Baby and Toddler Sleep Tips for Daycare
Keeping sleep on track when your little one is in daycare.
It's no secret sleep can be hit and miss when your child is at daycare. Some little ones may have learnt a different set of rules in daycare, they may even settle easier and sleep longer when in the care of others. For many daycare can equate to short naps and a witching hour from hell when you get home. I have no doubt daycare staff do their best considering they are working with a number of children, many with differing schedules and requiring a range of settling techniques. Here are some ways you can combat daycare woes.
Preparation is key.
If home time has turned into rush hour, I recommend my clients have a few meals prepared for the evenings they're home later from work and day care pick up. Not only does this save you time but it means you can spend the time before bed with your little one rather than stuck in the kitchen. This also means a reasonable bedtime is still possible.
Take note of the time your little one woke in the morning
Provide some input to staff as to what time your child is due for a nap. Overtired babies have a much harder time settling off to sleep. When everyone is on the same page there is a much greater chance over tiredness can be avoided.
Provide a sleeping bag if needed
If your little one sleeps in a sleeping bag at home, I would ensure you provide one for daycare also. You may also choose to sing a particular song or use a particular phrase to cue sleep is coming, something that can be incorporated at home or daycare.
Explain your baby sleep settling techniques to daycare staff
Make sure you're all on the same page as to how you want your little one to be settled to sleep. If you don't rock your baby to sleep (for example). try suggesting that staff don't either but discuss a way that works for both parties. In terms of settling to sleep the lesser role we can all play the better.
Create a really solid bedtime routine for when you get home
Soak your little one/s in your attention prior to bed for the night. Removing distractions can help your little one feel they have spent a good amount of time with you (as much as possible) and lessen the chance of them waking for that attention during the night instead.
Hats off to all working Mums & Dads, you are superstars. I know it isn't easy. Soak up the time you do spend together and give yourself a pat on the back. Day care workers you have a FULL on job, don't forget what important role you play in shaping little ones, being able to give them countless experiences and opportunities to grow.
The Gentle Sleep Specialist