It's finally here. Your baby's first day in a formal childcare setting and you want to be sure they are as prepared as possible. From our experience, there are 3 ways to prepare yourself for your baby's first day.
1) Communicate Your Child's Needs
This will be a partnership. You should feel comfortable with the asking lots of questions and sharing any anxieties you may have about your child starting child care for the first time. Understand that children react to new situations in different ways. Discuss your child's temperament and possible reactions to this new place with the teachers before the first day. Ask the teachers to help develop a separation routine; ask about what you should do upon arrival and how long you should stay the first day.
2) Be Prepared
Getting your child used to the child care daily routine is a good first step. To do this, you can ask the child care setting for its daily schedule and make this part of your child’s routine at home. If you try to follow the setting’s lunch, play and nap times, your child might take less time to adjust when care starts. You and your child can also get to know the new child care setting and caregiver by making a short visit together to the setting. Your child will get used to the new smells, toys, sounds, faces and voices. You can gently encourage your child to play with the toys and do some activities while you’re there. Be sure to ask the childcare center for the list of items your child will need and request that you receive daily reports through the online parent communication tool. A few key things to remember are:
Be sure to label EVERYTHING
Bring at least 7 diapers per day
If you provide formula, be sure to pre-mix and measure.
It's always a good idea to estimate the number of bottles your baby will need and bring one extra.
Provide the center with two changes of clothes. Accidents may happen, but your center should ensure your baby is clean and comfortable every moment of the day.
3) Trust Your Judgment
If you have made the decision to enroll your child in a setting where they will be happy and will receive nurturing care and love, trust yourself. You should always feel comfortable reaching out to the child care center to ask any questions and at the end of each day you should feel confident that you are aware of the many moments your child experienced.