We have been looking for a new daycare provider for Maya. Yesterday I talked to a potential provider and was honest with her about the problems Maya has been having in her current center. She accidentally texted me afterward:
I responded this morning by email:
This is Nicole, who you texted by accident yesterday. It was apparent to me from your texts that you do not know much about infant sleep, so I did some research for you.
1. Where a child sleeps (crib or bedsharing with parents) has no influence on reported sleep problems:
“Neither the presence of daytime napping, male gender or where the child spent most of the night were associated with maternal report of a sleep problem.”
2. Sleep training does not work for longer than a few weeks:
“Conclusions: Behavioural intervention significantly reduces infant sleep problems at two but not four months.”
3. Infants left to cry it out learn that crying won’t bring their caregivers to them, but they remain just as physiologically distressed as evidenced by high levels of the stress hormone cortisol:
“On the third day of the sleep training program, nurses reported that infants no longer exhibited behavioral cues indicating presence of distress. Rather, as anticipated based on previous research and program expectations for infants’ behavior, infants’ vocalization of distress at transition to sleep without caregiver (i.e., Unit nurse) response was absent. However, an examination of infants’ physiological state identified a disconnect in infants’ behavior and physiological expressions of distress. Although infants exhibited no behavioral cue that they were experiencing distress at the transition to sleep, the infants continued to experience high levels of physiological distress, as reflected in their cortisol scores.”
I understand that for you, as a daycare provider, the easiest thing to do when you struggle to get a child to nap is to blame the parents. It would be much harder to be nurturing, compassionate, and do the job you’re getting paid to do by being attentive to the child. But the science indicates that infant sleep is largely unaffected by the efforts we make and sleeping through the night and consolidating naps are developmental processes beyond our control.
edit: Huntington Beach Home Childcare, http://huntingtonbeachhomechildcare.com/, or HB Childcare & Preschool, is the new name of Tena Madrid’s daycare. I can only assume she is trying to get away from negative reviews by changing the name of her business.