Episode 41- 5 Things to Know About Daycare Sleep
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Episode Highlights:

  • Sample Scheduled for every stage of naps to adjust with ease
  • Understanding how to adjust and how long it will take to go back to “normal”

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Podcast Episode Transcripts:

Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.

Welcome to the kids sleep show, where we help tired parents from around the world to get their children to fall asleep independently, sleep through the night and build healthy sleep habits for life. I’m your host, Courtney Zentz. Now let’s sleep together.
Hello, and
welcome to another episode. Happy Monday morning. It is raining here in Philly. But I’ll tell you what, it was a beautiful
fall weekend with our family. I got to see my brother. So it was very cool. My nephew. We just had a really good weekend, my dad came over lots of good stuff happen in here around town trying to, you know, enjoy these days and enjoy the family time. I know it’s been tough on everyone. I was just saying how I can’t believe it’s already October. I feel like we were just put into quarantine in March. And, you know, I remember going one time to Home Depot probably a few weeks after everything started and felt like you know, I was breaking the rules. But I needed a few things. You know, when I went first thing in the morning and tried to get in and out at 701. And you know now it’s just turned into the normal see that we all live in, which is try to be safe and wear masks and do all that crazy stuff. So hopefully everybody is hanging tight with all this chaos. And the beauty of today is, you know, I’m going to talk a little bit more about daycare, right? I think a lot of folks are going back to work or have been back at work their little ones are back in daycare. I know my kids went to summer camp, you know over the summer and are now back in school, they go to Catholic school down the road from us and they are in school five days, the public school around us is not yet they’re still doing 100% remote, but it has been you know, lots of adjustments here in the Zen’s house, but I’m sure for you as well. And I know that there’s often apprehension with new moms when you’re about to go back to work, right. So I was in fortune 500 company for almost 15 years as a marketing leader in the company and pivoted obviously left that and started my own company. But when I was there, I went back to work at somewhere between 10 and 12 weeks with both of my children. And the day I went back to work, they started back at daycare full time, as you know, infants essentially kind of newborns and have been there through their whole life, right. So until they started kindergarten, they were in five days a week of care. My daughter’s in pre k for right now she goes five days a week to the Catholic school and they don’t nap anymore with this pre k program. But they do take a rest time. And it’s funny because sometimes the teacher will tell me like hey, Savannah fell asleep, you know, during rest time today where they kind of just put their heads down and give them a mask break and stuff. She fell asleep for 40 minutes. The other day, I kind of laugh. I’m like I guess blame the day job. But my kids can pretty much sleep anywhere. which, frankly, is the beauty of working on building good sleep hygiene. And today I want to chat a little bit more about working professionals who have kids in daycare, who are trying to figure out how you make all of this work, or may perhaps be getting a little anxious, you’re heading back to work soon. And you know, you need to understand what that is going to look like with daycare, because I think there’s a lot of horror stories and frankly, a lot of misconceptions around Can you successfully have a child in daycare, but also ensure that they’re getting the right amount of sleep that they need one so that they’re a happy version of themselves when you pick them up and to say that they’re going to bed well, that they are rested, and that they are refreshed to wake in the morning and sleeping well through the night. So the first thing that I want to chat a little bit about is understanding at your daycare, what the sleep space is going to look like when your child is there. Are they in their own room? That’s kind of separate from you know, for example, children under the age of one I’ve been through for daycares just between moving and jobs and career changes and stuff. And all of them were set up a little bit differently. So, you know, understanding like what the sleep space looks like, and what the environment is for your daycare, right? Are they in a kind of dimly lit room with some background music little separate from all of the kids playing or, you know, if they’re over the age of one, they’re probably in like the infant room toddler room where they start napping on a mat. And they do so at the same time every day. Right? So just getting an understanding from the daycare provider, what the space looks like, okay, for children under the age of one who are in an environment that’s pretty loud and boisterous. You know, I often would say request, you know, to have your child’s crib be in the back or in the corner. I actually bought sound machines for like 20 bucks for all of the different daycares we were in my kids slept well with sound. I think it drowns Get out. Some of her drowned