Parents Want Baby Bushy-Tailed During the Day

opinion 1
How do you keep a 4 month old awake during the day? I play with her, read to her etc, but she gets tired after a couple of hours and takes two 2 hour naps during the day. Her parents say I let her sleep too much and they don't get enough sleep because of it at night. What do I do. She seems truly tired and I feel wrong keeping her awake, but I don't want to upset my bosses.


Ms.Nanny said...

It is perfectly normal and healthy for a 4 month old baby to have two two hour naps. Is the baby not sleeping well at night? If so it is probably another issue. Sometimes an additional cat nap (45 minutes) at around 5 PM can actually help promote better nighttime sleeping because then the baby isn't over tired and cranky before going down to sleep for the night. This has just been my experience as a nanny and an aunt and I completely understand that every child is different. I would recommend the parents and you reading about and discussing baby sleep-training, I loved The Baby Whisperer's ideas. Healthy sleep is so important for child development. It will make the parents' life easier, your life easier and most importantly it will help the baby be healthy and happy. Good luck!

UmassSlytherin said...

these parents are incorrect: if a child is kept up too much during the day (4 months???? it's a newborn, they need a lot of sleep!) they will not sleep as well at night.

OP, I feel bad for you. That baby needs to nap.

Fiona said...

Baby needs her sleep she's 4 months old for crying out loud!

Isuggest you and parents read Happiest Baby On The Block. it was life saver for me and some of my nanny families.

MandaJ said...

"My Family" also had this issue. Then they discovered- babies are not like adults. (Surprise!) So, we sleep all day and are up all night whereas babies sleep all day...and sleep all night too! :)

I'd gently tell the Parents that in your professional opinion it's unhealthy for the baby to be forced to stay awake. Babies, especially that young, sleep when they're tired. Makes them happy :)

Karli said...

Yeah these are clearly first-time parents and are blaming you for something they know nothing about. It's unhealthy not to let a baby that young nap as much as it needs to. It's still GROWING, and babies just sleep a lot. Eventually it will develop a schedule and you can kind of GRADUALLY help with that by reducing normal nap times little by little or keeping her up a little longer than usual but her not sleeping at night is a problem that could last WAY past 4 months of age, and everyone who's ever had a baby could tell you that.

Some parents drive me crazy.

Phoenix said...

well this is unfair to the baby and she may not be a baby that sleeps at night. I was a day sleeper and I was awake all night to the horror of my parents. And to this day I have trouble being awake during the day and I like to be awake all night. It is an opposite circadian rythem. There isn't much you can do about it. It is rude to keep a baby awake when they want to sleep.
Also babies sleep a lot because the body is growing. New studies are finding that teens need as much sleep as infants because their body is changing and we don't let them sleep enough. The body heals and grows most when sleeping. You need to let her sleep when she's tired. And i don't know how you go about telling the parents that. They may get mad at you. But I don't understand why they are trying to alter the natural growing process. Strange

Bostonnanny said...

Tell them if they want their child to become brain damaged then you will make sure the baby never sleeps. What fucking assholes. Babies that age need as much sleep as possible for their tiny body and brain to develop properly. Tell them to go to the doctor ask him/her if it's okay for their 4 month to be forced to stay wake. That's child abuse. Also print out some articles, get books about baby sleep patterns and tips for getting them to sleep during the night. If all else fails, lie to them about how much the baby is sleeping. I rather get fired then deprive a newborn of sleep.

Bostonnanny said...

I also have to bitch you out a little for not knowing the proper amounts of sleep a baby needs and for even trying to accommodate these psycho parents.

Karli said...

LOL!!! Bostonnanny - I love you. ;)

I know I'll probably get slammed for this but these are clearly stupid, lazy parents who don't get it. Maybe what they should do is hire a night nanny also so they NEVER have to interact with their kid. *eye roll*

I can't wait to have my own kids that are actually going to feel wanted. This is such BS.

oh well said...

How do you keep a 4 month old awake during the day?
You don't.
If she needs to sleep, let her go to sleep. 2 naps of 2 hours seem completely normal in my book for a four month old, and this is no reason why she should not sleep for a good portion of the night. Just make sure that she takes her naps in a reasonably noisy and lighted environment during the day, to help her learn the difference between day and night, which may take weeks and should be perfectly normal. If she doesn't want to sleep at nights, tough luck! she doesn't have to, this is what four-month-olds do! Also, do not overstimulate her during the day, as that might make it more difficult for her to go to sleep.

Mike Obey said...


This is insane?? Absolutely do not deprive this poor infant of sleep! Taking two naps...even three is completely normal for a child this age. If this child is deprived of sleep, he or she will only have major sleep issues later on in life. It is also normal for a child this age not to sleep all night as well.

This would be a deal-breaker for me. Unless the parents change their tactics, I would leave. If you stay and obey them, you are just as guilty as they are of abuse.

Nanny J said...

I'd say she probably needs MORE sleep during the day if she isn't sleeping at night, honestly.

At 4 months babies need 15 hours of sleep A DAY!

Sounds like new parent syndrome, DEFINITELY make it known that you are not alright with this and that it's improper to care for a baby in that way. She's an infant, she needs to sleep.

op said...

I haven't made her to stay awake yet.

But, they come home and see the log that she sleeps 4 hours sometimes alittle more when I'm there and they think I am lazy.

I do my job I feed her, change her, play with her all that, but she gets tired and when she does I put her to sleep.

They think I'm lazy because I only have 8 hours with her every day and most of the time she sleeping.

And she still wakes up at night alot and its they say it's because I let her sleep too much.

ericsmom said...

