Enrolling your child in child care away from you can be nerve-racking. It’s normal as a parent to worry about your little one’s well-being. One common concern is how well your child will nap in child care.
Here are some tips you can try to help your little one nap better:
Visit the Care Center Before Your Child is Enrolled
If you are just getting your little one into a childcare center, it’s important to arrange for your baby to play, experience the new sounds, noises, and smells, and to just become familiar with the surroundings and caregivers.
If possible, leave your child there for a short period of time. Your child will be able to play and become familiar with being at the center without you. That’s a great way to ensure a smooth and easy transition into sleeping outside of the home.
The world can be a scary place for small children. The key is routine and familiarization so that your child feels comfortable and can nap peacefully.
Know that Every Child is Different
It’s good to know right off the bat that your child will likely have a different sleep schedule while attending childcare. It’s important to understand that your child is in a new environment. Your childcare provider may use different methods for getting little ones to sleep.
It can even be helpful to educate yourself on the methods that they are using. Employ these methods at home before your child starts at the care center so that they are more comfortable.
Your child may have a more difficult time getting to sleep, as they are in a place with around ten other children. Or maybe they are using white noise machines that aren’t being used at home. Perhaps they even sleep better in a noisy environment like daycare.
You would be surprised at how many parents actually report that their little ones sleep even better in the daycare environment than they do at home.
If your child has an easier time sleeping in one environment than another, duplicate it. If they have a white noise machine at home and it helps them fall asleep, consider talking with the daycare and asking them if they would be willing to obtain one. You may even suggest providing one from your home in order to help give your child the best possible experience.
Get Your Child into a Routine and Stick With it
Is your baby on a consistent nap schedule at home? Let your childcare providers know.
Keep communication with your care providers open, and do not be afraid to inform them of any schedules your child may keep. Most will be willing to keep to that routine, so long as you give them a heads up that your baby is on a comfortable and consistent routine.
Make sure that your care providers are well educated on your child’s individual needs, and let them know about any changes in their routine that you may notice within the home. This will help you work together to keep your baby in the most comfortable and consistent setting possible.
Also feel free to let them know on a daily basis on when your child has woken up, and how long he/she typically stays awake in between napping if your child has a less consistent schedule, or even if they are just on a little different schedule than usual.
Replicate the Child Care’s Nap Schedule at Home
If you are dealing with limited daycare options and they aren’t willing to accommodate your home schedule, then you’ll have to consider getting on their schedule at home. Talk to them and find out when nap times are.
If they don’t differ too much from the routines already in place it shouldn’t take too much work to adjust their schedule.
Have your Child Take Along a Familiar, Comforting Object
According to the experts at Busy Bees Childcare, making sure that your child has some sleep aids from home can make all the difference. It helps to ensure a comfortable and easy transition into sleeping in a daycare environment.
A familiar blanket, teddy bear, or pillow all make excellent choices of sleep aids from home. They can help children feel more comfortable and at ease in a new environment. It’s even a good idea to designate a sleep aid from the home purely for the purpose of taking to the childcare center.
Bringing a little piece of home can be extremely impactful on your child’s’ ability to sleep, so if they have a special blanket or a favorite stuffed animal allow your child to take it with them. It could make all the difference between an easy time going down for a nap and a very long day for both you and your care providers.
Try these helpful tips to settle your little one in during nap times at the child care. They can really make the difference for a better and more peaceful nap.