The first day of day care is an exciting and often scary transition for families. To help both children and parents alike navigate the big day, Successful Parenting Today has put together our best tips for a great start to day care!
Prepare Your Child for the Big Day
The process of preparing your child for day care should begin well before the first day. Visit the day care center at least once with your child, and consider shadowing a class for a day if the center allows it. Go over the day care schedule with your child as many times as possible. And don’t wait until the first day to begin your new routine—adjust bedtime and wake-up time at least a few days before day care begins. Knowing exactly what is coming will help your child to feel comfortable and confident. Basically, the fewer surprises the better!
Allow Plenty of Time and Help Your Child Settle
Allow plenty of time to get ready for day care, so that your child doesn’t feel rushed on the first morning. Give her time to pick the right outfit, eat a good breakfast and adjust to the big day. Make sure that you also arrive at the center with plenty of time to spare, so that you can spend some time helping your child to settle in and become familiar with the surroundings.
When the time comes to say good-bye, it’s best to make a quick and final exit. You may prepare a routine ahead of time, so that your child knows you will be leaving after a big hug and a high-five. Even if there are tears, try to leave without coming back so that your child can begin adjusting and bonding with the caregivers. Trust your day care providers (your confidence will help your child feel safe) and give them a call if you need reassurance.
Transition Back to Home
A successful first day doesn’t end with a smooth drop-off. It’s also important to help your child transition from day care back to home, and the first step is returning on time. Knowing you will be there to pick them up at the same time every day helps kids feel at ease.
After the stimulation of day care, returning home can sometimes be difficult. Planning for a special activity or treat at home can help with this transition, and also be an opportunity to bond with your child after spending the day apart.
While the first day of day care sets the tone, the transition to this new lifestyle is not complete after one day. Your child may still have fears or concerns, and it is important to listen and to reassure them that these feelings are normal. Stick to the routines you have established in the upcoming days, until you and your child have fully adjusted to this major life change.
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Allergies are a real problem for many parents. Figuring out what your child can eat and be exposed to safely is a major concern, and one that often takes years of trial and error. When you do know that your child has an allergy, though, one of your most difficult tasks will be helping others to understand the dangers posed by allergens.
Communicating Child Allergies to Babysitters
Communication is really the key when dealing with a babysitter or any other caregivers. You want to make sure that the sitter knows about the allergies that your child has, and what substances can set off those allergies. Be clear, calm, and precise when listing these issues – and make sure that you write things down. After all, you might have all of your child’s allergies memorized, but that doesn’t mean that even someone as close as one of your relatives can do so after a single session. The more information you can give, the more you will be able to trust the caregiver.
You should also spend some time just being very honest with this person. Talk about the dangers of cross contact with other foods, and let him or her know what needs to be done to make sure that your child won’t come in contact with any allergens. Let him or her know that accidents still might happen, and what the symptoms of an allergic reaction look like. Share an emergency care plan when you go over the house rules, and make sure that the person caring for your child knows exactly what steps to take if something goes wrong.
Preparation is really the key when dealing with allergies. Think about all of the changes you’ve made to your life, and realize that it will take time for any caregiver to really understand what you’ve had to do. Make sure that you are firm about what can or can’t be in your house, and always make sure that there is a plan for emergencies. If you can do that, you’ll be as prepared as possible for anything that might happen. If you want to learn more about dealing with allergies or parenting in general, follow us and read more from Successful Parenting Today.