Karli is right sounds like they don't want to bother being parents. I mean why have kids if you don't want to deal with them? At four months they usually take 2-3 naps a day.

I think they need a night nanny

workingMom said...

In defense of the parents (who admittedly DO sound very new and clueless), they are probably TIRED from being woken up at night with the baby, having to settle her back down, and then trying to fall back to get some sleep before having to go to work all day. I am one of those people who has serious difficulty getting back to sleep myself, when my own sleep is interrupted.

I agree with another poster that perhaps these new parents need a night nanny, until the baby learns to sleep all night. You could suggest would presumably be for just another few months, until the baby gets older.

OP said...

They are not new parents. They have one older child I do not care for.

The baby crys at night and wakes all up.

She does not like to sleep even during the day and I am always so happy when she has her 2 naps.

I will tell them about the books. I would like to keep this job if I can so I don't want to tell them to get a new nanny and unfortunate for me I cannot spend the night.

MissMannah said...

Refer them to their pediatrician; he will verify that babies need a lot of sleep. So if this baby doesn't like to sleep (believe me, I feel your pain!) why don't the parents understand that? Shouldn't they see that any amount of sleep is good? Yesterday, my charge slept 3 times: 1 hour nap, 2 hour nap and then a 30 min nap and that was HUGE. Her mom and I were practically doing happy dances because she never sleeps that well. I agree with whomever told you to read the book by The Baby Whisperer, she has a whole section about sleep-training that I found very helpful. She also explains how sleep begets sleep, which hopefully the pediatrician can explain to the parents.

Bethany said...

How weird!

You've been given some great advice, OP!

I want to check out Baby Whisperer myself I've never heard of it.

Anyway aside from them asking you to deprive their baby of sleep, it concerns me that they get angry at you and call you lazy . But that's a whole different issue.

lexeael13 said...

Sounds like the parents are trying to fit the little girl into their lives a bit too much instead of following her signs as to what she needs. I agree with other posters that the parents need to read some books on baby sleep that may help. Lots of patience dealing with first time parents I suppose

ericsmom said...

Hmm, baby has trouble sleeping during the day too. Could it be gas pains? Is she hungry? If she is on formula maybe a switch. Is she overly dressed when napping? Who knows with kids.
Do you guys use any kind of white noise? Like a fan?

OP said...

She'll sleep but only when she tired.

Shes not a baby to sleep all day.

I have formula for her. She's not hungry or in pain.

How can I say it? She like to see it all. When she want to sleep she rub her eyes or cry and I put her to bed and she'll do two hours.

That's at night with her parents too.
They think all I do is sleep with her.

They say their son slept so it must be me.

I'll try to talk to them

ericsmom said...

oh god they should realize no two kids are the same

Aries said...

I can't stand parents who blame there nannies for all there troubles. EX: If the baby is cranky, it must be nannies fault. If baby is not tired, nanny must be keeping him sleeping so she can be lazy at work. If baby is eating alot at dinner, nanny must of not fed him enough. If baby has gas, nanny isn't feeding/burping him right. If baby is too sleepy, Nanny must of kept him awake all day.
If baby can only be rocked asleep, nanny must of made it a habit for him. If baby is bored with the bouncer, nanny must of had baby in it all day, over using it.
If baby is upset, its nannies fault.. If baby is happy, it's because of the parents.

Shake my frickin head.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

I agree hit the nail on the head. LOL.

OP: I can't believe you glossed over the fact that they called you "lazy" just because the baby napped. That might be a deal-breaker for me.

Night Nanny said...

As the others have said, babies have totally different sleep habits. The baby may actually need more sleep during the day to sleep better at night. I work w/newborns (multiples) and have found sleep begets sleep w/babies.

1234 said...

These paarents sound like straight up a-holes!

une jeune fille said...

Is this a new thing with parents?

Sounds like the dad of the parents I work for He's an immature asshole anyway, but that's another story.

He gets pissy when he comes up for lunch (WAH) and his 4 month old is sleeping. Make some random commemnt about him being up all night ( I'm sure his ass doesn't get up anyway probaly yells at his wife to do it)

Baby has started sleeping till 5am after being put to bed ar 7pm the last two weeks. But that's not good enough for dear old dad.

He also whines about his son having a cranky moment

Not being able to hold his bottle yet.

Whines about his dinner time being interrupted because baby is hungry.

Wants to play 20 questions with me about why son is crying when he wakes from a nap.

I could go on and on about Mr. Douchebag. He's not a first timer either he's got a 7 year old daughter. His wife is a saint.

Yeah seems to me a lot of parents these days aren't getting the memo that life changes when you have a baby.

luna said...

To answer you question you don't.

Babies NEED their sleep and lots of it it's ESSENTIAL to their development.

Tell them you will not participate in abuse and you will be happy to discuss techniques for helping everyone get through the night.

Also your bosses calling you lazy to your face is UNACCEBTABLE that paired with their attitutde towards their baby would be enough for me to quit.

chick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
talesfromthe(nanny)hood said...

OP, I would ask them to show you how THEY "make" their infant stay awake all day long.

Ask to see specifically what they do when she is yawning and indicating she is tired, when she is fussing due to being sleepy and when she is screaming with exhaustion.

Sleep begets sleep. Have they checked for reflux, especially silent reflux? Have they tried to figure out if her crib is somewhere drafty, or if she is too hot because she is swaddled?

Ask them what they have tried and who they have spoken to about her night time routines and sleep issues.

Really Bad Eggs said...

I like tales ideas, put the ball in their court.

Aside from the baby, OP it's not cool that your employers are calling you names.

This situation has abuse written all over it.

Kel said...

My last family did this. I just ignored it and did it my own way.