Tuesday, 26 January 2010

To Tell, or Not to Sleep? That is the Question

Gilby doesn't really sleep at nursery.

I need to put this in perspective by saying that at home he sleeps a lot. Probaby sixteen hours a day, even though he is nearly six months old.

He doesn't appear to be able to stay awake for any longer than two hours at a time when he is in the comfort of his own cot. It is quite likely that he will sleep for most of the morning, and then take an afternoon nap for an hour or two following a strenuous lunchtime, when he evidently uses up all his energy in eating.

So when I collected him on Monday and they said to me, "He's done really well today - he slept for nearly three quarters of an hour!" I couldn't really share their excitement. Nor could I explain his inability to settle properly at nursery. If sleeping during the day was an Olympic sport, this baby would definitely be in with a medal chance.

Initially I thought that it must just be due to the noise and distractions - but I have been to visit during 'quiet time' and it is really peaceful.

And as I put my baby down tonight, it suddenly dawned on me why he is not able to sleep. Because of course, the lovely carers at the nursery would not dream of settling Gilby on his tummy, which is where he is most comfortable. It has become so normal to us, in spite of the horror expressed by the health visitor, and so I didn't think to mention it. And now I don't know whether to or not - because of course, it is not the done thing at all. I am an extremely naughty Mummy.

So I don't know whether to risk the wrath of the nursery by explaining, or continue letting Gilby exist on a fraction of his normal sleep requirements.


  1. This is really interesting. We had the same thing with our little one who is now 18 months old. Our compromise was to let her sleep on her front through the day and put her down on her back at night. That seemed to work for her. Luckily we didn't have to put her in a nursery so could easily stick to that routine. She slept loads too. Our Health Visitor approved of her being on her front through the day cos it built neck strength

  2. My mum says that I wasn't happy unless I was on my front (both to play and to sleep),which is funny because my babies are the total opposite and HATE being on their tummies! Surely once they can roll over you can't stop them sleeping on their front anyway?

  3. I confess, I put my baby to sleep on her tummy too and have done from about 9 weeks old. I was terrified at first but got a special monitor that would go off if, god forbid, she stopped breathing. She sleeps brilliantly like that, loves it. She doesn't turn over now even though she could which says to me that it was the right decision. Parenting advice changes so much, they used to say tummy sleeping was better due to choking etc, now it's back sleeping. At 6 months you should be able to tell the nursery without fear of recrimination. I know plenty of people who do this, it's just not something people really talk about openly. I would never suggest anyone do it, it's personal choice, but the nursery are caring for your child, and he needs sleep to grow so you should ask them to do this.

  4. Yes - thank you all for such thoughtful comments.
    It reassures me to hear that other people do this too.
    @It's a Mummy's Life - we told them this morning and he slept for three hours today. So I am certain it is the right decision. Hurray!

  5. Babygirl is also a fan of sleeping on her tummy - we cuddle up to let her do it during the day