It can be hard enough to go back to work and leave your baby in the care of someone else, but finding the right daycare can be even more difficult.  Not only do you want a daycare with experienced staff members that will take joy in your baby, but you want a daycare that will do their best to respect your baby’s sleep.  After a long day of work, it can be so hard when you are picking up a cranky, overtired that just needs more sleep than they are currently getting at daycare.

Here I will go over the questions you can ask, and the things to look out for, so you can pick the daycare providers who will value your baby’s need for sleep as much as you do and understands the benefits of good sleep at daycare.  While everything may not be perfect in the sleep department, you can pick the one that will do the best they can.  And be confident that the daycare you choose is open to working with you when it comes to your baby’s sleep needs.

Choosing a daycare that respects sleep

Policies

  • Is any self-soothing allowed? This will help you know if they can support any sleep training/independent sleep skills.
  • Will they provide sleep logs to share with parents? Getting sleep logs can help you adjust nighttime sleep based on the quality of daycare sleep.
  • Do they follow safe sleep practices? Babies should only be sleeping in cribs, not rickers, bouncers, car seats etc.
  • How long do they allow babies to try and fall asleep for?  What happens when that time is up?  Do they then assist them to fall asleep? Or do they try again after a certain period of time?

Sleep Environment

  • How dark is the sleep environment?  Many daycares have rules about seeing a baby’s face for safety, but you want them to darken the room significantly.
  • Can a sound machine be used? This will help block out noises from other babies and the workers walking around the room.
  • Can you bring your own sheets or comfort objects?
  • Can your baby use the same crib daily?  Can you choose which crib they use?  This may not be possible but if it is, choose the one in the darkest, quietest part of the room.
  • Is there a different area for sleep than for play?  This will increase your baby’s chance of sleeping well at daycare.

Nap Schedule

  • Are nap schedules set or based on a babies age and needs? Many daycares set nap times and they are not in line with a baby’s biological rhythms.
  • How have they determined nap timing?  Do they know about wake windows or biological nap times?
  • How do they adjust naps based on the length and quality of a baby’s previous nap?
  • When do they transition to 1 nap a day?  Will they continue to offer 2 naps if a baby needs it for longer.

I hope all these questions help you in the search for a daycare that will value your babies sleep.  If you are struggling with a daycare that doesn’t respect sleep as much as you’d like, please fill in the contact form and I can send you through a pamphlet you can provide to your daycare.  Also head here if you want to learn about ways to maximize your baby’s sleep in the daycare environment.

Lastly, if you know of any other great questions parents can ask when interviewing daycares, please comment here!

 

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