The first day of day care is a tough one for most parents. No matter how much you love and trust your baby’s day care provider, no matter how right you feel about your decision, you’ll probably still feel some anxiety about being separated from your baby. You may also worry that your baby will have a hard time with a new setting, schedule, and caretaker. Ease your worries, and make the transition easier for everyone with these baby day care tips.
1. Meet Your Day Care Teacher Ahead of Time
Bring your baby to meet the teachers before the first day. Let them interact with their teacher so they can become familiar with their voices, looks, and smells. Additionally, the teachers will be better prepared to take care of your baby if they’ve already experienced his or her temperament. You’ll feel better on the first day knowing the teacher has already had some interaction with your baby.
2. Drop Off Your Baby’s Items Beforehand
When you go to meet the teacher, bring your baby’s items (bottles, bibs, extra clothes, etc.) with you. This way you won’t be laden down with extra things to carry on your first day. And you won’t have to worry about forgetting anything on a day that is sure to be filled with extra emotions because everything will already be there.
This is also a good time to fill out forms or drop off lists of details the day care teachers will need to properly care for your baby. How much formula or breast milk does your baby need? Does your baby take any medications? Write these things out, and verbally go over your instructions as well.
3. Give Yourself Extra Time
On your baby’s first day at day care, he or she likely won’t eat as quickly as normal and will inevitably have a major blowout just as you’re getting ready to leave. You will also surely remember (at the last minute) that you forgot to drop off extra pacifiers when you went to meet the teachers ahead of time. You’ll burn your toast, and you’ll spill your orange juice on your shirt. It’s just Murphy’s law, so prepare for it. Give yourself an extra half-hour to get through your morning routine without feeling in a frenzy.
Tip: Do a couple dry runs before your first day of baby day care. Wake up and go through an entire morning routine, including getting into the car seat and out the door, in time for work. You’ll get to see the areas where you might have hiccups.
4. Keep It Short
This may be the hardest piece of advice, but keep your day care drop off goodbye short. Prolonging it will only cause more stress and worry for you. Your baby may pick up on the vibe which could increase his or her level of stress as well making it harder for you to feel confident and calm, and the cycle will quickly spin out of control.
Mentally prepare yourself to say a quick, but loving, goodbye. It may be helpful to visualize this moment ahead of time, and then to imagine your child being lovingly taken care of after you leave.
5. Talk to the Other Parents at Day Care Drop-off
Talking to the other parents at your baby’s day care drop off will provide you with a distraction, as well as some clarity. You’ll see parents with older children who are having happy drop-off experiences just like yours. You’ll watch older children eagerly greet their teachers and friends. And you’ll get to have the assurance and sympathy from a parent who’s been there before.
6. Call or Text
A good baby day care will welcome your calls or texts to check in. Day care teachers want you to feel reassured that your baby is in good hands. It’s also not too much to ask for a text picture from time to time.
Dropping by your baby’s day care during the day may or may not be the right thing for you to do. On the one hand, you’d like to see your baby thriving and being well taken care of. On the other hand, it may disrupt your child’s routine and mood, making it harder for the adjustment process to take hold. Think it through for your specific child to determine what is best.
7. Get a Treat
The first day of baby day care is hard for a parent. It’s okay to splurge on your favorite pastry or smoothie. A little comfort treat can go a long way when you’re feeling down and anxious.
8. Be Patient
The baby day care drop-off routine may take some time. This is new for both of you. If your child cries in the beginning, don’t rush to soothe him or her. It’s normal for a baby to cry, and day care workers know how to take care of your baby. Trust them. Give yourself and your baby time to adjust to this new routine. It will get easier for both of you as you go.
9. Return Happy
Make baby day care pick up time a happy occasion. This way, your baby will get used to the familiar, happy return of Mom or Dad, and won’t struggle with being separated as time goes on. Plus, you’ll also appreciate the happy ritual each day.
The professional staff at Little Academy of Humble will help make the transition to day care for you and your baby as smooth and easy as possible. Please give us a call at (281) 459-3378 or contact us online for a tour.