Trying sleep training and also starting daycare at the same time can be tough, no lie. You have worked, or are still working, to get your little one sleeping through the night, and now you are leaving it in someone else’s hands. The good news is – it is achievable! You will need to spend time working with your care provider and use the following tips to help you do that in a way that is as tension-free as possible.
Choosing the Right Daycare
When you are picking a daycare provider, here are a few of the things to keep in mind when thinking about sleep training. None of the tips are deal-breakers, but some things to consider.
- Find out their approach to naptime. Do all the kids go down at a specific time for a certain amount of time? (This is not an easy way for babies under one.) Do they allow kids their individual nap times?
- Where will your baby be sleeping? Is the room fully lit with several other children, or is it a semi-private place that is a little darker?
- Can you bring your white noise machine from home? It can be very helpful to have the same white noise machine your child is accustomed to during naptime.
- Will they allow special requests about how a baby is put down for naptime?
Open Communication with the Caregiver
Once you have found a caregiver you are comfortable with, here are some steps to ensure everyone is pulling in the same direction when it comes to sleep.
Let them know about your journey with your baby’s sleep. Explain the challenges and how sleep deprivation has affected you. Discuss the steps you are taking at home and that you would appreciate their help in keeping things on track.
Express your comfortability with allowing your child to fuss. The average daycare worker will default to a no-crying approach unless directed otherwise. Ask them not to use sleep crutches you have already eliminated at home. List what you consider a sleep crutch.
Make a chart of your baby’s home schedule. List the time you want your baby going down for a nap and what time they should be fed.
See if they are willing to mimic the environment your baby is accustomed to when taking a nap.
Remember to be respectful of their limits. The providers are caring for many kids at once and have rules set in place. Don’t be taken off guard if they can’t meet all of your requirements. Remember, they want your little one sleeping well as much as you do. A well-rested little one is much less fussy, making them a daycare provider’s dream come true.
The main thing is to maintain open communication. Ask them to notify you of the times your baby slept while you were away. This information will help you plan your evening and know the best time to put the baby to bed.
A Few More Tips
- If you haven’t begun sleep training but have it planned in your future, start your training on a Friday night. The first few nights can be a roller coaster, so try to have at least three nights and days between the first night of training and when they go back to daycare.
- Different schedules at daycare and home can be a problem. It is best when schedules align, but sometimes they can’t. You may need to go with the daycare schedule at home and see how the baby does with it. Your little one may do better than expected. The younger the baby, the less flexible.
- Babies can distinguish between different environments. The habits they learn at daycare may not work at home. Your child should learn the way things are at daycare versus the way things are done at home.
- If your baby falls asleep on the ride home, it should be fine. If they are six months or less, a little nap on the way home won’t mess their sleep up. If they are over seven months old, they may need plenty of time between the nap and bedtime. Keep them awake if at all possible while in the car.
Contact Petite Dreamers for Sleep Help
If you are looking for help finding and maintaining a sleep schedule for your baby or toddler, contact Petite Dreamers. The Singapore paediatric sleep consultant is trained and certified for times like these and would be delighted to help you get the best night’s sleep possible.