As Americans, we take sleep for granted. We work late, we get up early, we often vow to catch up on sleep- but we never do. But, sleep is important when it comes to heart health, brain function, and energy to make it through the day. For our children, sleep is even more important. Small bodies are growing and burning through lots of energy, which is why kids need lots of sleep. Daytime naps are critical for infants and toddlers, but what happens when they start going to a child care center?
The transition to daycare can present a challenge, particularly when many kids are creatures of habit. If your child has difficulty napping or needs certain circumstances in order to conk out, you might be concerned about what ends up happening during daycare. Not to worry, Yellow Brick Road has a few helpful tips to make naptime go smoothly.
Check Their Schedule
Not all daycares are created equal, and not all handle napping the same way. Some expect all children within the same age range to go down for a nap at the same time, while others use a bit more flexibility. When you’re checking out daycare centers, be sure to find out how adaptable they are, and if they will let your child nap when they are tired, instead of during a schedule.
How Do They Manage It?
Find out how your daycare manages naptimes. Are there dedicated sleep spaces? Do they use cots, pack n’ plays, or cribs? Can you bring items from home such as stuffed animals or white noise machines? Are lights turned down or left on? You might feel a little silly taking notes about napping, but if you have a solid understanding, you can determine if their protocols will work with your child.
Don’t be afraid to speak up. If you find a terrific child care facility, and the only issue you have is their naptime policies, talk to them and see how willing they are to compromise. They may be flexible, especially if you’re persuasive. Plus, it’s really in their best interests to make sure your child has a good nap. A well-rested child is a happy child, which makes a happy caregiver.
Help Your Child Adjust
But what happens if the daycare can’t adjust policies? You might have to help your child conform to their schedule, and it’s easier than you might think. Start by slightly altering your child’s nap schedule by a few minutes every other day. Before you know it, it will match the schedule of the daycare. You can also have earlier bedtimes to keep your child from becoming too overtired. If your child usually takes 3 naps, but the daycare only has 2, stretch out awake time by a few minutes every other day. By doing that and changing bedtime so that it’s a little earlier, you can counteract that vanished third nap.
Ask For Suggestions
Independent sleep skills for children 5-6 months of age can go a long way towards kids learning to sleep longer and more soundly. Talk with your pediatrician or do a little research online for sleep coaching strategies.
At Yellow Brick Road, we confidently work with a variety of different aged children and provide healthy schedules for all of them. Whether your child is an infant or toddler, you can trust our team to work with their napping schedule. Compassionate and intentional, each child is cared for base don their needs and encouraged in each development stage. Enroll today to join the Yellow Brick Road family at one of our two convenient locations.