No doubt about it, the first time you drop your child off at daycare is truly a big deal ! This is true for both your child and you! I’d just like to mention 3 things you should keep in mind for that all important first day.
1. Check That List and Check It Twice!
Before you start, the teachers or director should provide you with a list of essential items to bring. The list may include diapers , wipes, nap items such as blankets, pillows, and favorite cuddle toy, and spare clothes. Please be sure all these supplies are clearly labeled with your child’s name!
Also, make sure all your paperwork is in order. This usually has to be sent in before your child starts. Double check that all the information you have provided is accurate. Especially phone numbers for you or an emergency person. If your child needs medication like Epipen it is extremely important that all medical info and prescriptions are up to date.
2. Don’t Linger at Drop Off
Saying goodbye can certainly be hard so we always encourage having a morning routine. We suggest things like coming in the room and getting your child involved in an activity, bringing him/ her to a window and saying you will wave as you leave, setting the timer on your phone and saying you have to leave when it goes off. And if your child is having a particularly hard separation just signal the teacher to step in and help. With infants, you will probably be putting them into the arms of a teacher who will cuddle them until they feel safe and calm. Some babies really like to be in swings to settle down or a high chair with some toys.
Having that little routine will help ease your child into the day and they will know it is time for you to leave. A cheerful goodbye and stating when you will see them also helps. Like “ok I’ll see you after nap” or “I’ll be picking you up after lunch” If you have left your little one crying and you are worried, a simple phone call or e mail to check on them is a good idea.
3. You Are Not Alone
The first day can be full of anxiety for you! This is not unusual as it is a big step leaving your little one in the hands of others. If you have ANY questions or concerns at all, JUST ASK! There are no silly questions. If you need to make a quick call to check in on your child then do it. Having the line of communication open is very important from day one!
Just remember to be patient, every new experience takes some getting used to. But before you know it you will be a pro giving other new parents advice!