Daycare Schedule

Updated on February 09, 2008
J.M. asks from Saint Joseph, MN
12 answers

My daycare is great, don't get me wrong. She has been talking about a schedule for some time now. She is wanting him to nap at a certain time everyday. There is another child who is 3 days older than mine at daycare and she has a very precise schedule. She naps everyday at the same time, eats everday at the same time, etc. My son does not. Sometimes it varies by an hour or more. Daycare provider says this is hard on her and wants to get him into more of a routine. I understand her frustration, yet I feel that my child should nap when he is tired and eat when he is hungry. I don't feel he should have to nap when the other child is napping and such. I tried to explain that to her today, and she said she can't deal with him crying all day. She has never brought that up to me until today. Any suggestions??? I just don't feel that both babies will ever be on the same schedule and that seems to be her goal. She does not have any children of her own. I do not want to find another daycare, any advice for daycare moms, or parents is welcome. Thanks

After reading some of your responses, I thought I would add a litle more information. My son is 7 months old. At daycare, she has my son, a girl who is 7 months as well and another girl that is 17 months or so. My son does have a schedule, however it does not seem to be fitting in with her "daycare" schedule. I also agree with you on how important a schedule is, I have a 6 and 9 year old as well. How do I train my 7 month old to nap and eat on a schedule, if the schedule he is currently on is not convienent for me, or daycare??? Is that more clear. Thanks for all the great advcie so far.

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answers from Saginaw on

Hi I work at a day care and we kinda have a schedule for the older kids but not for infants. I would tell her how you feel and then go from there.

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answers from Appleton on

I am a childcare provider in WI and I wanted to just give you another perspective from someone in the field. In my experience, I do try and get all of the children I watch on the same schedule much like your provider. Depending on the number of children you have and how large your home is, it can be difficult to have children napping at all different times as well as eating. As a provider, it can be difficult just to keep up with all the little mouths to feed and hands to wash but if you have to feed everyone at different times and try to make sure everyone gets an adequate nap it can be challenging to incorporate any learning activities into the day. I have found that the younger children seem to adapt very well to having one nap in the late morning or early afternoon so that the morning can be filled with fun and busy activities and then the afternoon can be more quiet activities to allow the younger children time to sleep. I only have a 3 bedroom home and if I allowed my daycare children to sleep whenever they wanted to I would have children in all 3 rooms all day. My parents seem to like that the children do learning activities in the morning and then settle down in the afternoon so they are not wound up when they get them home. Again, this is just my perspective as a fellow childcare provider.



answers from Boise on

I agree w/ the moms ahead, there is no reason your son can't be put on a schedule, so long as he isn't being tied down to the bed or force fed, you don't say how old your son is but any baby below 6 months really can't be put on a "schedule", but past that there is no reason why he couldn't, thats what happens once they enter school age anyways, as to the crying he may need that schedule to help give his day guidence and structure cause that is what all kids need, even infants we just have to be a little more flexable, let her give it a try and see what happens, I dought she is going to do anything that is harmful for your son.



answers from Kalamazoo on

I didn't see how old your baby is, but if he is older than 3/4 months or so than I have to agree that for your provider and her sanity, a schedule would be very helpful. I can't imagine having a bunch of kids all sleeping and eating on different schedules. That would be chaos in my home. :) My kids were both on flexible schedules as infants and toddlers and it was great for us. I knew when I could schedule things around eating and napping, etc. So as long as your provider is willing to be flexible if needed, I don't see a problem with it.



answers from Des Moines on

If kids are in the same environment they will somewhat naturally adjust to be the same. Generally, speaking if nap time is after lunch and one goes down then, for the other to wait an hour or more puts them almost opposite. that makes it difficult to do activities, like go outside with out leaving one in sleeping. and the 17 month old is at an age that their going to start needing more activity. so I don't know that it's unreasonable to set up a schedule. Even if she puts them in a crib for quite time, lights off etc. If he's not used to it he may resist for a little bit by crying or whatever.

Even at home he should be on a schedule that is naturally what most daycares do...Breakfast in the morning, lunch about noon, etc. so it really shouldn't be that hard have schedules line up.

When he starts going to school they'll have quiet times, etc. and if he already knows how that there are "rules" or has the ability to adjust, then he'll get along better.

When you look for a daycare you should be looking at the process the provider uses. I guess I am a bit confused by what "not fitting" means. Since we generally all eat at the same time (ex: 7, 12, 6 with snack(s)) Then naps would be inserted in between. When you say "he should sleep when he's tired and eat when he's hungry"....are you assuming he'll let you know...because at that age, then need help in establishing that. so that their not eating when really their frustrated/tired over something else. it's not up the the child to decide that.



answers from Grand Rapids on

J. -

It depends on how old your son is. If he is less than 6 months old, than no. If he is, I would let her put him on a schedule. Kids (even infants and toddlers) need structure to their day and a daily routine helps them with that. It makes it a lot easier for them (and for you) if they get in the routine of eating at a certain time, then napping, then snack, then play, etc.

