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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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Do you find you have to do something to or for your little one in order for them to go to sleep? Is there a particular thing or a bunch of things that send them off into the land of nod?This week, in a brand new episode of The Sleep Nanny Show I share with you how to get your little one to self settle, happily, responsively and effectively! <<<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wp0URnUtQY>>>I share my loving approach to guiding babies and young children through the essential process of adjusting to their own sleep space, becoming at ease with being placed down for sleep and needing less and less help to actually get to sleep until they’re totally competent and can self settle happily.When little ones can settle themselves to sleep at the onset of sleep, they can then resettle their minor wakings between sleep cycles which leads to them achieving longer and longer stretches of nourishing and restorative sleep (and for you too)!Tag a friend who needs to hear this advice! ... See MoreSee Less
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Error: Error validating access token: The session has been invalidated because the user changed their password or Facebook has changed the session for security reasons. Type: OAuthException

5 months ago

The Sleep Nanny
>>>> You can sleep through the night and your little one can too! <<<<Head over to this week's episode of The Sleep Nanny show, youtu.be/UPSLYavPfw4, where you’ll learn how to teach your little one to sleep through the night in 5 simple steps and it's never too early to learn this!If you have a newborn, check this out now because you’ll soon be able to get into good rhythms and practices to accommodate these 5 steps as soon as you spot your baby is ready.Broken sleep for too long can affect health, mental well-being, learning capacity, safety and all round happiness to name just a few things! Tag someone who really needs to see these steps to get more sleep!! ... See MoreSee Less
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5 months ago

The Sleep Nanny
Sleep tip: Moving up to a big bed? It is best to wait as near to 3 years old as you can get ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

5 months ago

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Somewhere between 4 and 6 months is the time to begin helping your baby to practice settling to sleep ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

5 months ago

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Self Settling Q&A ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

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The Sleep Nanny
Do you find you have to do something to or for your little one in order for them to go to sleep? Is there a particular thing or a bunch of things that send them off into the land of nod?This week, in a brand new episode of The Sleep Nanny Show I share with you how to get your little one to self settle, happily, responsively and effectively! <<<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wp0URnUtQY>>>I share my loving approach to guiding babies and young children through the essential process of adjusting to their own sleep space, becoming at ease with being placed down for sleep and needing less and less help to actually get to sleep until they’re totally competent and can self settle happily.When little ones can settle themselves to sleep at the onset of sleep, they can then resettle their minor wakings between sleep cycles which leads to them achieving longer and longer stretches of nourishing and restorative sleep (and for you too)!Tag a friend who needs to hear this advice! ... See MoreSee Less
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