Sleep and rest

Safe Sleep and rest

“During sleep there’s even more activity and more learning going on in an infant’s brain than an adults.” “Karmilloff – Smith (2010)”

When young children are sleeping they are learning by consolidating information taken in during the day. “Music (2011)”

Recent research on children’s brain development highlights that when a baby is asleep their brain is busy learning. For this reason Choochoos ensure every child is cared for meeting their needs and using their own individual routines.

Choochoos has a ‘safe sleep policy’

The idea behind our ‘safe sleep’ policy is to ensure all children and practitioners at the setting are safeguarded and protected in every way possible. The belief that implementing procedures for safe sleep could reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome formed the basis of our policy and mirrored the setting ethos that practitioners have an obligation to keep children safe.

During safe sleep practitioners take into account:-

Partnership with parents – Detailed information sharing and smooth communication between the key person and the child’s family is essential. Building a trusting relationship so close attachments can form will insure parents and practitioners openly discuss their child’s sleep, any changes in routine and provide consistency of care. A child’s sleep routine then remains individual and personalised.

Many parents believe that children should not sleep near to being collected in the evening for fear that the child’s sleep pattern at night will be disrupted. This can be a conflicting issue between parents and their key person with parents often requesting their child is kept awake after a certain time period.

Therefore having an open, trusting relationship where discussions remain informal and valued and parents feel secure that the key person has the child’s best interests at heart will assist with the individual development of the child.

Practitioner’s at Choochoos are confident and knowledgeable regarding our safe sleep policy which adopts the procedure that “children are allowed to sleep to their own individual routine anytime during the day.” The child’s key person will feedback appropriately to parents the importance of rest and sleep periods when attending Choochoos.

Does Nap Time Help Children Learn? Food for thought…….The University of Sheffield & Ruhr University in Germany have been doing  research into how children develop and retain skills they have recently learnt.

A group of 216, 6-12 month-olds where shown how to remove and manipulate a mitten from a hand puppet and given the chance to perform the actions again after 4 hours had past and then again after 24 hours.

Children who had a nap for at least 30 minutes with in four hours of learning the skill were able to actively remember the actions. Those who didn’t have that nap with in the 4 hours after learning struggled to remember the skill they were shown earlier.

Dr Jane Herbert from the University of Sheffield’s, said, “These findings are particularly interesting to both parents and practitioners because they suggest that the optimal time for infants to learn new information is just before they have a sleep. Until now people have presumed that the best time for infants to learn is when they are wide-awake, rather than when they are starting to feel tired, but our results show that activities occurring just before infants have a nap can be particularly valuable and well-remembered.’ ‘This study however examined learning opportunities around naturally occurring naps and shows just how valuable activities like reading books with young children just before they go down to sleep can be.’

Download a leaflet (pdf)

Safer sleeping