out some of the noise. That’s terrible English on a Monday but drowned out some of the noise in the environment, right? And you can pick up pretty cheap ones on Amazon, right? So just get like a white noise background machine if they don’t have one. And I’m sure they would be more than happy to use it. All of my daycares did and we’re actually appreciative because, you know, sometimes they’re running on a tight budget and that background noise can be helpful. So the first thing is understand the space. Can you position the crib, you know, kind of be in the back? Something like a noise machine? Do they have a dimmer on the lights? You know, what does it look like? What is the routine and the space to get your child down. So that kind of delves into the second part, which is actually what they’re going to allow at the daycare, right. So some daycare providers will allow you to use things like the Merlin magic sleepsuit, which is the swaddle transition product, they will allow you to bring a lovey for a child for that toddler room when they’re falling asleep on the cot. And other places will not, I think it depends on the daycare. So you want to understand from a sleep standpoint, what they are going to be allowed, if they’re not allowed to use a swaddle or a swaddle transition product, can they use something like a wearable blanket, that can still make a child feel comfortable. But that also is going to be you know, going along with the guidelines of the daycare, every daycare is different with that. So you definitely want to ask them what they’re going to allow. And then make sure you’re preparing for that, for that first day, or for now, as you’re you’re dropping them off. The next thing that you’re going to want to look at is, frankly, the support that the teachers provide. So sometimes, you know, I saw the director of our daycare, which was a bigger name kind of daycare, like a chain facility, at least here in Pennsylvania. And I always remember going in to get my daughter, and they would be rocking the cribs because the cribs are on wheels from a safety standpoint to get them out in the event of an emergency. And they would actually be rocking the the wheels like rocking the crib back and forth in because it was on wheels that would kind of move right. And I would see the director standing there in this newborn room with all these babies, and they would be rocking the cribs and I was like what are you’re creating the worst habit ever, I’m obviously not going to say that because they’re trying to do their best with the children. And it’s not my place to impose. But you know, my children, I always made very clear I would fall asleep independently. do not support them to sleep. You are to feed them, burp them, make sure they are clean, lay them down awake in that crib, and they will fall asleep. And if your child is struggling a little bit with that right now. And it’s leading to overtired at daycare, and then it’s causing bedtime to be a mess because they’re falling asleep in the bath. And then it’s causing overnights to be a mess because they’re waking up a bunch of times, like reach out and get help. Right like just because your kid is in daycare doesn’t mean that they can’t sleep well during the day, frankly. And overnight. Both of my kids were daycare kids. Some days, I’d pick them up and I’d be like, Well, that was a dumpster fire day. Right? And I would just adjust right? And I’ll talk to you about how you adjust in a few minutes. But, you know, I think a lot of parents think, well, heck, they can’t support what I need to do. So I’m not even going to bother. And that’s like the furthest thing from the truth. And then a couple days, we can have them taken these beautiful, really long naps at daycare. It’s funny I you know, I get emails from current clients and past clients that are like, This kid is a rock star now at daycare, they’re so impressed. The teachers are impressed, right? Because the teachers there don’t really have education around sleep. So you know, it’s one of those things where you want to just understand how they’re going to get your child down. Don’t get me wrong, cuddle naps are great, especially with a new little one. Like I used to love when I would get pictures. And you know, my daughter was sleeping in the arms of, you know, one of the daycare providers. Again, I think the rules change every year. I think the daycares rules change, you know, so it’s certainly trying to understand, you know, and provide the support that’s appropriate for each of the you know, the little ones and what room they’re in specifically for children over the age of one. They’re typically sleeping on like a mat a cot, they need to bring like a small sleeping bag, they make these great bags on Amazon that have the blanket actually attached to the pad. So you know, they kind of lay down there’s a pillow attached. And the blanket, it’s super simple as a parent, you can throw the whole thing in the wash, throw the whole thing in the dryer, roll it up, it velcros closed, I put one of those mabels labels on it and call it a day and it was like the easiest thing because I used to screw around with blanket and a pillow and a sheet and all this stuff. And it was just like, Oh my gosh, this is a lot. So, you know, in the over 12 months age, definitely take a look at something like that. That’s like quick, simple, you know, and also says, hey, it’s time to sleep now. Right?
