I posted this issue on the Two & Three Year Olds board back when the little guy was three. Now that he's four, I figured I'd give this board a shot.
My name is Michelle, & I've been a full time nanny for a family w/three children for the past 5.5 years. I've been watching the four year old, N, since he was born. He's always been a great napper, & rarely complains to this day about taking one.
The problem is that about six months ago when he was 3.5, his mother asked me to stop having him take naps. It's of course because she wants him to be nice & tired when it's bedtime at 7:30. The problem w/this plan, however, is:
1. Naps are essential to developement of little people's brains.
2. If he doesn't take a nap, he's a wreck by 4:00.
3. I need a little break! (Okay, that one may be selfish, but I'm sure everyone here has spent 10 hours straight w/a four year old asking trying questions all day, & may need a tiny bit of alone time from them.)
We made a compromise that instead of nap time he could lay in his bed quietly & look at books for an hour for quiet time. Everyone seemed fine w/this new arrangement. The problem is that, he almost always falls asleep w/in 10 or 15 minutes even though I put a big pile of books in his bed & let him know he's cool to look at them to entertain himself. I always get him down around 1:15, & I definitely have to wake him up at 3:00 or else his mom is going to say something to me again. Waking him up at 3:00 is impossible. He's still super tired. I know that he's getting around 11 hours of sleep at night, so him needing to nap for two hours doesn't seem completely unreasonable, right? I can't really put him down earlier than 1:15, because he goes to school a couple of mornings a week & we don't get back until near 1:00.
I guess being just a nanny & not a mom, I can't full understand why it's so important that he's in bed promptly at 7:30 every night. If his parents don't see him all day, wouldn't they welcome an extra hour to spend w/him at night? Being that you're all moms, I'm guessing that you're just going to say that I should do whatever his parents tell me to. But any advice or opinions you could give me would be great.
Thanks so much. :)