Do you fear the dreaded daycare drop-off scene? Fear not! It doesn’t have to be a terrible, traumatic experience.
Here are some tips for how to have an easy, successful drop off at daycare or preschool:
Ask the daycare for advice on how to ease this transition
They’ve been around for this sort of thing a time or two – see what tips they have or encourage at their particular facility.
Talk with your child about the schedule
Give your child a detailed description of what he’s going to experience and what the new routine is. Go over it with him again and again.
Help him or her feel excited about the experience
Remind him that the daycare has new toys, new friends, nice teachers, and will be a lot of fun that he can’t have at home.
Adjust to the new routine in advance
If your sleep schedule is going to change for daycare, get on the new schedule beforehand, by at least a few days or a week or so.
Make sure your little one is rested and fed
No one likes to deal with a lot of new things when they’re hungry or not rested. Make it easier on everyone by making sure your little one got enough sleep and a good breakfast before drop-off.
Leave yourself plenty of time
If you’re frantically scrambling around the morning of the first day, everyone is going to be frazzled by the time you make it to the daycare drop off, which will inevitably lead to stress and tears. Do everything necessary to ensure a smooth, calm morning before you get there.
Be Consistent – have the same routine every day
Keeping the drop-off routine the same every single day gives your child a familiar transition from being with you to without you, which will make him feel more secure.
Bring something familiar
Having his favorite stuffed bear to tote along with him throughout the day can go a long way toward easing the anxiety of separating from Mom, Dad, and everything else familiar.
If you act (or feel) anxious or emotional, your child will think there’s reason to be anxious or emotional. Don’t fuel that fire; replace it with the cool, calm waters of confidence and tranquility.
Drop and go
Don’t draw out the goodbye or linger at the daycare trying to console a wailing child; it will only protract the experience and make things worse. Say your goodbye, and walk out confidently without looking back. Your child will be better for it and it will give the daycare providers the chance to comfort and bond with them.
But do always say goodbye
That said, never just sneak out. Stealing away while your little one is distracted will just enforce to your child that he can’t look away or relax for a second. Be swift and confident about the goodbye, but do say one.
Be prepared for some tears
Sometimes tears will happen, and it takes time for the drop-off to be a calm one. Even with doing everything right, a kid may scream bloody murder in the beginning of drop-offs for a week, or a month. Eventually, most children will adjust and go about their business happily playing at daycare.
Then, of course, you’ll just have to deal with them crying because they don’t want to leave!