My 15- month-old daughter will be entering childcare part-time and I’m concerned about naptime. At home she either nurses herself to sleep or I take her for a drive. How can I teach her another way to go to sleep?
Talk to your childcare provider about how he or she can create an environment for your daughter that mimics her home environment as closely as possible. It will also be less confusing for your baby if the childcare provider can use a parenting style that’s similar to yours.
Even if your infant can’t be nursed to sleep, she can still be lulled to sleep in the arms of her childcare provider, provided your baby is her only charge. Nursing is about comforting, not just breastfeeding, especially at this age. Anyone can “nurse a baby to sleep in this sense. Explain to the childcare provider that your infant is used to being nursed to sleep and that you would like her to go to sleep in her arms, either by rocking, singing, or with someone lying next to her, if possible.
A nap-inducing trick we’ve used successfully with our children is one we call “wearing down.” Show the childcare provider how to wear your baby in a carrier – preferably a sling-type carrier – as naptime nears. Babies love to fall asleep in a sling. Once your baby is in a deep sleep, her childcare provider can ease her out of the sling and into the crib.
“Nursing” a baby to sleep is one of the best methods you can use at naptime. It creates a healthy sleep attitude by providing a safe and loving environment in which to fall asleep and will help your baby to grow up knowing that sleep is a pleasant and fearless state.