I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through the product links on this page at no extra cost to you.
Is your baby always exhausted from Daycare? Daycare is fun but also exhausting. Daycare marks a new beginning in your baby’s life. In daycare, your baby is exposed to what school would feel like and is taught some basic things through fun games. Your little one gets to interact with other babies his age and gains social skills and you get to go to work knowing that your baby is well cared for and is in a nourishing, fun, and healthy environment.
Now although daycare can be fun and exciting for your little tot, it can be exhausting. However, it’s the fatigue we feel after we’ve done something we enjoy. Yes, it’s tough to get your baby to engage with you when he is tired, but there are things that you can do to keep the baby happy while he settles down from an active day.
Factors that may affect your baby’s mood and temperament include:
A significant change
For a baby who is an only child and is only surrounded by adults all the time, being around other little people can be a lot to get used to at first. He may be a little irritable as he learns to interact with his new friends. This usually happens fairly quickly, babies can adjust and adapt faster than we expect.
Your baby may not be getting enough sleep at the daycare and that will definitely affect his mood and adjustment at the daycare.
Baby not ready
In every step of your baby’s development, you must take him along. Taking a leap and doing things when you are ready without taking time to figure out whether or not your baby is ready could backfire. Take it slowly at first, let your family care for the baby when you can’t, and wait till your baby exhibits more independence and curiosity and you feel sure he is ready. Trust your parental instincts.
Below are some things you can do with an exhausted baby:
7 Things to do when your baby is exhausted from Daycare
1. Keeping the baby awake after daycare
A lot of parents worry that their babies fall asleep in the car on the way home would affect their own bedtime routine and while this is a reasonable concern, keep in mind that the obvious solution may not be the right one for you. Some babies become very cranky when they are woken up from their sleep, which makes bedtime much harder. The better approach is to prevent your baby from falling asleep in the first place rather than waking them up. Try to sing and engage him on the ride back from daycare for as long as you can and if they end up falling asleep don’t wake them, let them be. Chances are he will fall right back to sleep when you get home.
2. Waking the baby when he falls asleep during the ride home
Unless the daycare is an hour or more ride from your home, a few minutes of sleep in the car is very unlikely to keep your baby awake at night. No matter how many naps your baby has during the day, the body has a natural reaction to night time, which means that it switches off in anticipation of sleep. Therefore, when you get home, gently wake the baby and try to get a few minutes of awake time before settling in for bed. Also, most parents have indicated that a short nap in the car relieves their overtired baby and prevents any crankiness during bedtime.
3. Have an early bedtime
If you still have time after returning from daycare before bedtime, then put your bedtime routine in motion. Some parents let the baby nap at the expense of bedtime, this may take away from bedtime later and may affect the baby’s sleep pattern at daycare. Instead of letting the baby nap, get him ready at an earlier time, feed the baby, give him a warm bath then swaddle to help him fall asleep easily.
4. Adjust what happens during the day
Your baby being exhausted after daycare is a product of what happened during the day. A baby’s hyperactivity, how much sleep he had, and the intervals between those naptimes can affect your baby’s mood at home. Some parents have found it helpful to discuss their naptime strategy with the daycare teachers to ensure that the baby’s sleep pattern doesn’t change too drastically.
5. Don’t change what works
If you have a routine at home that works then teach it to the daycare teachers. There is no need to introduce your baby to something new when what you already have works perfectly. Most daycares are very open to hearing what your baby’s daytime routine is like and would incorporate into your baby’s care to the best of their ability.
6. Have a little ‘you’ time
Time at the daycare may be a change from the time you spend connecting with your baby, so try to do that after your return. Hug your baby, give him a warm bubble bath and if he is old enough, do some finger painting! Do a little floor time, sing, and dance to get that connection back.
7. Try something different
If your baby isn’t adjusting well with the new environment, you can try an in house daycare program with friends, family, and your neighbors. This plan will include fewer children who your baby is already used to. Some parents try what’s called nanny sharing. Here, parents come together to get a common nanny or nannies for their children, particularly when they only need the daycare for a short while. This system allows the baby to connect to a small social group before going to a bigger daycare with lots of children. It also ensures that the caregivers have more connection and time for each child under their care.
Your baby being exhausted after daycare is not a bad thing, it means that he put in the time and connected with his new environment, therefore, embrace and enjoy it, chances are that your baby is having a blast too!