A Daycare Transition & Plead for Mommy Advice

Every mom longs for the day her little ones reach that walking milestone. 
Okay, well maybe not long, but our hearts still go wild the day it happens. 

When Jackson wasn't walking by his first birthday I was honestly a little disappointed. He was just such a good crawler and cruiser that I assumed he'd be an early walker. But that wasn't the case. 

Then, 13 months rolled around...still not walking. 

And then it happened, 13 months 1 week Jack took off and never looked back!

The onset of this milestone also meant that he'd now be transitioning to the Toddler Room. 

At this point, transitioning to the Toddler Room seemed like a blessing. Jack screamed every morning when I left him in the Creeper Room, all of his friends had transitioned and the teachers in the Creeper Room had given me enough attitude to last us through his Senior year of High School. So, I was excited. He'd finally be back with his friends!

The main part the transition from the Creeper Room to the Toddler Room is nap time. Before the kids get to walking, they can nap whenever they want. 

The Toddler Room is a whole other story. 
In the Toddler Room, they get one nap from 12-2. 

At first I was good with this. In fact, I was glad! Jackson had been refusing naps because of all the excitement of daycare so I thought one long nap would be just what he needed. 

Now, over a month later I'm finding out I was completely wrong!!! 

It appeared, at first, the transition was going smoothly. Jackson ate well, played well and even slept on the cot for their 2-hour naps. 

But then it happened...

One morning Jackson woke up screaming bloody murder at 5 a.m. 
And then the next morning. 
And the next. 
And now it's three weeks later and it continues to happen. 

Bottom line, it comes down to him be overly exhausted. I've done what I can at home to try and help. Last week, I told daycare it was out of my hands. 

Every child is different and it just so happens that mine needs two naps a day. This one nap in the middle of the day isn't working. 

In a little experiment we conducted last week, we kept Jack home Thursday and Friday. 

The four days he was home {Thursday-Sunday} Jackson napped at least twice a day. He also didn't wake up screaming long before the sun came up. Nope. He slept until 7 am every day. But as soon as he went back to daycare yesterday, he woke up screaming at 5 am again this morning. 

So, here I am. We are stuck at this daycare. And they are stuck with us. But Brandon and I are having trouble functioning due to lack of sleep and an extremely unhappy 15 month old. 

I am begging you mamas out there, what can we do to help this transition? I'm open to any transition tips you may have! Anything! We just need sleep and peace. And sleep. Did I mention sleep?

Lay it on me ladies, how can we help Jackson transition??


  1. Earlier bedtime? You didn't say what time he goes to bed (I don't think...) but that would be my first thought. :/ Tough one...

  2. I have heard earlier bedtime too for this type of thing. So is he napping at all there?

    Also, I hate saying this, but is there any chance of him crying it out a morning or two and then realizing that indeed he'd like to sleep more? Sorry--don't hate me for saying that!

  3. The daycare really won't work with you? Like that is 100% off the table?

    If so, I think you could try letting him go to bed earlier as the others suggested. Maybe if he went to bed earlier he would sleep more soundly?

    And, I did have the same thought as Jenn ... what if you tried Ferber (I know, I know, but it worked for us) for the 5:00am wake up? In other words, train him to know that we don't wake up at 5:00am. You will be tired for a few days, but it may get him sleeping again - I think it's easy to get up at 5 since it's a semi-normal time unlike 2:00am, for example, but what if you pretended this was happening at 2:00am?

  4. Hey Erin, really sorry about this whole situation. I think that Jackson is not yet used to of the day care center that he goes to. And I think you could try making him go to bed at an early time as others are suggesting here. You could also consult the staff at the nursery to know if he has been behaving oddly there. Let me know if Jackson is okay now.

  5. When Colin switched to the toddler room at our daycare, he had sleep issues for a couple weeks, too. He did eventually transition to one nap just fine, but they let him sleep until 3 if he needs to. Does DC wake Jackson up at 2 when naptime is "over?" Could you ask that they let him sleep as long as he needs?

    I'm really sorry you are having to deal with this. It's hard enough being a working parent and having to send your sweet little one to DC. It's like an extra slap in the face when things aren't working out well! Big hugs to you, mama.

  6. I don't think I ever have left a comment but I just wanted to lend some advice. My mom has owned and directed a daycare center for 26 years. First of all, I cannot believe that they only allow TWO hours for a toddler's nap. That seems absolutely crazy to me. I'm sure they are mandated to give at least two hours to anyone under 5 (at least that's the regulation here in MD), but just two hours seems crazy!

    My triplets are 18 months old and still take a solid 4 hour nap and sleep through the night fine (8pm-8am). I would completely agree that he is exhausted. He must be. He has to be! But I also agree with the CIO thing for waking up at 5am. Trust me, I was totally against it until I hit my breaking point, being 8 months preggo and trying to manage 11 month old triplets who were up every hour...CIO worked and it took barely two nights before they were soundly sleeping through. Still my girls sometime wake up at 7 and for the life of me, I never ever go into their room before 8am. They know Mommy is in charge and not them. My friend put it all in perspective for me when I was at my breaking point with the CIO, and simply she said, "Holly, they are not going to die from crying, sometimes they need to let that energy out!" From then on, I trained them to know how to soothe themselves and grow through it all. I am so glad I gave them the correct tools to do so.

    If you want to read on my blog how I did it...please feel free. I believe the post was in January 2012 or December 2011.

    Good luck!!!!!

  7. Ohh I am so sorry for what is happening with Jack! I can't say I relate as we don't use a daycare. But I feel for you on the sleep issue and the 5am wake up. For several months Landon would wake up crying around 4-5am, and we had major issues getting him back to sleep. BUT, we started turning the baby monitor off and letting him fuss. (He is right around the corner so we can still hear him, just not as loudly with the monitor off). After 2 nights he stopped waking up and has slept roughly from 8-8 for the past 2 weeks. He also is napping for one long afternoon nap (3 hours). And then he sometimes takes a short 30 minute nap after we pick him up from the sitter. Ask your daycare to let him sleep as long as possible! Good luck!!

  8. I'm sorry momma! I know this can't be easy. I can't remember exactly when Nolan transitioned to one nap a day...maybe it was before he was a year...now he sleeps for about 2 and half hours and sometimes 3 on some days. I hope you get this all figured out with daycare! I would say maybe trying to get him in bed earlier might help...I find they sleep longer than if they are up later---which of course does not make sense but for somre reason they sleep longer when they've had sleep.

  9. I wish I had the magic trick for you. I have a girlfriend who is kind of in the same situation, so she is now putting her daughter leah down for bed at 6:30. Which seems crazy because she only gets like 90mis max with her at night. Also maybe if yuo take away 2 naps at home he might do better in daycare? Just some thoughts. I totally have no clue. I hope it gets fixed soon so you and your hubby get some much needed rest. Keep me posted.

  10. Oh no momma! That's rough! I have no advice since Ellie doesn't go to day care but I hope it gets better soon!
    ♥ Kyna


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