Help your child acclimate to daycare with some simple strategies to make the transition a bit easier. While many children have no problem adapting to the new schedule of daycare, there are some ways that parents can facilitate success in making it a smooth adjustment.
Consider these steps that you can take to help your child thrive and succeed at daycare:
Ask around to find the best fit. Obviously, not every daycare will suit your schedule, preferences, and budget, so ask around at places like The Cottage School and visit to find the one that is right for your family's needs.
Take a tour of the daycare with your child. Bring your child on visits to determine which ones seem most appealing. Some may request that you visit without the child, so set up appointments, as necessary.
Make your goodbyes short and sweet. Don't drag out the goodbye when dropping your child off at daycare. This makes it a much bigger deal to the child, and simple goodbyes will reassure them that you are coming back.
Stick to the rules. Don't try to bend rules, such as dropping off early or picking up late, at your daycare. Staff may be irritated, and kids can pick up on that vibe.
Get up a little early and wake them up, too. Nobody wants to be rushed in the morning. Make a point of getting up a little early to help your child prepare for the day; eat breakfast, dress, and show up on time.
Don't make a big deal when you pick up your child. Again, big dramatic reunions are also not conducive to a child thriving away from home. If the child had difficulties during the day, this response when you come to pick them up can reinforce these problems.
Pack some comforting items in your child's bag. Send along an item that comforts your child, such as a favorite stuffed toy, blanket, or a book. If your child doesn't read yet, use a bright, cute sticker in their lunch in lieu of writing an encouraging note.
Other tips for parents sending their child off to day-care include:
- Start slow, perhaps part-time, at first. Once they make friends, they will embrace leaving home more willingly.
- Take time to talk to your child about their day, each night. Let them awe you with stories of their activities and experiences, which may inspire them each day.
- Try not to cry! Try to minimize the emotions of sending your baby off to daycare in front of the child. This can weigh on them and be troubling for many kids.