Once you’ve got a perfect daycare center, it’s time to prepare your child for his or her first day there. It will be a big deal for him or her because this will be the first day spent without you, your food, and your face. Aside from psychological aspects, there are also health issues that you need to consider before the first day. Read below six tips that will help you prepare your baby for daycare.
One of the most important steps you (not your baby) need to make to prepare your baby for daycare is a visit to the pediatrician. Your doctor needs to ensure that your child has all vaccinations as per schedule. Consult if any additional vitamins or medications needed. Before the first day at a daycare, discuss all important health information with your sitter.
2. Adopt new routine
Home and daycare routine varies a lot, especially in terms of socialization with other kids. You need to get your kid ready for such changes to prepare your baby for daycare. The best way of doing so is to simply adjust your home schedule as much as possible: feeding, sleeping, and active times. Consider also adding some lessons to get ready for the classes.
The important issue here is not jumping into the new schedule abruptly but making the shift slow and smooth.
In terms of new routine, you need to adjust kid’s feeding schedule. Most mothers stop breastfeeding before the daycare time, however, if you intend to proceed it, then make sure you prepare baby for daycare in this respect as well. You need to get a pump and get the kid accustomed to the bottle and not your breasts. Think of the nipples and bottles that your child will need and ensure that you purchase them in advance.
- Sleeping timing
Adjustment of the sleeping schedule is also essential to prepare baby for daycare. In case your kid is still sleeping with you at night, then it’s time to break this habit to avoid hysteria in the daycare. You can even contact your daycare to see the cribs they’re using to adjust your home crib in the same way. This will minimize kid’s stress from the changes.
3. Shop for extras
When you prepare your baby for daycare, you need to understand that everything should be in excessive amounts because workers there don’t have time to clean each bottle or dummy. Consider purchasing several identical bottles for milk, diapers and diaper cream/wipes, dummies, extra packs of your child’s favorite food, etc. Examine everything you’re using at home and get an extra (even if it’s a duplicate) of everything.
4. Get used to the daycare
It’s essential that your child feels safe and comfortable at this place when you’re not around. For this reason, experts from daycare centers advise getting to these facilities several times before the day X to give your child some time for adjustment. First time spend a couple of hours with your kid, then try leaving him or her on their own. After such “training” the child will feel calm and relaxed at this place because you helped him or her to accommodate there.
5. Talk about the daycare
Kids understand more than we can imagine, so talking about the new place will be a perfect way to prepare your baby for daycare. Use positive adjectives to describe the new place, speak in calm and soft voice to guarantee the sense of safety. Talk about things that your child likes to interest him or her in a new place. Verbal preparation is just as important as personal acquaintance with the new place, don’t neglect it!
6. Get yourself ready
Just as you prepare your baby for daycare, you need to get yourself ready. You should ensure that you won’t cry on the first day or hug the child in a particular way. Even the subtlest difference can change your kid’s mood and perception of this important day. So be firm and at ease at the same time.
However, don’t neglect the fact that during the first week your child may feel dizzy because of the changes (regardless of how well you’ve prepared him or her), so you might need to get to the daycare center urgently. This will require flexibility in terms of working hours, so ensure that you discuss it with your boss.
And the final words. Preparation is essential for kids, but remember that even despite your efforts things can go wrong and crazy. Be ready for anything on the first day and even week!