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Sleep and rest


To ensure all children have enough sleep for them to develop and to promote best practice for all children in a safe environment.


Tiny Stars Day Care adopts a policy of practice recommended by The Cot Death Society to minimise the risk of Sudden Infant Death. The safety of babies sleeping is paramount in the centre and we promote good  practice and ensure that we work in partnership with the parents.

Babies should sleep:

  • On their backs
  • At the bottom of the cot
  • In a well ventilated room
  • With NO duvets or bumpers to the sides of the cots
  • Without any large soft toys that have the potential to smother a baby
  • With a comforter if they normally have one
  • With mobiles that are out of reach


Child individual routine sheets are filled out with the parent and key worker when they are settling into the nursery. If a baby has an unusual sleeping routine or position that we would not use in the centre i.e. babies sleeping on their tummies we will explain our policy to the parents and ask them to sign a form to say they have requested we carry out a different position or pattern on the sleeping babies form. Staff should be aware of individual needs of the babies and children at the centre. Sleep routines are a very intimate part of a baby’s day. Babies should not be left to cry themselves to sleep or be left for long periods of time to “drop” off to sleep.

When getting a baby ready to sleep the staff need to ensure a number of things happen:

  • A clean nappy
  • Outer clothes removed
  • Fed or had a drink
  • All bibs removed
  • A comforter if needed
  • Not too warm

Daytime Rest Policy and Procedure

Staff should prepare the baby for bedtime by moving to a quieter part of the nursery,having a story or having a cuddle. Some babies like to be patted to go to sleep. The staff need to pull up a chair to the side of the cot so not to strain their back or to sit on the floor while rubbing their tummy. If the baby has not gone to sleep after 15 minutes the staff member should consider getting them up and maybe trying them later for another sleep. The Key worker should discuss this with the parent and establish a time limit for trying to get the baby to sleep which should be communicated to all staff members. If a baby falls asleep in the arms of a staff member they should be placed in the cot so they can continue to sleep. If they have fallen asleep unexpectedly and it has not been possible to remove their outer clothes or have their nappy changed, the baby’s clothes should be loosened. Staff within the area should be made aware that the baby needs their nappy changing when they wake up. Some parents may ask for their baby to go to sleep in a bouncy chair. When settling the baby into the nursery the key person should explain the difficulties of this to the parent. ” Once a baby can sit up or move forward they are too big for the bouncy chair ” They may have difficulties transferring to a cot later on. The cots should be cleaned and maintained. Shrews and bolts should be tightened periodically to ensure that the cot is safe and secure. Evacuation cots should not be used unless all other cots are taken up.

Older Children

Children need sleep and rest periods to help development. Children all develop at different rates and we must meet their needs throughout the day at the nursery. As they grow they will usually develop a routine in which reducing the length or the frequency of their daytime sleeps. Children at Tiny Stars Day Care nursery have the opportunity to rest or sleep if they need or want to throughout the day. The staff need to create an environment for the children to rest or sleep i.e. a quiet area to cuddle up with a book, cots for younger babies or sleep mats for older children. Parental wishes should be taken into consideration, although staff cannot force a child to sleep, wake or keep a child awake against his or her will. This is an Ofsted regulation.

Sleep monitoring

All sleeping children must be checked at 10 minute intervals, a timer is used to do this. Staff who are working in the rooms are all responsible for checking the children. Checking a child while sleeping should involve: Placing a hand on their chest to check they are breathing or putting the back of their hand near to the child’s mouth to feel for breath Ensuring that each child is well Ensuring that each child is not too hot or too cold Ensuring that all sheets or blankets are not wrapped around the child

The sleep monitoring chart is used to record the checks and is signed by the member of staff carrying out the check. A record of each child’s daily sleep pattern is recorded too.

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