Mums and dads spend the first months of their children’s lives establishing routines for daily living. They shape their days around when babies must eat, play, and sleep, to keep them happy and healthy. Transitioning your baby to childcare brings many challenges. One of them is helping your baby adjust to sleeping away from home in what may be a much more stimulating environment. Here are six strategies parents can employ to make the changeover smoother for themselves and their little ones.
Communicate with your childcare provider
Communicating with your childcare provider is the most important step to a successful transition from napping at home to sleeping at a childcare centre. Like you, the provider has a vested interest in ensuring your child has restful naps while in their care. Before you commit to a childcare provider, ask to
tour the facility. Specifically, request time to examine the space where your baby will be resting so you can get a feel for the environment. If an in-person tour is not possible due to Covid or other health and safety protocols, then ask for a virtual tour. Ask about any policies or procedures for nap time to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Bring items from home
If your baby has a lovey or a special blanket for nap time, ask if they can have it during nap time at the childcare centre. Doing so can help parents replicate their home napping routine to soothe the baby during the transition. Recreating an environment that is as close to the one your baby has at home is ideal.
Daycares in Australia must follow
safe sleep and rest practices.
Enquire about nap scheduling
Some daycare centres have strict nap schedules. Others allow your child to nap on their regular schedule from home. Communicating is the best approach for determining which approach your centre takes. If your daycare agrees to follow your schedule, make sure they have it well in advance so they can prepare.
Discuss sleep routine
Most parents have a routine they follow when putting their children down for naps. Some may prefer their little ones fall asleep independently, while others may feed their babies or rock them to sleep. Talk your daycare provider through the steps you use at nap time and ask whether they can use the same methods. It also is important to share key information with your carer. For instance, if your baby tends to wake up, fuss, and then go back to sleep without intervention, let them know so they give him or her a chance to self-soothe.
Setting realistic expectations
Parents should prepare themselves for the realisation that their babies will not sleep as well at daycare as they do at home. Even if your childcare centre does its best to mimic your child’s home sleep routine, it will be impossible to get it perfect. It is important to have realistic expectations and practice patience with your baby and your childcare provider.
Teach independent sleep
Before you send your baby off to daycare, make sure they are adjusted to someone else putting them down. Have other family members or friends help train them to make the transition easier for your baby and the childcare centre staff.
Choosing a quality program
Creative Childcare Centres are classified as long day cares, which is very similar to preschool. The main difference is our programs operate from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. to accommodate working families. To learn more about our centres, call 1300 002 929 or
book a tour online.