What to Know About Sending Your Child to Daycare
Finding the right daycare takes a huge weight off your shoulders. The next step is to prepare your child for their first day. Regardless of your child's age, going to daycare for the first time can be scary. However, there are things you can do to make the experience easier for your child.
How to Lessen the Stress
Whether it's your first or third child, sending a child to daycare is stressful. Even the happiest of little ones can feel highly anxious when it comes time to spend the day away from home. Finding ways to make the transition less stressful can make all the difference. Tour the facility first to get a feel for the environment. When possible, you should bring your child with you. That way, the daycare won't seem so foreign to them, and they might even be excited to return once they know what to expect. You can also practice leaving your child at daycare a few times before the big day. For example, you can pretend that you're leaving but only be gone for five minutes. The next time, you can wait 10 or 15 minutes before returning.
Before dropping off your child, make sure you have all of their favorite toys and other transitional objects to make the first day just a little easier. If your child is in the process of potty training, you will need to create a plan for potty training your child during daycare. Talk to the staff about their protocol for potty training and what you need to do prior to your child's first day. Also, make sure that you pack extra clothes in case your little one has an accident. It's expected that children will have accidents when they're potty training, so it makes sense to be prepared.
Create a Morning Routine
Before the first day arrives, create a morning routine that your child will look forward to. It can include things like watching their favorite TV program together while eating breakfast or talking about how exciting it will be to make new friends. Even if your child isn't talking yet, you can still create a comfortable morning routine.
Your child will reach so many milestones throughout their lifetime. Going to daycare should be a time of growth, not fear and anxiety. Fortunately, you can find ways to make the transition less stressful for both you and your child.
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