In our economy it is tough to be a stay-at-home parent. In most families, both parents need to work at least part time to make ends meet. Therefore, most toddlers get into daycare. No matter how good the facility and the educators, the transition to daycare can be stressful to both parents and children.
In this article, I am going to share with you my personal experience about how to help your baby adjust to the change. I know it won’t be easy on you (I know I have cried my eyes out the first few weeks) as well but it will get easier over time.
Make a Few Visits in Advance
It is important that you and your baby go through the change gradually. If possible do a few trial runs first. Visit the daycare on a normal weekday and stay there for a couple of hours. Allow the educators to hold your kid, so that he sees there is nothing to be afraid of. In best case scenario, you would be able to find some toys there you know your little angel will love. You can use them later on to build up excitement and distract him when you leave him at the daycare.
Do a Short Trial Run or Two
If you can manage it, it is always a great idea to do one or two trial runs. It will give your kid the opportunity to adjust to the new environment without the strain of spending an entire day at the facility away from you. Additionally, you will can also observe how your baby will react to being separated from you. Choose your timing wisely. Don’t go around nap time, instead pick a convenient moment when your champ is well rested and has energy to play. You can turn the visit into a play-date and allow him to get used to interacting with the other toddlers and educators.
Don’t Forget the Lovies
To make your toddler feel as comfortable as possible, it is good to surround him with his favourite toy or blanket. Not all children have lovies, still, if yours does, it will definitely help you smooth the transition. In case, he doesn’t have one, you can try a different tactic. Sleep with a stuffed animal or a blanket for a couple of nights and then give the item to your kid before you leave the daycare. Interestingly, your scent can help make your little angel feel loved and safe at the new place.
Send Favourite Foods and Utensils
To add an extra level of comfort, you can make sure your son gets similar meals to those you usually prepare for him. His favourite foods, utensils and milk bottle should find their way to the daycare, if appropriate. However, don’t forget that you need to sanitize them properly every day. These guys strongly suggest that you retrieve the utensils and bottles every day from the daycare to sanitize them properly. They recommend that you should be very careful about the hygiene of every item you take to the facility, no matter how much you trust the staff there to take care of the sanitation.
Always Bring Extra Formula
Researches indicate that babies, just like adults tend to stress eat. Even though, you wouldn’t want your little one overeating, you could pack an extra bottle of milk formula. Over time, your angel will get used to the day care and won’t need the extra serving but in the beginning it is essential to give him as much comfort as possible.
One last piece of advice, if possible don’t force too big of a change at once. Ideally, you will start with one or two visits to the day care per week and gradually increase the number until you get to a full five-day schedule.