You JUST got your child to sleep well after 2 grueling sleepless years! He now goes to sleep on a set schedule and by himself without rocking, bouncing, pacifying, nursing, driving around the block 629 times, and without tons of testing or pushback. It’s a dream come true! You finally have your sanity back, as well as “me time” and quality time with your partner! But wait…you go back to work in a month which means daycare. Daycare means no more sleep for your child. No sleep for your child means no sleep for you. You just don’t know how you could manage a new job on no sleep so what to do? Follow my top three tips to best preserve your child’s good sleep habits.
- Do your Research!
- There are so many daycares to choose from and no two are the same. Some have a set nap time and procedure while others go with the flow. You would want to learn exactly what nap time looks like at each and every potential daycare. You would need to know when nap time starts, where the kids sleep during nap time, and whether or not music or white noise is played. You would also need to know what happens if your child protests at nap time. Generally, the daycare whose nap time procedures most closely follow your own will be the one with the highest likelihood of keeping your child’s sleep on track.
- Speak up!
- It’s important that you chose a daycare where you feel comfortable, can ask questions, voice your concerns, and engage in conflict resolution when necessary. In the case that your child is being patted to sleep, you would need to speak up and say, “Please don’t pat my son to sleep as we just broke that habit, and I don’t want it to come back and derail his sleep. Thank you.” When you clearly and calmly state your desires, the more likely staff will be to hear and heed your request. After all, you know your child better than anyone so naturally, you would be their best advocate.
- Shift sleep BEFORE the big day!
- Your child is starting daycare in a month which means you have plenty of time to shift your child’s nap from 12 pm (the time nap starts at home) to 1 pm (the time nap starts at daycare). It might seem like a daunting task, but it’s an easier transition than you think. Your would want to shift your child’s sleep by 15 minutes every three days until you get to the desired start time. For example, Monday Tuesday, and Wednesday nap would start at 12:15. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nap starts at 12:30. Nap would then shift to 12:45 for the subsequent three days and would shift just one time to 1 pm. In doing this, you will shift your child’s body clock from 12 pm to 1 pm in the least stressful way as you prepare him for his first day of daycare.
So there you have it! Find out exactly what you need in a daycare setting, research until you find the daycare where you feel most comfortable, shift your child’s sleep schedule to that of the daycare ahead of time, and speak up when you see potential in derailing your child’s sleep. I hope these tips have helped you feel more secure in your decision to enroll your child in daycare. Should you feel like you need more support (Daycare off to a rocky start?) then I can help! I’d love to chat with you about your child’s sleep struggles and how I can fix them. Click here to schedule a brief chat with me at your most convenient time. As always, sleep well!