So we’ve talked
a little bit about, obviously the space they’re sleeping in, you know, the swaddle and sleep transition products and then also the support the way in which they get them down. For children that are a little older, they sound times require a bit of support to go down, right? And and sometimes you can get into a tricky situation where the provider rubs the little ones back until they’re asleep. But you’re not doing that at home. Right? So you definitely want to make sure you understand that there’s a balance with
that sometimes
it’s fine children can separate what’s happening at daycare, and what’s happening at home. And sometimes it can lead to these challenges that sort of pop up at bedtime. And you’re like, Where did this come from? Like, why are you freaking out, like you used to just lay down and go to sleep, and all of a sudden, you’re freaking out when I leave and what’s happening, right. So definitely keeping that communication line open. Because I think that that’s going to be super important in understanding what teachers are doing. And if at home, you have to pat them for a few minutes to go down for a nap, it is okay to do that with balance, right, you have to say, look, here’s the boundary. With that, here’s what I’m willing to do, I’ll rub your back for a few minutes. And then it’s time to go to sleep. And then you know, you either have to like set a timer set your watch, you know, I use old school egg timers. And just be careful not to go over that boundary, because you’ll just set this new expectation up that you’re going to get back rubs, you know, every time you’re going down to sleep. So you definitely want to balance the word to sleep and any support anywhere at any time with children. Right, the more we do things to sleep, the more becomes a prop or a mechanism in which that child relies on something to fall asleep. And that can be you know, that can kind of teeter on like the dangerous side of things, if that makes sense. The next you want to look at the timing right for children over the age of one. at daycare, they’re typically going to be sleeping about 1230 to three o’clock. And if that’s the case, they need to go to bed at seven o’clock. Right? Like most kids in daycare should still be in bed at seven
That means, for example, a four year old, they may not fall asleep till 730. But they should be in bed at seven o’clock. Right? That should always be your goal for the first four years, five years, even like going into kindergarten, where they’re in bed at seven, they fall asleep, they take some time to unwind, you know, you’re five years old, you want to read a book, I don’t care, it’s bedtime, it’s time to rest and reset your mind and come to a place of calm before you can go to sleep children who are you know, kind of around 12 to 18 months, they’re going to be exhausted by seven o’clock, especially if they’re getting up at three. They’re busy all day day care. You know, and there’s a lot going on. And I think often parents, you know, you’re trying to balance it as a working professional, I get it, I felt like I came home, saw my kids for like five seconds. And then was like, Alright, gotta kick off the bedtime routine. But I ultimately knew that it was in their best interests to get the right amount of sleep and to fall asleep at seven o’clock, because that’s when they were ready. Right. And some days of daycare naps were a mess, which I’ll talk about, they went to bed even earlier. Right. So the timing of the naps is important. Again, if your child is over 12 months, they’re typically sleeping from 1230 to three, which means they have to go to bed about seven, right? Putting a bed, a child to bed at 830 is too late. It’s too long of an awake window, they’re going to be overtired, they’re gonna fight you going down, and they’re probably still waking at night. And if not waking at night. They’re waking up early in the morning. And that’s your culprit, right? So you got to bring bedtime back much to the opposite of what it feels like our parents would tell us and much to the opposite of what you might think. You definitely want to dial bedtime back to about seven o’clock for kids under the age of one. This is where with daycare, you have flexibility, right? Because they may take three naps a day care that day, maybe once an hour, once a half hour and maybe you get a good one in for two hours. Right? If they’re really young. Great. That’s awesome. There may be days where you pick them off and they’ve had 330 minute naps and they fall asleep on the way home what do you do with that you let them sleep on the way home right? So let’s assume they wake up at seven they have a nap at like nine o’clock they nap again at 12 and then they nap again at three but all of those naps were pretty short right? on that drive home from work they’re probably going to pass out and you want to give them about a half hour to fall asleep and kind of take the edge off right and then you’re still able to shoot for that bedtime at about seven o’clock you know dependent upon the awake windows. Okay, so if it’s the first time you’re hearing about awake windows, that’s something that is probably my number one thing that I talk with parents about because nobody talks about it. And it’s the single most important thing you can pay attention to. In addition to helping a child learn to settle independently, right because if you miss the awake windows, kids get overtired. overtired triggers stimulant hormones which flood the body and then make it a real mess for them to to try to settle to sleep state asleep and to sleep through the night. So for children from you know about four to six months of age, the awake well, window is about two to three hours. Okay? So it’s at four months, it’s about two hours at six months. You’re starting to get closer into two and a half, three hours and then certainly from seven to 12 months you’re between three and four hours. Okay? Children before four months of age, it’s anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes have I have found to be Really the best awake windows. And I always have access to all of these different charts and numbers and you know, tidbits and information out on my website at tiny transitions.com forward slash tools, all of my tools are out there, all my downloads, and white papers, and free opt ins and new board ebooks and all that good stuff. And it’s all just available for you to grab out there. So definitely take a look. But you know, you want to watch those awake windows. And that’s where, you know, you come home and take a 30 minute power nap, that’s fine. They’re still ready for bed about seven o’clock. 