A toddler's first day of daycare can be a turning point in their young lives. It's a chance for them to make some of their first friends and learn a lot of new things. Many kids look forward to each day at their daycare center. The transition can be a tricky time for both parents and kids as the child's world is expanding. Be sure to avoid making these mistakes on a toddler's first day of daycare.
Don't Let Your Toddler See You Cry
While it's okay to show your emotions to a toddler on an ordinary day, try to avoid crying around them before they go off to their first day of daycare. Your little one will likely take their cue for you on how they should handle the day. So, try to show your enthusiasm and excitement. Talk about how much fun daycare can be. Let your toddler know you are happy they get to experience a day at the childcare center.
Don't Play It by Ear
Don't try to improvise about any part of your child's "new normal". Make a clear plan for your toddler's first day of daycare. Establish a routine that you plan to stick to for your day-to-day lives. Serve breakfast at a certain time. Pack your child's lunch and let them know that there's a treat in their lunchbox. That will give them an extra thing to look forward to throughout the school day. That can include both a dessert and a short little note of encouragement from you.
Don't Rush Off
Try to take your time with the goodbye when you are dropping your toddler off at the daycare center. Talk to their caregiver to see if you can stick around and watch for a few minutes. The childcare providers want kids to thrive in their environment, so they often welcome parental involvement. If goodbyes are frowned upon within the classroom, take the time to hug your child goodbye in the car and encourage them to enjoy the day. Reassure them that you will be there to pick them up soon. End the goodbye by telling your toddler that you love them.
Finally, keep in mind that your toddler will probably miss you during their first day at a childcare center. However, at the end of the day, they may also come to the car with happy tales of a good first day at the center. Encourage your toddler to share their feelings. Validate whatever ways they may be feeling. As your child adjusts to having a great childcare center as a part of their lives, your support will help make the transition a positive one.