Sleep Time Policy
At Chingford House Nursery it is our responsibility to meet the children’s developmental, health and care needs, whilst keeping children safe and promoting their welfare. Our policies, procedures and practices demonstrate how we meet the children’s holistic needs in a caring and safe environment.
Staff recognise the importance of sleep for babies and young children, particularly those that use the full nursery day of 8am-6pm. We know that sleep can be a fundamental element of children enjoying and managing their day, as well as aiding their health and development.
At Chingford House Nursery, most children will have a sleep until they are at least three years old; where agreed with parents, some children will have a sleep beyond this age, until they grow out of the need to do so.
When babies first start at the nursery, the Key Person will speak with the parents about their child’s sleep routines; we recognise that parents may already have an established routine which works for their child. The Key Person will discuss their role in establishing the same routine at the nursery, which not only ensures that they settle well with us, but it also ensures familiarity. Babies may need at least two sleep periods throughout the day, so staff will ensure that their routine is followed. However, it is particularly important that parents are informed that, as babies become familiar with the nursery’s routine of the day, their sleep pattern will inevitably change to ours.
We have used guidance from the Cot Death Society and Lullaby Trust to inform this policy and how we work with young babies to prevent cot death (Sudden Infant Death - SID):
• We place babies on their backs to sleep (unless there is a medical reason that does not permit this); if a baby rolls onto their tummy, staff turn them onto their back again; however once babies can roll onto their tummies and then onto their backs again independently, we leave them to find their own position (this is in discussion with the parents). Babies are put to sleep ‘feet to foot’ meaning that they are placed at the lower end of the cot, minimising the possibility of children slipping further down and under the covers
• We do not put babies to sleep by allowing them to self-feed; a member of staff will feed the baby/child and then put them to sleep
• Staff visually check babies and children when they are sleeping; this is recorded every 10 minutes and staff sign to demonstrate that checks have taken place
• When checking the babies/young children, staff look for the rise and fall of their chest (at times laying a gentle hand on their chest)
• When checking the babies, we ensure that their sleep position has not changed; if they have turned onto the tummies, we gently try to roll them on to their back. Staff also check that babies/children are not tangled in their bedding
• We do not leave babies/young children unattended, there is always at least one member of staff in the room
Safer sleep environment:
• To aid restful sleep we ensure that the temperature of the room is appropriate for children and staff which is usually between 16-20˚C; babies and children are given a light blanket to cover them (or a sleeping bag if parents provide one)
• Sleeping bags must be age appropriate – therefore it is our policy to refuse to put children in their own sleeping bags, if they are over the age on the label in the bag or if the bag is far too big because it’s for an older aged child. By doing this, we can help to keep children safe during their sleep.
• In the winter months the children sleep in their clothes as long as they are not too bulky, this will prevent them from overheating. During the summer, babies/children sleep in a t-shirt and nappy/pants if the rooms are particularly hot
• We provide cots and mats that meet safety kitemark regulations
• Babies and children have their own bedding which is washed at the end of their nursery week; sleep mats are wiped down with an antibacterial spray after each sleep
• We do not use bumpers or have anything else in the cots that may cause suffocation or choking, i.e., hanging mobiles
• It is not our usual practice to put children to sleep in buggies; however, where parents have provided written consent, we will put babies/young children to sleep in their own buggy; the staff will lower the buggy in as flat a position as possible and they will move the children to a cot or bed once they are in a deep sleep
• Staff often use classical music, nature sounds or singing themselves to help the children go off to sleep
Sleep, rest and quiet time:
Sleep time is between 12-2pm every day (unless babies have their own sleep routines). This is a period where some other children may need a rest but not necessarily a sleep, so they will be able to lie down in a quiet corner in their room. This two-hour period is also used as ‘quiet time’, where children engage in activities which need less physical exertion and can be carried out quietly. In conjunction with the parents, staff will allow the children to sleep for a shorter or longer period than the two hours.
If parents have any concerns or queries regarding their children’s sleep, they should raise them with their Key Person.
Policy created by: Yolande Farrell Manager
Signed off by: Zarkar Akhtar Owner
Date: Nov 2022
Date of next review: Nov 2024 (revisions can be made before then if appropriate)