CAN I SLEEP TRAIN MY CHILD IF THEY ARE IN DAYCARE?
I worked in a childcare school for four years working with little ones from 6 weeks to 14 months old. I worked with three families you were sleep training their children and they had asked if we could help them at nap times to put them down drowsy but awake. It was an eye-opening experience for me to watch and observe how these children learned to put themselves to sleep and stay asleep. I learned a lot about following their wake windows and the average amount of sleep they needed at different ages. They were my best sleepers in the class, as it is very difficult to sleep at daycare with all the noises, lights, and interruptions.
DAYCARES ARE SOMETIMES WILLING TO WORK WITH YOU as parents to sleep train their children, but if they are not willing to, you can still work with your child on night sleep and weekend naps. The childcare center may not have the flexibility to work with you because of their class schedule, but you can focus on sleep training when they are home with you. You can begin working with your child on nighttime sleep and naps on the weekends. When you feel pretty confident that your child knows how to put themselves to sleep, then you may talk to your childcare provider about helping you continue sleep training at nap times while in their care. Explain to them what you have worked on and how much your child has accomplished and ask them to work with you to put their child down in the crib drowsy but awake for nap time.
If you want to ask your daycare to work with you on sleep training, here are A FEW THINGS YOU CAN ASK THEM TO IMPLEMENT TO HELP YOU:
- You can ask them not to rock your child to sleep or allow them to fall asleep in a swing or a bouncer.
- You can ask them if they can make the room as dark as possible.
- You can ask them if you can bring your own sound machine from home for them to use while your child is napping. Of course, it is best if the parents can just leave one there at the daycare so they are not forgetting it at home each day.
- You can ask them to put your child in their crib for naps only and not for any play time as you want to continue to sleep train your child that the crib is for sleeping.
- You can ask them if you can bring your own child’s lovey, sleep sack, etc. – the items that they are familiar with. If the daycare has their own in the classroom, they may prefer you using their sleep sacks, etc. Of course, some babies get used to their sleep sacks at home and the familiar smells which they associate with sleeping.
- You can ask them if you can supply them with a daily sleep log for the caregivers to fill out. Of course, many childcare centers already give a report throughout the day so the parents can see when they went to sleep and for how long. If your daycare does not provide this, ask if you can have them fill out a sleep log for you daily. This will help you to know if you need to adjust their bedtime earlier or later for that day.
SLEEP TRAINING CAN BE DONE WHILE YOUR CHILD IS IN DAYCARE. It may take a little longer with training in two different environments, but if you will be consistent at home and the daycare can implement some of these suggestions, then it can work. Here’s to getting good sleep!