For first-timers, daycare can both be an exciting opportunity and a reason for worry. After all, you have to deal with separation anxiety in toddlers since daycare is an unfamiliar place. Parents, too, can’t help but fret when sending their young ones to daycares.
Luckily, there are many ways to help your child adapt to this change. In this blog, we’ll learn about daycare drop-off tips to ease your toddler into this new setting.
Do Your Research
Try a Practice Daycare Drop-off
Talk Through the Routines
Explore the Daycare Together
Set a Positive Tone During Drop-offs
Establish a Routine
Have a Goodbye Ritual
Bring a Piece of Home
Let the Tears Flow
Connect With Your Daycare Provider
If you haven’t done it yet, now’s the time to research your chosen daycare. Before your kid’s first day, phone in with your provider and as many questions as you can about the place, like the schedule. Addressing these questions beforehand can help ease your worries.
But if the parental anxiety doesn’t go away, you can ask other parents how to make daycare drop-off easier for toddlers.
If you want to ease your kid into the new setting, consider starting with a part-time schedule. For example, you can begin with a couple of half-day sessions three times a week. You can also set them in the middle of the week—say, Wednesday—instead of Monday.
This setup gives your kids ample time to adjust to the new environment. It also allows them to get used to getting dropped off at another place at their own pace. Once your child has adapted to the routine, then you can switch to a full-time schedule for five days a week.
Another great way to introduce this new thing called daycare is to open a conversation about it. Before their first day, talk to them about the exciting activities in store for them once daycare starts. You can also give your child a quick run-through of their schedule so they can picture out how their day is going to look.
Communicating this information is vital, as it helps set their expectations about the new setting. It also provides a sense of routine and reassurance that little children often find comfort.
If talking isn’t enough, it’s best to show them around! Tour your kids around the area and let them see the fun parts inside. For example, you can show them the playground or point out the colorful artworks in their classroom. You can also warmly greet the teachers and other parents whenever you pass by them along the way.
Tickle your child’s natural curiosity while wandering from one spot to another. And don’t forget to show excitement as well! After all, having such positive vibes is infectious, even to your little ones.
A daycare drop-off opens an opportunity to teach your kids that not all goodbyes are bad. But how can you do this? It’s simple: be clear and direct, and give them something to look forward to when you come back!
Before leaving, let your kid know that you are leaving and will be fetching them later. Make sure to specify the time in a language that they will understand. For example, if you plan to pick them up by four o’clock in the afternoon, you can say something like, “I’ll be back here after your afternoon snack.”
End it on a positive note with words of excitement such as “Looking forward to hearing about your day later!”
Children usually find comfort in repeated activities. And what better way to help them adjust to the daycare than by building a solid daily routine?
Begin by planning a routine and sticking to it every single day. For instance, you can drop them off at the daycare at, say, eight o’clock in the morning. This routine lets your kids get used to the new rhythm of their daily life.
You can also consider arriving at the place early to gauge how much time they need to adjust. This way, you can find what works for both of you. It also teaches them the virtue of being an early bird.
Build a positive drop-off routine by creating a goodbye ritual with your little one! Make one that feels natural for both of you, and try to keep it sweet and short. It can be anything you and your child likes—from a quick high-five, a pat on the head, a sweet “I love you,” a kiss on the cheek, and so forth.
Integrate this gesture into your routine before you send them off to daycare. Make sure not to linger for too long, though! After all, the longer you stay, the harder it is to part from your child.
Sometimes, all your child needs is a piece of home to soothe their worries. Let your kid carry their favorite item when going to the daycare. It can be anything that reminds them of home—whether a blanket, a stuffed animal, or a parent’s shirt.
Keeping this object on hand provides them comfort on days when they’re far away from home. It also reassures them that everything will be alright and lessens feelings of anxiety.
Your child requires ample time to adjust to a new environment. For some children, it can last a day. But for others, it can take up to four weeks. And whenever they feel distressed, their first instinct is to cry.
Crying is not something parents should take negatively. After all, if a toddler cries at daycare drop-offs, it’s their natural reaction to things or situations that are unfamiliar to them. Instead, you can take it as a significant step towards making sense of a new place. It’s a sign of growth as they adapt to the place.
As a parent, you can support them through this vital life stage by letting them cry and speaking words of reassurance. For example, you can tell them something like, “I can see that you’re sad, and I understand how it feels. But don’t worry, I’ll come back later this afternoon to pick up.”
If you want to check up on your child inside the daycare, consider talking to your provider. Establish a good rapport with your kid’s teacher so you can easily ask them how your child is coping.
After all, the teacher works directly with your kid during their stay inside the daycare. They can also give you advice on making drop-offs easier for your kids.
If you want more tips on raising your toddlers, visit the Rayito de Sol blog.