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How to choose a nursery to suit your child’s sleep needs

How to choose a nursery to suit your child’s sleep needs Sleep Nanny Lucy Shrimpton

Maybe I am biased, but how a childcare setting deals with sleep is one of the most important factors for your child’s health and wellbeing. If they are not napping much or at all, you can expect to see problems happening at bedtime, during the night and early rising creeping in due to that old chestnut: over-tiredness. For those who don’t know, this essentially means excess levels of cortisol being released into the body during the day which suppresses the much-needed sleep hormone melatonin.

Nurseries/childminders that fit your criteria of being en route to work, are in your price range etc. are not always easy to come by. So, you might be thinking that finding one that also meets your child’s sleep needs is just not going to be possible with everything else on the checklist? From my personal experience, the childcare providers who are keen to invest in getting your child the sleep they need, are great at everything else too! I believe their attitude on this issue is quite telling.

Visiting

When you have a visit ensure you ask questions about sleep:

  • Where the children sleep
  • When they sleep
  • How they get them to sleep

Try to work out the following from your enquiries:

  • Do they concentrate on an individual child’s sleep needs?
  • Are they flexible with location of naps (i.e. buggy/cot room)
  • Do they push them to stay awake for too long/i.e. on their schedule?
  • Do they make them sleep in a room full of activities going on down the other end of the room with the sun streaming through the window (my pet peeve!)?

Nap transitions

If you child is still on a two nap a day schedule, be firm for them not to try to cut this down to one for their own ease, keep a close eye on how they are at home and remember you know your child best. If they still need that morning nap, then insist they have it! Likewise if they are 3 and still having a afternoon nap, then this is perfectly normal and they will still really need it.

The reality

To prepare you for reality, even if your child sleeps well at home, the shift into childcare will always be a difficult one when it comes to sleep. It is likely that they will never sleep as much on nursery days. The best way to combat this is to give them an early night (as early as 6pm) and to catch them up with longer naps on the days they are at home. If a child is in full-time childcare and gets home after 6pm I would prepare yourself for them not to get as much as they need overall in the week and the most likely sign that this is taking its toll, will be early rising (before 6am). 

The good news is that the older they get, their sleep needs are less demanding, and they are more likely to mimic their peers as they get into toddlerhood, so put up less of a battle.

In summary, take control of your child’s sleep needs even when they are not with you, it will result in a happier healthier little one!

How to choose a nursery to suit your child’s sleep needs Sleep Nanny Lucy Shrimpton

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2 days ago

The Sleep Nanny

Q&A on the 2-1 Nap Transition ... See MoreSee Less

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2 days ago

The Sleep Nanny

Are you facing the 2-1 nap transition right now? How old is your child in this transition? Comment below & tell us how it's going ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

3 days ago

The Sleep Nanny

I'll be here LIVE tomorrow at midday (GMT London) to answer your questions about the 2-1 nap transition!! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

4 days ago

The Sleep Nanny

What a difference ONE COACHING CALL makes!!
Mum, Michelle says.."I felt so desperate when we spoke and when you’re in that moment, it’s so hard to see a light at the end of a tunnel. Just goes to show a few small changes and consistency goes a long way!"

Lois (age 2) was waking super early every morning and struggling to nap at nursery. The family were exhausted.

We put a plan in place and this is what Michelle said..."Lois woke up at 06:40 today! I’ve gradually increased the wake-up time on her clock to 06:30, but today she woke up a good 10mins after it! I can’t believe the difference since our call 2wks ago".

You and your family could be sleeping better too. Drop us a message today to find out how we can help you solve your sleep challenges.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

4 days ago

The Sleep Nanny

Is your little one resisting a second nap during the day?

If they are somewhere between 13 and 17 months then it is likely that they may be ready to transition from 2 naps to just the one.

This can be complicated and it can be on and off for a number of weeks so you need to be prepared.

Check out this weeks YouTube video where I answer the following questions;
- When is your little one ready to transition from 2 nap to 1?
- What are the signs?
- How do you navigate this when they don’t sleep at the ideal times?
- And how long will this transition take?

Drop me a thumbs up in the comments below if you think your little one is ready to drop down to one nap.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook
Schedule A Free Discovery Call

2 days ago

The Sleep Nanny

Q&A on the 2-1 Nap Transition ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

2 days ago

The Sleep Nanny

Are you facing the 2-1 nap transition right now? How old is your child in this transition? Comment below & tell us how it's going ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

3 days ago

The Sleep Nanny

I'll be here LIVE tomorrow at midday (GMT London) to answer your questions about the 2-1 nap transition!! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

4 days ago

The Sleep Nanny

What a difference ONE COACHING CALL makes!!
Mum, Michelle says.."I felt so desperate when we spoke and when you’re in that moment, it’s so hard to see a light at the end of a tunnel. Just goes to show a few small changes and consistency goes a long way!"

Lois (age 2) was waking super early every morning and struggling to nap at nursery. The family were exhausted.

We put a plan in place and this is what Michelle said..."Lois woke up at 06:40 today! I’ve gradually increased the wake-up time on her clock to 06:30, but today she woke up a good 10mins after it! I can’t believe the difference since our call 2wks ago".

You and your family could be sleeping better too. Drop us a message today to find out how we can help you solve your sleep challenges.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

4 days ago

The Sleep Nanny

Is your little one resisting a second nap during the day?

If they are somewhere between 13 and 17 months then it is likely that they may be ready to transition from 2 naps to just the one.

This can be complicated and it can be on and off for a number of weeks so you need to be prepared.

Check out this weeks YouTube video where I answer the following questions;
- When is your little one ready to transition from 2 nap to 1?
- What are the signs?
- How do you navigate this when they don’t sleep at the ideal times?
- And how long will this transition take?

Drop me a thumbs up in the comments below if you think your little one is ready to drop down to one nap.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook
Schedule A Discovery Call

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