The welfare of young children is paramount and so ensuring babies and toddlers get all the sleep and rest that they need is extremely important. Each child’s needs are individual, and the nursery should ensure that this is considered at all times and provided for.
As well as cots most nurseries have sleep mats, each child should have a clean sheet and blanket for their individual use only,
Parent and carers requests in respect of their child’s sleep/rest requirements are valued and staff should work closely with parents to ensure each child’s individual needs are met, as long as these are not detrimental to the child’s wellbeing.
Comforters (teddies etc) and dummies may be provided to assist continuity of care, most nurseries prefer to restrict the use of dummies to sleep/rest times to encourage good language development.
Most children under three usually have one nap per day, with younger children possibly needing more. It is normal nursery practice to have a quiet room after lunch. Children may have a short nap or even just rest and lie down. Some nurseries have a separate sleep room for younger babies which can be beneficial for their continuity of care between home and nursery.
For those children who have progressed on from a daily nap nurseries should provide quiet areas with cushions for a story or a cuddle, which can help when dealing with feelings of tiredness.
A daily record of sleep is good practice and should be shared with parents at the end of the day.
Some nurseries ensure staff follow and are trained in the NSCB Safer Sleep practices.
All children that are sleeping should be monitored regularly and where children find it difficult to sleep nurseries should work closely with parents offering support and advice and working on a good sleep pattern together.