Getting Ready for Daycare
Your family is about to make a big adjustment. Sending a little one to daycare is always a time of change and transition. It’s okay, though - you got this! The following are a few tips from moms who have gone through the same process and would like to share from their experience to make this time easier for both you and your child.
Many babies and young children are very attached to their parents or caregiver. While the child is in their comfortable environment, you should begin having someone you trust step in while the primary caregiver spends more extended periods away from home. As the daycare drop off date becomes closer, the primary caregiver should do their best to be more absent if possible, even a full day to help the baby or young child adjust to the upcoming change.
If you have a toddler going to daycare for the first time, talk about how exciting this step will be, to play with other children and meet new friends. There will be arts and crafts, spending time outside, and learning fun new things from a caregiver. You’ve done your due diligence and found a great daycare, now share your enthusiasm with your child!
Make sure you fill out your paperwork in advance. Send it ahead in an email, and have an extra copy of all the documents with you in a folder. The first few days are very emotional; you will feel out of sorts and stressed. If the facility can’t find what they need, you won’t have to run around or make calls and can walk to your car and grab your folder. Also, consider placing your child’s medication in a clear travel bag that is labeled, our allergy labels provide a quick reference for daycare providers who need to contact you quickly.
Every state will want different documents, but the items you will likely need are emergency numbers, physical and shot records, names, and pictures of family or friends who can pick up the child.
What to bring on your little one’s first day may vary depending on the age of the child, but Name Bubbles has created two checklists for you to reference, one for an infant and one for a toddler. Click here to download PDFs of our checklists.
Michelle Brandriss created Name Bubbles while her son was in daycare eleven years ago, and our Daycare Labels Pack immediately won the iParenting Award. We highly recommend labeling everything to avoid mix-ups.
We also recommend checking with the daycare provider about bringing your child’s items ahead of time. See if you can visit the facility the day before and make up the crib and pack the appropriate cubby with your child’s belongings. It's also a great time to label your child’s shelf, cubby, and drawer to avoid mix-ups.
You will be surprised to see how many items you are packing for your infant or toddler. We recommend bringing in enough things to last for ten days or two weeks. Some days the child may be especially hungry or have a lot of accidents and spills; it will save both you and the daycare provider a lot of stress if you can bring a large labeled tote, with diapers, baby wipes, extra clothes, and formula. For breastmilk, bring extra frozen bags labeled with your baby’s name, and they can stay in the freezer at the facility. Have extra baby bottles with our Write-On Baby Bottle labels made for customizing with the date, fluid amount, and if they are breastmilk and formula.
Have a second smaller bag that can come back and forth to the daycare daily. It should be large enough to carry bedding, clothing, snacks, and an insulated bag for bottles, food, or sippy cups.
Know that the first few days of the daycare routine will be emotional, both good and bad. By having all of the details taken care of, both you and your child will be better able to create a positive goodbye routine.
In case you missed it earlier, click here to download our infant and toddler daycare checklists to make sure you are and little one are ready to go for daycare.
While this may be a very emotional time for you as a parent, we have all the faith in the world that you’ll be able to handle this transition like a champion. You got this!
We would love to hear about how you prepare for your child heading off to daycare. Please feel free to share your stories with us on Facebook and Instagram.
Thank you again for joining us on The Weekly Bubble! We will talk to you again next week.