You’ve heard the horror stories. On a child’s first time at daycare, it’s common to see tear-stained faces and hear the anguished wailing from outside. The anxiety of entering a new place without a support system is real for a young child – but in most cases it is avoidable!
How can you dodge a meltdown outside the daycare? Read on to find three helpful tips for sending your child to daycare tear-free!
1. Visit Together Before the Big Day
One of the biggest anxiety factors for your child on their first day at daycare is unfamiliarity. Give them a chance to get used to the space and people by visiting together.
Show them the toys and activities that your daycare offers, and even help them make their first friends. When the big day comes, they could surprise you by being more excited than nervous.
If your daycare doesn’t allow visits, that’s a huge red flag! Need help finding the right daycare? Services like Child Care Aware exist to connect you to the care you need!
2. Make Plans
If your child is old enough to understand, it’s a huge help to communicate your plans clearly! When it’s time for child care drop-off, let them know what they will be doing during the day and when you’ll be back to pick them up.
For example, tell your child they will be able to play with their friends and eat a snack, and that you’ll be there after their nap. Anything to reduce uncertainty will help your child transition to daycare with ease.
It can also be helpful to talk about the new routine in the days leading up to going to daycare. Reassure them often, and use positive words to get them excited about the change!
3. Offer Patience and Comfort
On your first day and even throughout the week, expect that drop-off will take a little longer. Be patient – your child will be more anxious if you rush through your goodbyes!
However, once you say goodbye and leave, it’s better not to check in on them again. If you leave and come back several times, it will take longer for them to adjust! Trust that the care staff at your daycare can handle the transition.
If your child still seems nervous before you leave home, allow them to bring a comforting object with them, like a favorite toy or a stuffed animal. Something familiar to hold on to can make a big difference! This could also help them sleep better during naptime.
Get Ready for Daycare Now
Going to daycare can be a source of stress for both you and your child. Follow these tips to avoid issues and send your child to care with confidence! With a little preparation, your child will be ready to enjoy their time at daycare.
If this article helped you out, you’ll find plenty more helpful tips and tricks on the Family page of this site! Check it out now to find everything you need to know about daycare and beyond!