Preparing Your Baby for Sleep at Daycare

Preparing Your Baby for Sleep at Daycare

Starting daycare is an exciting, terrifying – and many emotions in between – experience. Maybe you rock your baby to sleep, maybe you put them down wide awake, maybe they take one nap or maybe they take two. Whatever your situation is, you will make it through the transition okay! Here are some tips to get you started.

Let them fall asleep on their own

If you are currently rocking your baby to sleep or holding your baby, talk to your daycare provider. Is this something that the provider will be able to do? If not, find a method that you are comfortable with and teach them to fall asleep on their own. If you are consistent and patient, they will do it.  

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The 2 to 1 Nap Transition:

We don’t suggest transitioning to one nap before 15 months. Simply put, your baby still needs two naps. If your baby is currently taking 2 naps, but your daycare has told you that they will only be doing 1 nap when they get started, don’t make the change before you start. You want your baby as well rested as possible so that when they get started they will be able to adjust to the transition better. Your daycare provider will make the transition when your baby starts with them; they have done this many, many, many times.

Offer 2 Naps on Home Days

Your little one is going to be learning so much and interacting with new kids and toys and experiences. It is going to be a little exhausting at the beginning. If your baby was taking 2 naps before daycare started, don’t be afraid to continue to offer the 2 naps on the days that they are home with you. As they get a little older and used to the daycare routine, then you can start to follow the same schedule as your daycare.  

Starting Daycare

Send some comfort

Talk to your daycare provider and ask what comfort items you can send in, maybe a little blanket, or a stuffed animal (after one year of age). If your little one doesn’t have a comfort item – that is okay. Pick something and start to include it with you during your naptime and bedtime routine. It is a little something to remind her of home.

Bonus Tip! Put together a little photo album with photos of people & animals that your little lone loves. The daycare provider can show them the album before or after naps. My neighbour did this and it really helped her daughter adjust…. Our dog even made her photo album.

This is going to be an adjustment, but make bedtime earlier on the nights that you can (even if that is only one or two nights per week), and know that your baby will adjust to sleepig at daycare!

Sleep Consultant Jamie Contarini
Sleep Consultant Jamie Contarini
Jamie is a certified Family Sleep Institute Sleep Consultant with Good Night Sleep Site and Team Manager. Proud Mama of two. Jamie realized that her interest in helping change some of her son’s sleep habits actually turned into a passion and she happily joined the Good Night team with her mission being to help families succeed as she did.

 When she is not working, Jamie enjoys family time with her husband, sons and golden retriever.

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