Subject: Sleeping between Dad and Mom's House
Question: My granddaughter is 4 months old and she comes to my house every other weekend. We are having a difficult time getting her to take a nap in her crib. Someone told me that Emma should sleep in two different beds. One for naps and another for nighttime sleep. I believe one of the problems is that she has two different schedules between her parents. How can we make the transition from one house to the other consistent to cut down on her anxiety and separation from her mom to her dad.
I would really appreciate any advise you could give us. It is so frustrating for all of us especially Emma. Also, when she goes back to her mom's on Sunday, she has to adjust to her mom's schedule again. Then two weeks later she has to adjust to her father's schedule because we both work. We have different shifts, so depending on who is home that's who takes care of her. Thank you most kindly.
Karyn F. (Mae Mae)
Answer: Dear Karyn:
Children do need routines they don't need schedules...she can't tell time. She won't have a concept of time until she is about 8 years old...so throw out the schedules and get a routine...if all of you can agree on a routine then she will be fine. Now what do I mean by a routine...what do you do with her before it is nap time? Sing to her, massage her, read to her? Play with her? Often caregivers make the mistake of playing with children and after all that stimulation they expect them to go down for a nap.
It helps to minimize the noise about 30 minutes before a nap. Then reading, then singing or something else which soothes and then a massage...I also suggest a cd which has soothing music and heartbeat sound in the back ground...those put me to sleep as well.
If you all three cannot agree on a routine then you develop your own routine so she knows what to expect each time she comes to your house and remember to quit watching the clock.
M Kay Keller