Just as you are getting the hang of being a mum to the most adorable teeny tiny human being, and enjoying all the Instagram worthy milestones, 4 months have passed and your maternity leave is rapidly coming to an end. If you have chosen to enrol your baby in an Infant Care Centre (IFC), this article will help you to manage your baby’s sleep during IFC days and non-IFC Days.


In This Article

  1. Share your Child’s Schedule
  2. Practice Nap Extension at the IFC
  3. The Last Power Nap
  4. Do Sleep Recovery during the Weekends
  5. Reduce Wake Time to Bedtime During the Week

1. Share Your Child’s Schedule

Check if the IFC educarers are able to accommodate your suggested schedule. Try to give them the exact time to put your baby down, rather than wake windows. (Eg: share timings like 9.30am/1.15pm/5.15pm instead of 2.5h/2.75h/3h). If your baby is sleep trained, do share that with them too. Usually a sleep-trained baby’s wake times are higher than their non-sleep trained counterparts so it will benefit your baby if the IFC can adhere to your recommended wake times. If the educarers are reluctant, share with them your baby’s sleep logs to give them a better understanding of your baby’s sleep pattern. By using the optimal wake times. It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN situation for the IFC (yay! Long naps!) and for you & your baby (well rested baby and happy parents).


2. Practice Nap Extension at the IFC

The environment at the IFC is like a carnival compared to your home. Your baby will be constantly stimulated by sounds, new faces, exciting activities and a completely different sleep environment. If your baby has been taking short naps, check if the educarers are able to assist to extend the nap, even though your baby is already an independent sleeper. This is to ensure that bedtime does not roll around too early or the wake time to bedtime is too long. Also, “sleep begets sleep”. The more well rested your baby is during the day, the better his night sleep will be and he will able to manage the following day better too.


3. The Last Power Nap

Your baby’s naps length are notoriously inaccurate in the IFC sleep logs. The teachers may not note how long your child take to fall asleep, or if she wakes up in between. If your schedule permits, try to bring her back to take her last nap at home. If your schedule does not permit, try for a motion nap (car or carrier) on the way back from the IFC. The last power nap can be as short as 15 to 20 minutes yet critical to ensure that your child is not overtired at bedtime.


4. Do Sleep Recovery During the Weekends

After 5 days of operating on a spectrum of high total wake time, high wake time to bedtime plus mediocre (or zero) naps, sleep debt is bound to pile up. Sleep debt is essentially cortisol (slow burning stress hormone) build up in the body and insufficient sleep to chip it away. Children with high sleep debt usually experience night wakes or early morning wake ups.

To chip away the sleep debt, offer your child Sleep Recovery over the weekend. Here are some suggestions on how to help your child catch up on her rest.

What to Do:

  • Try to reduce her wake time to bedtime by 10 to 15 minutes. By doing so, she will be less wired up at bedtime and her night sleep will be less fitful.
  • If Friday’s night sleep is poor, try to reduce the wake time nap 1 on Saturday by 5 to 10 minutes, especially if she has an early wake up.
  • Reduce or spread out the level of activities or social engagements during the weekend. If possible, try to work with lunches rather than dinners, as the baby’s highest wake time of the day is usually after Nap 1.


5. Reduce Wake Time to Bedtime During the Week

Naps are usually not within your control when your baby is in IFC. What you do have in control is your baby’s wake time to bedtime. An ideal time to put your baby down will be between 7 to 7.30pm, to give her to chance to rest earlier, hence preventing sleep debt to creep up too suddenly.


Entering into an IFC or Preschool will affect even the most veteran of independent sleepers, at least for a week or two. During this time, accept the sleep disruption as it is the norm and once it is being managed, your baby will start to sleep better and longer at the IFC.

We Can Help You Today

At SleepKraft, we apply sleep methods and scheduling advice that is unique to your baby and your family. If you are struggling to improve your baby and your family's sleep, chat with us today so that we can offer the best possible sleep solutions.