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Childcare and Sleep

If you are a new mum you might be anxious about many things concerning childcare. But often, one of the biggest worries is how on earth your little bundle of joy will fit into a sleep schedule imposed by someone else! All childcare centres family daycare providers and nannies have a daily routine for all children that provides stability, reassurance and allows the kids to know everyone is working on the same page. Most providers offer a great deal of flexibility when you first bring your child in and they understand the adjustment can be difficult.

You may find your baby responds well to the consistent routine. They can see the signs of the darkened room, all their friends snuggling teddies and they may just sleep better there than they did at home. If you are finding this, ask your educators to write down their routine and try to duplicate it at home as much as you can.

Your child may often sleep better at daycare because they know it’s expected of them. Those little monkeys know who to play and it’s often the mums and dads that struggle with sleep and getting bub to bed than the carers. If they know you will commit half an hour to rocking, patting, cuddling, swaying, singing or a combination of all of these, of course that would be more preferable than actually going to sleep by yourself!

Some babies sleep worse at childcare than they did at home. This is especially true for bubs that have a highly scheduled routine and are sensitive to change. They might be over-stimulated by a big day at childcare and find it difficult to settle into everything being sooo new. This is where your educators can really help with the transition. Many of them are really accommodating with your requests for 2 minutes patting followed by kiss and bunny being cuddled.

Some babies struggle sleeping through after they have started childcare. Often this is do to with being over tired, not able to eat tea as it has been such a huge day for them. Try preparing a dinner to give them when they get home rather than try cooking something with a tired, hungry bubba hanging off your leg.

But personality plays a big role in sleep. As a mum whose child would fight sleep I was often disturbed by friends who told me their children would ask to be put to bed. WT? Realistically that is a situation I would never be in, some kids just don’t want to miss out. Healthy sleep habits and routine are the key.

The important thing is don’t freak out. Imagine it you moved into a new house. It might take you a little bit of time to get used to your new room, bed and routine. Take 3 weeks to check out their sleep patterns and don’t do anything rash. Ask your friends for some hints and tips or ask an online forum or group so you can be anonymous.

Sometimes a change in sleep patterns can be connected with teething, growth spurts, turning into a monkey or any number of developmental milestones. Different families have different sleep routines but if that is very different to the educators or centre’s philosophy then you both may need to compromise or find someone who share your views. If you have put up with it for a while and you think the habitat is here for good and is preventing your child from getting a daytime or good night’s sleep then try and change things yourself or go and see someone about it. You are normal if you are experiencing sleep hiccups with your child. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone or ask for help. It can be such a source of anxiety for new mums but you are not alone! Just ask around.

About Rebecca

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Hi I'm Bec and this is my my blog Daycare Decisions. I am a mum of 2, passionate about early education, nature play and a parents' transition back to the workforce after having a baby.

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