Childcare and sleep... words that are often not well associated . For understandable reasons, babies and toddlers often don’t sleep as well at day-care as they do at home. Strange environments, other babies in the room, too much to see and more light in the room are good enough reasons for your little one to get less sleep than desired. Often there is little that can be done about this at day-care, but if your child only had, for example,1 hour of sleep at childcare, and normally has 2 hours, we need to reduce the impact of less sleep on your child. One easy solution…..= EARLY BEDTIME!! Although often your day can be stressful enough as it is, trying to juggle work and kids, whenever possible, the aim should be to have your child in bed sometimes up to an hour earlier than normal. We want to prevent overtiredness causing bedtime chaos, so if your child is normally in bed at 7pm (which is the recommended bedtime), try and have them fed, bathed and in bed by 6-6:30pm.
You may also find that younger toddlers may need a bit more of extra catch up sleep the following day if they are at home. That may be an extended morning nap (if still on two naps), or an earlier lunch nap and bedtime for example. If they are at daycare across multiple days, use your weekend to catch up on more quiet time and sleep.
Even if your older toddler no longer has a nap at childcare, you will still need to consider the fact that a day in childcare can be highly stimulating and tiring for your child, and an earlier bedtime can help them recover.