As the parent of a young child that's about to experience daycare for the first time, you might already be getting nervous about whether your child will have a good time and be able to adhere to the center schedule. You may think you're doing everything right, but there might be a few things that you miss that can cause a bit of stress for you and your child. Try not to do the things below when prepping your child for this new experience in their life.
Not Following the Center's Schedule
When you signed your child up for the daycare program, you probably got a copy of the schedule that your child's class will follow day in and day out. You might have looked at the schedule and talked to your child about the new things they'll learn and experience, but you might not have done much else.
It is important to realize that having the schedule beforehand offers you an opportunity to slowly acclimate your child to the daycare schedule. While there are some activities you might not be able to replicate exactly, it is a smart idea to try to shift your child's schedule to more closely mirror what they'll be doing. That way, they will be more comfortable when they do begin classes. This is especially important if your child's nap is at a different time than naptime at the daycare center. Getting them used to laying down at the new time can ensure that they are ready to rest when the other kids are.
Planning to Wake Up at the Same Time as Usual
You might not have even thought about getting up earlier in order to get to the center on time; you may think your family already gets up early. However, because anything might happen, to avoid stressing over unexpected events like soiled clothing or loud tantrums, make a plan to get up earlier so that you and your child have time to recover. That way, you won't have to rush and you can make your morning a good one even if it starts a bit rough.
Letting Your Emotions Get the Better of You
Of course you'll be a little sad to see your baby spend hours away from your for the first time. However, if your face looks unhappy or you are wiping away tears, that might alarm your child. If you can, hold back the tears and smile so that your child can be happy about heading to daycare.
If you can manage to stop yourself from making the mistakes that are listed above, you can help your child engage in their new daycare experience with enthusiasm. Have a quick chat with a member of the daycare center staff like one from Advantage Learning Center to get more ideas for an easy transition.