715. You know, you want to pay attention to that you don’t want them to sleep much more than a half hour on the way home, you know, even 20 minutes, frankly, we’ll take the edge off. But I think it’s important because you want to avoid them, you know, getting overtired and getting like erratic, even in the bathtub, if they’re trying to fall asleep and are just, you know, so overtired that they can’t even function. I’m working with a client right now. She’s like, I can’t imagine how nice it is now that they like they’re not freaking out in the bath, you know, this little one that I’m working with us to fall asleep in the bathtub. And so it’s pretty cool that they’re that they’re doing well right now, which is, which is amazing. And obviously what I aim to do in my private consulting, but you know, you want to pay attention to the timing and do your best to ask the daycare for a nap structure that’s aligned to the ideal awake window for your child. Some daycares are really good at it. They’ll say, Hey, you know what time did your child wake this morning? And then what time do you want them to be laid down? Some daycares don’t care, they’ll do whatever they want, frankly, and it is what it is, you know, it’s not the end of the world, you do your best with it, and you try to manage. But if they pay attention to you, and they pay attention to me, ultimately, because I’m telling you what to
tell them,
they’re gonna have better success. And they want a room of children that sleep well. Not a room of exhausted overtired little ones, right. So under the age of 12 months, that’s really just a tough, a tough challenge, because you got 12 kids in a class. You know, teachers are doing their best to manage the awake windows and such. But you know, if you pay attention to it, you can get the kids on a real nice, real nice routine. And let me explain in kind of closing with this particular episode is more around, it’s gonna be fine, right? You have to balance what’s happening there. Knowing that everyday may not be perfect. Every day may be different. Billy may throw a pacifier at sibella. Today,
the lights may flicker, some kid may freak out and scream because he dropped a Cheerio. Like, that’s life. The good part is when you build a good sleeper that sleep hygiene that they have in the skill set is going to carry them through situations like that, where ordinarily they’d wake, right? When we get them to be good sleepers, they can typically sleep through and filter out that noise. That can be very, very helpful. In you know, again, having good naps, a daycare and ultimately, what that looks like, okay, so don’t give up. Don’t despair. If you’re heading back to work, and you’re freaking out, because your little one is not sleeping well set up a call. We offer free preliminary sleep evaluations. I like to call it my before and after call, because we kind of talk about where things are right now. And frankly, the goals that you want, and I’ll tell you straight up Yes, that’s possible or no, it’s not right. And it’s about flexibility. I don’t just teach my consultants. We don’t teach one specific approach to sleep training, right? Anybody? Can Google sleep training methods? That’s not rocket science. Okay. It is so much more complex than that. Timing, props, balance, overtired, sleep hygiene, the right needs, right, it gets complicated, you’ve probably tried a lot of different things to minimal success in certain areas, and probably some better success in other areas. Just know that we’re always here to provide support and help. It’s it’s a challenge. And don’t be discouraged. You can have a child that sleeps well, that eats well. And that is the best version of themselves both in the day and the overnight and we figure it out together and work through all of your sleep challenges. So I do invite you to set up a sleep evaluation over on my website at tiny transitions comm you can always grab a time slot that works best for you nights, weekends, you name it, we are there for all of you to support that transition back to daycare, and to make sure that we’re setting your whole family up to be good sleepers for life. So thanks so much for tuning in. Hopefully you have found this particular episode to be helpful be sure to shoot me over an email Courtney at tiny transitions calm I would love to hear any ideas you have for new episodes. I’m always looking for great content, and I look forward to catching up with you soon. Have a great day. Bye for now. Hold on one more thing before you go. As a valued listener of the kids sleep show. I want to help you build a great sleep or not just in the times you’re listening to the show. But all day every day. Every week of the year. I have a new Facebook group called slumber Made Simple. It’s a place to gather with other parents looking for sleep support, laughs and the latest in sleep research to build a family that is rested and at their best day in and day out. If you want to be part of the community where you can get free sleep support Weekly training sessions unbelievable content and so much more. Head on over to tiny transitions.com forward slash community. That’s tiny transition stuff comm forward slash community or head over to Facebook and search slumber Made
drop me a note and let me know when you join. I can’t wait to see you there.

Resources: Read the Blog on Traveling and Timezone Hopping with Children Free Sleep Training Workshop – Making Over Bedtime Episode Highlights: Sample Scheduled for every stage of naps to adjust with ease Understanding how to adjust and how long it will take to go back to “normal” Ready to Sleep Better? Book a Call Podcast […]