How to Prepare Your Toddler for Their First Day at Daycare

Toddler

What can you do to prepare your toddler for their first day at daycare? Start by reviewing this checklist and getting organized! You can also make your toddler’s first day of daycare fun and memorable with activities, objects, and books. We’ve outlined some great ideas to get you started. These ideas will surely make your toddler’s first day at daycare a resounding success!

Preparation

As a parent, it’s a challenge to introduce your toddler to a new environment, but he or she can be successfully prepared with a few strategies. Keeping calm and positive are the best ways to deal with a toddler’s fear of being left alone. Acknowledge any feelings of anxiety and worry and assure your toddler that you’ll be back later. Try to enlist the help of teachers or other caregivers at the daycare, as they are familiar with many methods for easing a child’s adjustment to daycare.

Visiting the childcare centre before the first day of preschool can help your toddler feel comfortable and at ease. You should introduce your child to the centre’s teachers, staff members and the special toys. It is always a good idea to show your child around the place before their first day. This will help them adjust faster to the environment and the new friends and teachers. You can also encourage your child to participate and discuss what happened at daycare.

Checklist

Before your toddler leaves for daycare, make sure you have the following supplies ready. You can send resealable plastic bags to keep dirty and wet clothes. Include a spare pair of socks and underwear as well. Some childcare centres may also require extra sneakers. Your child may also need a bib and all of these items should be easily accessible in their cubby and/or backpack.

One week before your child goes to daycare, set up a routine. Pack all their things the night before. Label everything and include a note stating what they will take with them. Make sure you take along a blanket or cuddly toy as some daycares don’t carry one for each child. Make sure you have enough ample time at pickup and dropoff, as a stressful rushing environment can affect your child’s mood and behaviour.

Activities

If you’re getting ready for your toddler’s first day of preschool, you can do a few things to make the transition easier. Make sure to keep the preparation low-key. Making it a big deal will make your toddler more anxious. Instead, engage in some pretend play, so your toddler can explore the new environment. Try introducing your toddler to the daycare’s staff, curriculum, and environment.

Set the scene. Show your child around the new daycare and have them meet a few of the other children—especially the outgoing, curious type. This will help them feel more at ease and comfortable, and making a new friend can make a world of a difference. You can also inform them about the activities offered at the daycare, something to look forward to. This way, they will be excited to go to school! Introduce them to new friends can help them settle into the present moment and enjoy the experience—rather than worrying about “what ifs!”

Bring Familiar Toys & Objects

One of the best ways to prepare your toddler for their first day at a new daycare is to bring familiar objects. A stuffed animal, favourite toy, or laminated photo will comfort your child in this new, unfamiliar environment and help them feel more secure. It can also help if you hold a small toy your child is familiar with. This will help them understand that the new environment is only temporary and that you will return soon.

Many young children gravitate toward small, snuggly objects, such as stuffed animals or tiny pillows. Others may prefer books, T-shirts, or washcloths. Regardless of what your child likes, the first day of preschool is a big step in their development. Objects that help them feel grounded and centred will make them less nervous about the new environment and may even help them look forward to it.

Drop-Off & Pick-Up Time

Setting your child’s expectations for daycare is essential to preparing them for the first time. Throughout the week, introduce your child to the basic concepts and activities they will experience in daycare. Make sure to highlight activities your child will enjoy and emphasize that they will spend time with other children. Also, prepare your toddler for the new sleeping schedule. If daycare starts early, you may need to send your toddler to bed earlier than usual.

Before leaving your toddler for the first time, ensure you’ve packed everything in advance. Take time in the evening to meet and re-introduce your toddler to the teachers, and share a little about your daily activities. If you haven’t yet taken your child to the childcare centre, share some of the activities you did at home, so they’ll be more familiar with the surroundings.

Author’s Bio

Afsara Tasnim is a content writer for BreezeMaxWeb, who helps businesses grow their online presence by creating engaging copy. She enjoys taking photographs of nature and exploring the outdoors during her spare time.

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