Sleeping at daycare. Does my child’s routine at home have to match their schedule at daycare? How will they sleep with all the noise and stimulation? Going back to work and sending your child to daycare can be a stressful transition and a lot of questions can come up. As a sleep consultant I am going to explain three things that babies are really good at and should learn and how you can help support them through this big transition.
How to prepare my child for daycare.
1. Work with them on self-soothing strategies.
Self-soothing is what they need to be able to calm themselves down and stay comforted. These strategies not only help a child learn sleep skills, they also take these skills throughout their life, because as we know life can be stressful.
What to do?
Give your child 1-5 minutes windows of time to figure out their favorite strategies before intervening. A lot of times as parents we intervene too quickly and the baby never learns how to comfort themself. Start small! 1 minute goes a long way!
2. Sleep Skills.
As I said above, self-soothing strategies lead to independent sleep skills. If a child can soothe themselves they will be able to put themselves to sleep. Knowing your child can do this when sending them to daycare where it is not 1 on 1 care will give you peace of mind. If you need help with either of these things you can contact us here.
Stay consistent with your routine at home to provide structure and predictability. When your baby knows what to expect they feel safe and secure. This also supports their body to release the proper hormones that support sleep. Read more about consistency and sleep needs here.
Do routines at home and daycare have to be identical?
No. Children are incredible in how they adapt to new things. They will be able to differentiate the home routine(if you are consistent) and the daycare routine. I would still recommend giving the daycare a written guide to your home routine so they can stay as close to the sleep times as possible. Identical is not necessary but close is nice so you will be able to support the child when they are tired.
Tips to ease the transition.
Send in their:
- sleep sack
- favorite pacifier
- anything age appropriate that will smell like you and home.
Depending on the age of the child, sleep and self-soothing skills, and consistency at home it should take 5-14 days for your child to adjust to daycare. The three things above are not only important for daycare but also for everyday thriving! If your little one is having sleep difficulties,a regression, or life transition to childcare book your free 30-minute call today.