As with eating, good sleeping habits are born from routine. A good nanny should establish an evening routine early on that will guarantee a peaceful night for all. Announcing to your charge that bedtime isn’t far off will give them time to finish playing, tidy up and start winding down. Avoid over energetic or exciting games at the end of the day. If a child isn’t tired, a brisk walk soon gets rid of any excess energy. Bath time should be as relaxing as possible with teeth brushing and the putting on of pyjamas all clear pointers to the end of the day.
A bed time story is always a good calmer and make sure to ask if the child needs anything before you leave which will avoid them having an excuse to get up later. Leave doors ajar and landing lights lit if a child is scared of the dark. You may not even have anything to do with bedtime because it’s often the moment of the day that working parents like to share with their children.
Children under four really do need a nap at some time during the day. Discuss their routine with the parents or previous nanny. Older children can also benefit from a quiet time during the day whether it is spent reading, drawing or doing a jigsaw puzzle.