2 Quick Tips For Making Tough Daycare Nap Schedules Work

2 Quick Tips For Making Tough Daycare Nap Schedules Work

You don’t have to have school-aged kids at home to enjoy the back-to-school season! But we here at The Baby Sleep Site® know that back-to-school season can be tough. If you have older kids, you have to work on reeling in your summertime schedule and get more serious with bedtime and morning wake-time, for example.

And many of our moms of babies and toddlers tell us that fall is the season when daycare schedules shift. Babies “graduate” to different rooms/groups as they get older, and that can translate into different nap schedules. Sometimes, that’s just fine! But often, it’s very challenging! Generally, we find that daycares tend to decrease naps a bit faster than we usually recommend. (For instance, most 12 months olds are placed in the toddler room, and are only given one afternoon nap, but we usually recommend that parents try to hold on to two naps until 15-18 months of age.) And the timing of daycare naps is very fixed. They’re not generally into starting nap time early if your little one woke up earlier than usual!

So, what to do? You can’t change the daycare schedule, usually… So how can you make the new daycare schedule work for your baby or toddler without sacrificing sleep?

We’ve got two tips designed to help you do just that. Keep reading, and get the details you need to keep the new daycare schedule from creating sleepless nights and missed naps in your house!

2 Tips For Making Tough Daycare Nap Schedules Work

  1. Calculate how much wake time the daycare’s nap schedule demands. Then compare that with how much you know your baby or toddler can tolerate. In our experience, daycares often expect a bit more wake-time from babies and toddlers than is age-appropriate. This is not always true, of course. But we see this happen quite a bit with clients. For instance, if the daycare schedule leaves 5 hours of wake-time between morning drop-off and the afternoon nap, but your baby can only manage 4 in the morning, then you’ll need to accommodate for that by changing bedtime, or re-arranging other parts of your daytime schedule.
  2. Try to prepare your baby for the new daycare schedule early. If you know that daycare will soon change your baby or toddler’s daytime nap schedule, try to get a head-start. Begin slowly moving towards the daycare schedule at home. Gradually shift nap times until they match the daycare’s schedule. This can help to gradually acclimate your baby to what’s coming, and might help ward off overtiredness.

Want tips for when your babysitter or nanny won’t stick to the schedule? We’ve got them! Or, do you need even more daycare scheduling help? Check out our VIP members-only article, 5 MORE Tips For Making Tough Daycare Nap Schedules Work.

Have you faced daycare schedule challenges? We can help!

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