6 Tips for How to Start Baby in Daycare
Start Your Search Early
Daycares fill up quickly, so the earlier you start looking, the better. If you haven’t already begun, now’s the time. Wondering how to get on a daycare waiting list? Tour and speak with centers in your area, express your interest, and ask about potential start dates. If your ideal date isn’t available, put your child’s name on the waiting list.
Be Confident in Your DecisionEarly childhood education has a positive impact on children — socially, academically, and more. Each day, your child will be loved and cared for by nurturing teachers, they’ll have fun and engaging experiences, and they’ll gain the knowledge they need to be ready for all the big steps ahead. At the same time, you’ll have the peace of mind you need to be able to focus on your work.
Recognize Your FeelingsIt’s okay to worry and feel anxious when your baby starts daycare. Try to think about everything they’ll get from the daycare experience, and remember that you can always call to check in on them throughout the day. Plus, if your center provides daily updates, you’ll get notes, photos, and even videos that will help you stay connected.
Build Relationships with Baby’s CaregiversCommunicating with your baby’s caregivers can also help you learn how to start your baby in daycare. Talk with them at drop-off and pick-up; keep them up-to-date on what your baby’s doing at home and over the weekends; and ask for advice if you need it — before you know it, they’ll be a key part of your parenting team.
Prepare for Pick-Up
Some babies will cry when you drop them off, others might do so when you pick them up. Rest assured — it’s totally normal, and it doesn’t mean they didn’t enjoy their day. Babies feel a swell of emotions, sometimes all at once — and these feelings can be overwhelming for them. They’re experiencing so many new things throughout each day, and what seems like a simple transition to you (from daycare back to home) can be tough. To help make things easier on both of you, keep a special toy, book, or lovey in the car for the ride home.
Now that you know how to start your baby in daycare, you can start the daycare comparison checklist and learn what to expect at child care in order to find a center that fits your child’s needs and works for your family. When you enroll your little one in daycare, remember that they’ll gain countless skills, hit exciting developmental milestones, and participate in engaging experiences each day. And they’ll still feel loved and nurtured by you at home.