Settling into new places (Nursery, pre school, school)

#sleepwisewednesday – back to school nursery✍️????‍????????‍????????

So today I watched my two kids head back off into school, you’ve probably seen a load of school uniform photos doing the rounds on social media so don’t worry this isn’t another post like that!

I had a question the other day about a little baby that was struggling with naps and bedtime having just started nursery and then I realised that I was about to have to have similar problems with my two so thought i’d share why and how to deal with it.

When a child starts (or goes back to) a new environment with different routines, different smells, different food and maybe different places to sleep it’s all a bit up in the air for a bit. It’s a bit like starting a new class at the gym (well for me it is) I’m always a bit nervous for the first few times and then it’s okay.

I think it’s the same with kids starting a new childcare place, they need a bit of time to settle down into it all. That might mean that they come home tired because they haven’t slept as well or because they’ve either been running around with excitement or facing new challenges that have their brains and bodies doing over time.

The good news is that it will settle in time, as they keep going back they will start to feel more like this is the new routine and be more confident and their bodies will start to adapt to the rhythm of the day more and more until it becomes more set in place.

However until then it might send things a bit off the rails so here are a few thoughts to try and find your way through it all.

➡️Try not to stress to much about it, just think forward and know that it will get better!
➡️ If your little one is still sleeping at their childcare place, take in their teddy or perhaps their sleeping bag so they can feel more at home.
➡️Once you pick them up if they haven’t slept well or seem super tired, then go for an early bedtime – remember overtiredness can cause issues settling and also night wakings so don’t be scared of an early bedtime!
➡️ Limit your activities post child care to quieter play, maybe a card game, puzzle or jigsaw rather than running around more to help them settle and calm down. (a lot of our after school clubs don’t start till next week which is great!)
➡️Start your bedtime routine at a good time to get them in bed and include elements like a bath to help regulate their body temp, a story to signal bedtime and perhaps a drink of milk to get them ready to sleep.

But mainly know that it won’t last forever, keep the consistency up and keep understanding what they are going through and things will transfer into a ‘new’ normal before you know it.

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