Day Care Concerns

EH has been having a hard time at day care lately.  He's not napping.  At all.

Ok, well that's not totally true, but for the past week he's been sleeping an average of 1 hour per day in naps.  That is clearly not enough.  When he gets home he is absolutely miserable from exhaustion.  That is, if he actually makes it home awake.  Most of the time he passes out as soon as he hits the car. On those days, I'm pretty sure that he thinks he should be asleep for the night when he falls asleep at 4:30 p.m.  If he let him stay asleep then he wakes up at 2:30 a.m. ready to start the day (which is understandable from his perspective - he's been asleep for 10 hours after all.)  If we wake him up, he's miserable and cranky.  He wants nothing but a bottle and to go back to bed.

This, coupled with the fact that he's been non-stop sick for weeks and day care's penchant for losing articles of clothing, blankets, and bottles that we send has left with a bad taste in our mouth.  

And lately, when DH has been arriving at day care to pick him, EH is usually laying by himself, in a swing or on the floor, crying his heart out with huge tears streaming down his face.  It's heartbreaking for DH and devastating for me to hear and perhaps the most difficult part of this whole mess. 

We also don't want to be "those parents" who complain about and hate on day care, because I'm not sure that anywhere else will necessarily be any better, but until we try something else, we can't know for sure.

This morning I talked to one of the women in the infant room, asking her if everything has been ok with EH because we noticed that he hasn't been napping very well.  She said that they noticed that too but since a lot of kids don't sleep well there, they just figured it was normal.  I explained how miserable he is when he gets home in the afternoon and stressed that he really does need to get better naps.

She also said that he was really "curious" and that he seems to have a hard time falling asleep with all of the noises and lights.  This I can believe.  The cribs at day care are all in the same room as the play area where all of the awake children are playing, and right next to the kitchen area where all of the kids in highchairs are eating.  It is a crazy, chaotic and noisy place.  Which I would be fine with if I felt that EH was getting some decent one-on-one time, but I'm not convinced that he is.  They are going to keep a closer eye on his sleep schedule, and particularly focus on getting him to fall back asleep if he wakes up after only 20 or 30 minutes of napping.

What are other day care set-ups like?  Is this normal at a "center" day care?  Are our expectations simply too high?

We have casually started looking into other options.  DH has listed a "childcare wanted" ad on Craigslist, but the responses so far haven't been too promising.  Best case scenario would be that my parents decide to move to Pittsburgh to watch EH in their retirement - we've even offered to buy them a house. (By the way, that offer still stands, Mom and Dad!)  But it's highly unlikely that will happen.  We could also look into other center-style day cares, but are things really going to be any different at a different center?

This we know for certain - when EH is well rested who is an amazingly happy, charming, loveable baby.  We want to keep it that way.

Does anyone have any suggestions for what we can do??? Pittsburgh people - do you know of any good childcare providers in the Franklin Park/Wexford/North Hills area that you can recommend (individual person or center)???


Corinne said...

oh gosh that sounds terrible for you two as parents and for your little guy! Hopefully they are able to help him get some much needed sleep! I'm sorry I don't have any suggestions, though :(

Stephanie Hain Torres said...

I don't have any suggestions, but just wanted to say that I'm thinking about you. Such a tough situation to be in. I hope that you guys find a resolution that works for all of you soon!

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