The Sleep Environment & Napping at Childcare
Through my years as a sleep consultant, the age group I usually notice sleep difficulties in the form of short naps, are infants attending childcare. The biggest cause of the poor daytime napping for these infants is the environment they are meant to sleep in. Babies from different ages, who require different amounts of sleep are all trying to nap in one area.
It may not sound like an issue but, if one baby is just about ready to go down for a nap while another is ready to wake up, this almost always causes the others who are sleeping to wake up. In addition, the level of noise at childcare is definitively louder than in your own home. For this reason, you may think about asking your child carer if you can send along a white noise machine to help your child through their naps. I recommend the Travel White Noise machine.
Because each child who attends childcare with your baby will have a different routine as well as be at a different age, your child may have to nap in a brightly lit room which often makes it difficult to drift off to sleep.
Rest assured though that your childcare will have a safe place for your child to sleep, but to help your child sleep better, send their sleep sack which they use at home. One of my favourites is the Aden + Anais Sleep Sack, a wearable blanket that creates a safe sleeping environment.
Another suggestion is to send along your child’s favourite book which you can have your child carer read to them before they go down for a nap. But there is limited manpower in childcare, maybe it is not possible to do it there.
And if you have an older child, 1 year +, you may also be allowed to send along your child’s favourite teddy, but chat to the child carer prior to doing this.
Infant Nap Schedule at Childcare
Many parents worry that they can’t do much to ensure their baby sleeps well while at childcare, but there is something very important you can do…
Communicate your child’s sleep routine and schedule to your childcare providers!
If your baby is not sleeping as they should at childcare and their naps are too short, you’ll end up with an overtired child unable to sleep well at night.
By being clear on what you expect from your childcare providers on the sleep front, you can rest assured everyone works together to promote a healthy routine for your child.
How is Your Child Going Down for Naps at Childcare?
I always remind my clients that the key to healthy sleep is consistency!
To ensure your child sleeps well at home and at childcare, it is important that your child is going down for naps the same way as they do at home.
An example of this is if your child can be put in their crib while awake and then drift off to sleep, you’ll want your child carer to follow the same routine.
If however the child carer decides to soothe your baby to sleep through rocking or feeding, this will confuse your child and jeopardise all your hard work getting your child sleep trained.
Sleep Training & Sleeping at Childcare
If your child has not yet mastered the art of sleeping independently, I’d love to assist because I know healthy day sleep equals healthy sleep at night!
Our journey together will be one created around what you and your child need as I create personalised sleep plans for all the families I work with.
The sleep plan will help your child:
- Develop the skills to sleep independently
- Learn how to go back to sleep when they transition through different stages of sleep
- Master the art of daytime napping
Let’s hop on a free call so we can learn more about your child’s sleep struggles and see if our service is the right fit for your family.
If you’d like to learn more and see if we’re a great fit, then let’s have a chat! You can schedule a sleep evaluation call below:
In closing, sleep training while your child is at childcare is absolutely doable. The key to make it successful is to communicate with your childcare provider so they are clear on how they can best support you.