Tips on how to choose a daycare for your child
Especially if your child will be sleeping at daycare
Choosing a daycare for your child is not an easy task.
I (Zanda) was fortunate enough to be a stay home with my first son for 18 months. It wasn’t easy, but I loved every minute of it. We had a great routine for going to sleep. I paid attention to his sleep cues, knew what he needed when, and did my best to give him the healthiest food I could.
But after about 18 months, we saw that he was getting bored and needed more stimulation and interaction with other kids his age. It was no longer an option to stay at home. It took us a long time and a lot of work to choose a daycare that we were happy with.
We were looking for a daycare that would take care of him like I would. Since he was my first child, I was worried that he would be unhappy.
I thought, “What if they don’t care about him as much as I did?”
One of my most pressing concerns was how it would affect my child’s sleep pattern and whether they would be able to get him to nap.
So, after many meetings and difficult decisions, we finally found the perfect home away from home, and he adjusted quickly thanks to the few pointers I’m about to share.
Tips when choosing a daycare:
- When looking for a caregiver or school, always inquire about their philosophy of child care. Examine their routines and rules to see if they fit your parenting style. What happens during nap and meal times, and do they have age-appropriate routines that allow for individuality?
- Check the sleeping arrangements and ask how they let babies sleep.
- Call to arrange for a school tour. Stay a little longer so you can see what’s going on and see how happy the other kids are.
- Examine how the teachers interact with the children, and request time in the room where your child will be.
- What is the child to caregiver ratio?
- Find out if all the caregivers have a degree in a field related to children and have worked with children before.
- Chat with a few parents at the daycare.
- Trust your instincts; you should be at ease and not stressed about your decision.
As a baby sleep coach, what impact will your child’s new daycare have on their sleep?
Sometimes it’s just what your child needs, especially if he or she doesn’t have much structure during the day. The additional stimulation and routine would be extremely beneficial to your baby’s sleep.
If your child slept well and had a good sleeping routine, the transition to preschool may cause a short-term disruption because the new environment and changes may affect your child for a few days.
However, once children adjust to their new surroundings, they will begin to sleep better again.
Planning sleep training soon?
When is a good time if my child has to start school too?
A good rule of thumb is to give your child at least three weeks before starting pre-school. Most sleep training programs last 2-3 weeks, after which your child must practice their newly acquired skill. If that is not an option, allow your child to adjust to the new school program first, and then begin the sleep training process when you believe the time is right.
You and your baby can both benefit from daycare without losing sleep.
All it takes is consistency, understanding, and adjusting.
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