A policy is a collective agreed statement of beliefs. It exists to protect children, parents & staff. It is a course of action recommended or adopted by a service”

Sleeping Baby Policy (Regulation 28)

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Sleeping Baby Policy (Regulation 28)


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

The safety of babies sleeping is paramount in Bridge Kids and we promote best practice and ensure that we work in partnership with parents.

It is the policy of Bridge Kids to ensure a safe sleeping environment for babies in our care. Babies will be regularly checked, monitored and all information recorded on the sleeping baby log sheet.

It is the responsibility of the staff members assigned to the babies room to ensure that sleeping babies are checked every 5 minutes. When monitoring a sleeping baby, staff members will note the sleep position of the baby and an assessment of whether the child is breathing should be made.

Every time a baby is visually checked, the information will be recorded and these files are accessible by parents and held within the Crèche. Open communication is encouraged within Bridge Kids and parents will be updated on a daily basis on their babies general wellbeing throughout that day. It is the responsibility of the Room Leader to ensure that this policy is adhered to in the babies sleep area.

The manager will ensure that all mattresses are compliant with the appropriate safety standards and are fire retardant. All cots within our facility will have wheels to ensure ease of evacuation of babies in the event of fire evacuation.

The First Light group recommend that babies will be placed on their backs to sleep to prevent them from rolling on to their front. When babies are older and able to roll from back to front and back again, they can adopt whichever sleep position they prefer however staff members must initially place them on their back at the start of sleep time.

Only one baby should be placed in a cot at a time with the exception of during evacuation in an emergency situation. The babies’ feet must be at the bottom of the cot to prevent the baby wriggling down under the covers. A light blanket should be loosely placed under the baby’s arms but secure enough so it cannot slip over the babies head. Toys and teddies are not permitted in the cot. The use of duvets, quilts or pillows is not permitted.

All linen is provided by the Crèche and each child will have their own set. In the case of a shared cot, the linen must be changed before another baby uses it. Dirty / soiled linen must be removed to the laundry room.

The temperature within the room should be maintained to a comfortable setting to ensure babies do not get hot. The ideal setting is 18 degrees (65 F). Steps to prevent babies from getting too warm include avoiding excess bedding and not over dressing or over wrapping the baby.

A thermometer will be readily available in the first aid kit to check temperatures where necessary.

Sleep Procedure

Child individual routine sheets are filled out with the parent and childcare worker when they are settling into the Crèche.

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:

Daytime Rest Procedure

Staff should prepare the baby for bedtime by moving to a quieter part of the room, having a story or a cuddle.

Some parents may request for babies 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 lower the sides of the cot. Staff should mimic home routines as close as possible and do not introduce changes such as rocking / patting unless it is at the request of the parent.

If the baby has not gone to sleep after 15 minutes the staff member will remove him / her from the cot and try them later. Staff must never force a child to lie down if they do not wish to sleep. If a child is upset, they must be comforted.

If a baby falls asleep in the arms of a staff member they should be immediately 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. If a child becomes soiled they must be changed.

Bouncy chairs are not to be used to get babies to sleep, this is against TUSLA regulations and best practice guidelines.

The cots should be cleaned and maintained. Screws and bolts should be tightened periodically to ensure that the cot is safe and secure.

Older Children

Children need sleep and rest periods to help development. Children all develop at different rates and we will meet their needs throughout the day at the crèche. As they grow they will usually develop a routine in which reducing the length or the frequency of their daytime sleeps.

Children at Bridge Kids 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.

Sleep Monitoring

All sleeping children must be checked at 5 minute intervals. 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;

  • Recording the information on the relevant log sheet.

Sleep Check Guide

  • Check / change babies nappy and clothing. Remove all bibs and outer clothing.

  • Prepare baby for sleep time by moving to a quieter part of the room or the sleep room
  • Ensure linen has been changed in cot, no toys are present in the cot and the room temperature is within guidelines.

  • Baby is to be placed on their back at the foot of the cot.

  • If a cellular blanket is to be used ensure it is tucked in at the sides of the cot so the baby cannot pull over his/her head. Ensure blanket does not go above babies chest line.

  • Soothe baby to sleep if needed and parents have approved by sitting alongside, patting or rubbing tummy.

  • If unsettled, lift baby and offer comfort. If child is happily resting but not asleep continue to monitor. If child is not sleeping after 15 minutes they will be removed from the cot.

  • Continue to check baby every 5 minutes to ensure they are breathing, they are well not too hot / cold and blankets are not wrapped around the baby.

  • Record 5 minute observations on the sleeping log sheet.

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