As a new parent, it’s natural to feel anxious about leaving your precious little one at baby daycare for the first time. Thoughts like “Who will hold them when they cry?” and “Will they eat their veggies?” may race through your mind. You might even worry about whether or not they’ll make friends or be labeled as the class weirdo (both of these are ok and perfectly normal). But don’t fret! With these helpful tips, you’ll feel more confident and ready to take on the big day.
1. Research Your Options
Not all baby daycares are created equal. To ensure that you find the right fit for both you and your baby, make a list of what’s important to you. Do you want a low teacher-to-child ratio? A curriculum that includes sign language? A playground with a slide and sandpit? Once you’ve narrowed down your options, visit each nursery in person. Take the time to talk to the teachers, observe how they interact with the children, and ask to see the classroom and facilities. Trust your instincts if something doesn’t feel quite right.
2. Start with a Trial Run
Consider doing a trial run a few days before your baby’s first official day where you leave them for a couple of hours at the daycare. This will give both you and your baby a chance to get used to the routine. When you pick up your little one, ask the teacher how they did. Did they nap? Did they eat? Did they socialize with other babies? It’s normal for them to cry or be clingy at first, but don’t worry. The teachers are trained to handle separation anxiety and will give them plenty of hugs and reassurance.
3. Establish a Routine
Babies thrive on routine, so establish a predictable schedule that your daycare can follow. Write down your baby’s feeding and sleeping times, favorite toys, and any other preferences or special needs they may have. Give copies to the daycare, your partner, and anyone else who will be taking care of your baby. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and that your baby feels secure and comfortable.
How do I know if a daycare is safe?
Look for accreditations and certifications, like those from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) or state licensing agencies. Ask about background checks for staff members and emergency protocols.
What should I pack for my baby’s first day of daycare?
A change of clothes, diapers and wipes, bottles and formula (if applicable), pacifier, lovey or blanket, and any medications they need. Label everything with your baby’s name.
How can I stay connected with my baby while they’re at daycare?
Ask the daycare if they provide daily updates, like photos and videos, via an app or email. Schedule playdates with other parents whose babies attend the same daycare. And most importantly, give yourself permission to take breaks and focus on yourself when your baby is in good hands.
Preparing to Send Your Baby to Daycare for the First Time
As a mother, sending your baby to daycare for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience. To help ease your worries, we’ve put together some tips on how to prepare both your baby and yourself for this big day.
1. Start the Transition Early
Begin the transition to daycare early to avoid any sudden changes that may upset your baby’s routine. Gradually increase the length of time your baby spends away from you until they are comfortable being away from you for a full day.
2. Visit the Daycare in Advance
Take the time to visit the daycare with your baby before their first day. This will allow your baby to become familiar with the new surroundings and staff. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet the staff, ask questions, and get a feel for the environment.
3. Pack Everything Your Baby Needs
Make sure you pack everything your baby needs for the day, including diapers, wipes, formula, bottles, and any comfort items. Label all items with your baby’s name to ensure they don’t get lost. It’s also a good idea to send along a change of clothes in case of any accidents.
4. Create a Routine
A consistent routine can provide your baby with a sense of security. Work with the daycare to create a daily schedule that includes feeding times, nap times, and playtime. Stick to this routine as much as possible to help your baby adjust to their new environment.
5. Communicate with the Daycare Staff
Communication is key when it comes to ensuring your baby’s safety and happiness at daycare. Make sure you communicate any concerns or special instructions with the daycare staff. This includes information about your baby’s allergies, medications, and any other important details.
Sending your baby to daycare for the first time can be a daunting experience for both