Are you getting ready to send your baby to daycare and wondering how you will ever make it happen?!
Similar to sleep training, the anxiety leading up to daycare drop off is actually WORSE than the actually drop off.
I do remember shedding a tear or two on drop off, but once the first one was over, it was so much better. Day 2, there may even have been a little skip in my step as I went back to work ready to engage in adult conversation and feeling confident with my care arrangement.
On the plus side, is there anything better than arriving for pick up and having your little one running towards you with a huge smile on your face yelling “mommy”?
Getting ready for daycare at 12 months
One thing you may need to prepare for is the change in breast feeding schedule, if you are so engaged. here are many options here as you could continue to pump during the day and send two bottles of breast milk the following day for the mid morning and mid afternoon feed when you aren’t present.
Let us assume you are breast feeding 4 times per day – morning, mid morning, mid afternoon and bedtime. If you decide the time is right to wean, you can start by eliminating the mid afternoon feed which generally falls after the afternoon nap.
Instead of nursing at this point, you would offer a sippy cup, not a bottle, of approximately 4 -5 oz of homo milk. Sippy cups are recommended rather than a bottle after 6 months. A toddler needs 2 cups (16 oz) of homo milk per day. Some kids will need their milk warmed, while others are not so fussy. Give your body a couple of days to adjust to this decrease. A couple of days later, eliminate the mid morning feed. Many Moms continue to breastfeed in the morning and at night for some time. Its up to you.
I had an amazing daycare and a strong knowledge of sleep when my son started daycare at 11 months, yet like most parents, I still worried about his sleep daycare. Its one of those pre-programmed Mom characteristics that we can’t avoid. The good news is that kids at this age are much more resilient than they were a few months ago and they will adapt.
At 12 months, your child technically still needs two naps. A shorter morning nap of 45 min to 1 hour, and a longer afternoon nap of 45 min – 2 hr, for a total of 1.5 – 3 hours of daily nap. These napping times are in addition to the 11-12 hours of uninterrupted over night sleep.
Most daycares will manipulate the sleep times a little to suit their needs since they usually have a variety of age groups to accommodate. It would be tough for the providers to wait past 9 or 10 am for a 12 month old to wake up from a nap while the 3 year olds were bouncing off the walls dying to go outside. It is not uncommon for daycares to tackle the morning nap in three manners:
1. They skip the morning nap. This is not ideal as your child will be exhausted by the 1 pm put down. This can put them in an overtired cycle where they start waking up more frequently at night, or have trouble settling at bedtime. Sleep begets sleep and if they aren’t getting enough nap time, it can affect night time.
2. They bump morning nap up a little early to say 8:15 -9:15 so they can get the children up and go outside or start their programming by 9:30 am.
3. They have the children nap around 9:00 am while in the stroller, rather than in a crib, on the way to the morning program. Usually 30 – 45 minutes.
Did you find my information helpful? You can join my FREE Helping Babies Sleep Facebook Group where you can post sleep questions and hear from myself and other Moms. Feel free to offer your support as well.
If you want to improve things quickly and are interested in personalized sleep help, I offer free 15 minute calls to discuss your situation and how I can help. You can email me here: Contact Me!