Sleep is serious business, as it is a critical part of brain development (please see our factsheet on Sleep). We promote and respect it at Teepee in a number of ways. We offer parents of younger children the option for them to sleep either outside in prams or inside in dream coracles. There are many benefits of both places to sleep, and this was one of the things that Ofsted commented on when they graded Teepee as Outstanding in 2015. The Ofsted report agreed that our sleep practices help contribute towards the exceptional well-being of the children in our care, as they promote good health.
Before your child starts with us, we ask you about their sleep routines. We continue to work together so that we can support you as your child grows and starts to drop their nap. As the children gradually move their naps to lunchtime, they sleep on a special sleep mat. We can also give help and support on sleeping through the night.
Outdoor sleeping has long been promoted in Scandinavian countries, as it minimises the spread of infections and so helps children to remain healthy. Our prams are fully equipped against cold weather and include thick fleece-lined cosy toes. We provide extra blankets, rain covers and outdoor thermometers to ensure the children who sleep outdoors stay warm and cosy. Research suggests that children sleep longer outside than inside and in our experience sleeping outside has solved many sleep issues from cat napping to self soothing. Have a look at this article on outdoor sleeping: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21537988
Dream coracles were trialled at Northumbria University and we have had the same success by using them in a quiet area of the room. By being at floor level, we can help to encourage your child’s early communication and independence, as the children can choose when they want to go to sleep. For more information, watch this short video.