a story, and boom! Out like lights, 99% of the time.

Luna can’t be put in a room. She refuses to stay in bed. Despite being on the small side for a two year old, she can climb out of both the crib and the pack & play, so that’s a no-go.  The week I had her for full days, I popped her in a pack & play in the main play area, dimmed the lights, and sat nearby until she slept.

It sucks. It keeps me pinned unhappily in one place. I can’t spend time with Ron, do chores, or even have a cup of tea. And I was dreading the thought of it.

Then my sister pointed out that since Luna is going home at 2:30, I actually don’t *have* to make her nap at all. She won’t go to pieces entirely until after she’s home. And frankly since her parents have created this situation where she can’t / won’t sleep unless she’s being rocked or driven around the neighbourhood – and since they keep telling me she doesn’t need naps anyway – why would I bend myself in knots trying to get her to nap?


This afternoon I went through the usual post-lunch routine. A bit of quiet playing. Clean diapers for everyone. Slip out to nurse Baby G and pop him into his crib. A couple of stories. Then off to the nap room for Pixie and Louis, upstairs with a video game for Ron, and into the rocking chair for me.

I brought out a little child-sized folding couch and a pillow for Luna. I gave her a big pile of books. I told her she didn’t need to sleep, but that she did need to sit quietly on the couch and read her books. I explained that I’d be right there, but that we wouldn’t be talking or singing because at quiet time, we need to let the kids sleep.

She cried a little bit – maybe five minutes, the shortest time yet – and then just like that, she fell asleep. Never once looked at a book or even sat up. She’s asleep right now, with her fingers tangled in her hair and her little fat toddler tummy going up and down.

Guess I’ll try the same approach tomorrow.



  1. I feel your pain. I’m about to give the sack to one family because they don’t nap. It would be one thing if they were wonderfully behaved otherwise but they are not. Glad it worked for you. I’m currently sitting in the dark with a crying 2 year old 😦

    • Oh Kate, that is horrible. I’m so sorry. It’s a tough enough job without the parents actively fighting you on something so fundamental as good, healthy sleep.

  2. Your sister is a genius!! But so are you, because tired kid + boring quiet time = SLEEEEEEP!

  3. That’s exactly what I do with Jazz and Grace. They don’t have to sleep, but they do have to stay on their cots, in separate rooms, and play quietly with the pile of books and quiet-time toys I provide. They may also not trade toys. (I allowed that at first, until it became obvious that trading for another toy was simply an excuse to talk to Mary.) Sometimes they sleep, most often they don’t — they’re older than Luna and Grace, at least, is generally well-rested and so doesn’t need naps any more — and I GET MY DOWNTIME.

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