My daugther's Dr. told me when she was about 4 months old that we needed to start getting her on a routine - our schedule. That she needed to learn that we called the shots- not her and that we needed to make sure that we provided her with the structure she needed. We had already been working our way into a schedule and it was easy. (at that time it was eat @ 8, noon, 4, and 8) When my mom had to babysit for us for a entire day she made the comment that our daughter was easy to watch b/c she was on a schedule. You knew when she needed to eat, nap, etc. There was no guessing as to what she needed. My daughter recently spent a couple of days with Grandma while I was in the hospital having #2 and my mom again commented about how easy she was b/c of her schedule. When it was time for lunch, she told you she was hungry, after that it was nap time, when she woke up she told you she was thirsty and needed a snack, etc. b/c this is how her day normally goes. It made it so much for easier on my mom to have her for those few days b/c she had a routine and knew it.




answers from Milwaukee on

I would look for another provider. Babies that young really are on their own schedules yet. You are paying your daycare to care for your child with your instructions. I would look for another sitter with fewer children. maybe two babies is too much with an active toddler.



answers from Billings on

no 2 kids fall asleep at the same time. i find that when there little they will go to sleep when they want. i really think you should find someone who will help you out and getting a schedule for all the kids... GOOD LUCK M. h...



answers from Salt Lake City on

I've found my children do so much better when in a routine (and when they get out of it, it's not always pretty). Now they've never been "nap at exactly 10, eat at noon, nap at 2" exactly, but they've always done well when all things happen within an hour of the typical time. So they'd nap sometime between 9:30 and 10:30, eat between 11:30 and 12:30, etc. Plus, it always a lot easier for me when I know what their schedule it so I can plan around it. Now you might not be able to get your baby on schedule with the other baby she takes care of, but I'm sure she'd be happy to have him on any sort of schedule just so she can help manage her day. So, in my opinion, I think getting your baby on a schedule is a good idea.

FYI - both my children were in a good routine by 3-months of age. Of course it changed around 12-months and then again around age 2.



answers from Benton Harbor on

I agree, routine is better for baby. Babies are not born with the ability to regulate their sleeping and eating, that's moms job. If he is crying all day at daycare, it could be lack of routine. I'll bet you will even see a difference at home if you start to introduce some predictability into your childs day.



answers from Duluth on

I did daycare for three years with five of my own kids and five daycare kids. I got an infant of about 2 months, two one year olds, a two year old, and a three year old to all nap at the same time. Because it was MY daycare, I set the time for naps and I did ask parents, for the sake of the kids, to follow a simular schedule on days off/weekends. I'm not sure what "daycare" means in quotes, but it is her business and her home and therefore, she sets her own rules and works for herself and I hope you hold that position in the highest respect. I had set times for food, breakfast, an a.m. snack, lunch, and p.m. snack, and the kids either ate then or waited until the next meal, although infants were always fed on demand. In the case of a child your son's age, I would manipulate, feeding him certain amounts at certain times until he was hungry at the times I hoped for (hoped, I have enough kids, I know my wants to figure into it! lol). IF I worked outside of the home now and had a seven month old, I would ask what time my provider has her kids nap (her meaning daycare kids) and if it's earlier than what my child napped at home, I'd wake him up a little early each day to control what time he got tired. If it's later, I'd put him to bed a little later at night to make him wake up a little later so he napped a little later. And I would lay him down on his days off at the same time. I am saying 'if', but I did have some of my kids in daycare a few years back and I felt that I was to follow my provider's rules, not ask her to accomodate my own. I would not walk into the kitchen of my favorite restaurant and ask them to change their manner of preparing something, nor would I walk into a bank and expect them to change their processes for me. It is the SAME for a daycare provider but I can tell you from experience that parents give us the most hassle, trying to tell us how to do our job. If you feel your son cannot fit into her schedule, I would look into another provider and ask her about HER schedule ahead of time. I know this reply might have a cranky tone to it, but I have been on both sides of it and realized the providers get the worst end of the deal - when it comes to the parents, not the kids. Kids rock! ;-)



answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi J.,
I don't have much advice for naps because I do think naps should be around the same times but for eating I think she should offer small snacks throughout the day. I have a small daycare and I don't have any kids untill 12:30 and lunch has already been served. Since I don't usually know how much and what they have eaten I always give healthy snacks for them to munch on. I don't want to ruin dinner but their stomachs are so small at this age and they are so active they need extra food. Good luck

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