I was surprised to learn recently that I was not alone in my excitement to return to the office post-baby. If you had asked me a year ago as I was preparing to go back to work, I would have said my excitement was the exception, not the norm, but boy was I wrong! In fact, 96% of moms are eager to return to work after the birth of a baby. I found getting back into the swing of things and juggling work, baby, husband, and home, was going to be an ever changing balancing act, but I embraced it.
Dropping off my 12 week old for his first day of daycare was easier than I expected. I didn’t have any fears and 100% trusted the loving teachers in his infant program. I can remember sitting at home the first day back at work, realizing how quiet the house seemed as I chiseled away at the countless emails in my inbox.
Now fast forward 12 months later.
My little baby is not so little anymore. He is now a full-fledged toddler, with an unsteady gait, his own opinions, and the ability to communicate in his own special way. With those changes in him also come changes at school. He no longer belongs in an infant classroom filled with snuggly little ones, cribs, board books, and soft toys; rather a classroom designed for his growing mind, language, and self-help skills.
This was a hard realization for me; in fact, Cab transitioning to a toddler classroom was harder for me than going back to work ever was.
During the weeks leading up to the transition to the toddler room, I worried about his walking (or lack thereof), his nap schedule, and his interactions with the older children in his classroom, who are more mobile and verbal than he. But my one true hang up was his eating… I worried constantly about snack and mealtime.
My saving grace was the open communication I had with my son's teachers (both infant & toddler) and the center director. Their support was tremendous, they took the time to talk my husband and me through the process, gave us materials to comb through at home, and scheduled time out of their busy days to meet with us. The more we were able to ask questions and learn from them, the more prepared we were for the day our baby would be officially be a toddler.
Questions to Ask Teachers to Help with the Transition to the Toddler Room
- How does the curriculum evolve from infants to toddlers? What can we do at home to help extend the classroom learning?
- What are the changes in scheduling structure from infants to toddlers?
- What happens during snack and lunch?
- How does nap-time go (and can you share your secrets on how you get everyone to sleep at the same time!)?
As we wrapped up our first full week in our new toddler classroom, I can tell you my fears were still there in my mind, just much quieter than before (and from what I gather, there is no such thing as never having fears when it comes to your child, no matter their age). If you’re the proud parent of a soon-to-be toddler (or bigger kid!), I encourage you to keep the lines of communication open with your child’s child care teachers it was the best move we could have ever made. Editor's Note: Read more posts from Aili, including Baby's First Birthday Party: The Biggest Lesson I Learned.
I am Aili, a first-time mom and lover of cloth diapers and cute baby fashion. As an avid bargain shopper who will stand in line to snag the right deal, if I’m not searching out an outfit for my little man, you can find me in the home décor section. I am excited to share with you all my mishaps and successes as I navigate this thing called parenting.
- E-family news: Transitions into Toddler Care: What to Expect
- E-family news: Communicating with Your Child's Teacher
- The Family Room: 15 Signs Your Co-Worker Has a Toddler
- Read more posts about toddlers from The Family Room bloggers.