As a child, a routine can be highly beneficial in shaping your expectations for life. You’re learning how to tell time throughout the day, developing a nightly plan before bed, and growing into a toddler who is ready to take on their own routine – apart from mom or dad.
Transitioning from spending all hours of the day with your little one to making that transition to daycare is an emotional rollercoaster of an experience. It’s important to mentally and emotionally prepare your little one (and yourself) for the drastic change that is around the corner. Throughout this blog, you’ll find tips and tricks to help make you and your kiddo’s transition to daycare as smooth as possible.
Remember that your child is relying on you to inform them of the details about daycare that they don’t know – which is everything. When explaining daycare to your child, be sure to over-communicate everything with them.
Talk to them about why they’re going to daycare; to meet new friends, learn new things, and have fun! Remind them that daycare is an exciting opportunity for them to grow, not a punishment. Explain to them what differences to expect in their daily schedule, but remind them that many things will stay the same.
Practice & Prepare
A fun way to help get your child excited for the change to come is to practice out their first day. The week leading up to their first day of daycare, practice waking them up at the right time and making a fun breakfast together. Show them what they can expect to experience in their daily routine after their transition so they can develop some expectations.
On their first day, follow the routine you set up together, make a breakfast of their choice, and have their first-day outfit ready. Make the experience interactive, and keep the day light-hearted and positive.
Remember Your Child’s Needs & Wants
Remember that your child is first and foremost – a child. It’s important to set your child up for success even if they run into a few bumps in the road throughout their first day. Pack their backpack with a spare change of clothes, including shoes, in case of an accident or spill. This will help your child feel more secure knowing they’re covered if something goes wrong.
Prioritize making your kiddo feel comfortable preparing for their first day by allowing them to bring comfort items along with them. Whether this is their favorite snack, toy, or blanket – it helps your child to feel a sense of home away from home.
The First Day Transitioning to Daycare is Always the Hardest
If your little one has a hard time leaving you (tears, temper tantrums), don’t let this scare you away from daycare. Remember that the first day is always the hardest. That transition to daycare is a dramatic change in your life that may feel difficult at first. As you and your kiddo get into the swing of things and maintain open communication, they will be bursting with excitement to go back the next day in no time.
Take things slowly, practice patience, and show understanding. Communication, transparency, and positivity are the best way to get through this transition. Let your child know what to expect, who they may meet, and the feelings they may experience throughout the journey. The more your child knows the more secure and comfortable they’re going to feel going into their first day.
And always remember, daycare is an exciting opportunity for your little one to grow and develop. Good luck, parents, you got this!