For at least nine months and the next few following years, you’ve been your child’s whole world, so naturally, the transition into daycare can come as a significant life change to your little one. This may be the first time they’ve interacted with a large group of children or have been around a new adult for an extended amount of time.
At A World of Discoveries in Columbia, we know how hard the transition into daycare can be on both you and your child. Learn more about how you can help prepare them for the upcoming changes with helpful tips for your first day.
Easing Into the Transition of Daycare
We’ve seen it all — from major meltdowns to easy-going daycare drop-offs — but, at the end of the day, you never really know what to expect. Below we’ll explore ways to prepare your child and help this first day of daycare go as smoothly as possible.
Start talking about daycare.
It’s important to communicate with your child what’s going to be happening, whether or not they can fully grasp what it means. Help them feel safe by explaining what daycare is while creating a positive experience around it. Do this consistently! Every day for a week or two, go over what daycare is and why they’re going.
Visit the daycare.
If you’re able, take your child to their new daycare and walk them around the facility. Show them where their new room is and introduce them to their new teacher. Ask the facility if you can visit multiple times before the first day to help acclimate your child.
Create a new schedule.
New routines are hard but the sooner you can establish one, the easier it will be for the entire family. Try to gear your child’s new routine to that of their daycare — plan meals and naps to that schedule. If your child isn’t on much of a schedule, try setting a bedtime routine first, and then slowly add in other parts.
Independence is always a great skill to encourage, but because your child won’t necessarily get the same one on one time with the teacher as they do with you at home, it’s important to help them learn to do some things independently.
This may be as simple as washing their hands and using the restroom, to finding something to do while they wait to interact with the teacher.
If there is one thing that parents and caregivers are great at, it’s overpacking — this can pay off greatly in daycare. Ensure you pack things that your child may need including an extra change of clothes to extra snacks.
Beyond the essentials, it’s also important to pack a comfort item, something that helps them feel safe and reminds them of home. This can be their favorite stuffed animal to a small blanket — it’s an item that is solely theirs that they can use when they’re upset.
You’re not alone — we’ve all been in your place and have experienced the first day of daycare! By doing a little prep before the big day, you can help yourself and your little one with this major transition.
For more information about our daycare in Columbia, reach out to us today!