You guys, T started daycare on Monday. I like my job and all, but I definitely got a little emotional. Maybe it’s because she hates the bottle. Maybe it’s because I miss hanging with her all day. Maybe it’s because she didn’t have two weeks with my inlaws before starting daycare like A did. Whatever it may be, I was so sad dropping T off on that first day and missed her and A terribly! But there are a few things that I did to make it a smoother transition. So here are 10 tips for surviving your baby’s first day at daycare.
1. Take the baby in to meet the daycare teachers in advance- I was so happy that some of T’s teachers had been A’s teachers when she was in the infant room. But even when A started, we brought A in to meet her teachers the week before she started. Even though they were still new to her, I felt a little better knowing that they weren’t complete strangers to her on her first day there.
2. Take the items your baby will need in advance- The first day is always a little crazy between trying to get out the door on time to the emotions of it all. It takes a minute to get into your new normal. It was so helpful to be able to take her in that day without worrying about possibly forgetting something.
3. Organize yourself the night before- Lay out your clothes, pack your lunch, lay out any items that you couldn’t bring in advance (or make a list of items that can’t be laid out like breast milk). In this case, organization is power.
4. If daycare hasn’t provided paperwork, make a list of any pertinent information about your baby for the teachers to have on hand- Many daycare’s have forms you need to fill out for information, but if not write it down for them yourself, so that there’s no confusion.
5. Keep your goodbye brief- It can be so easy to stall and stay there longer and longer. I get it, it’s hard to leave your baby. Totally sucks. But the more you draw it out, the harder it will be. Rip the proverbial band-aid off and go to work. It’s hard but if you put on a strong face then you’ll empower your baby to feel confident in their surroundings and adapt as well.
6. Get yourself a big cup of coffee or a treat- Because you deserve it, Mama. Sometimes a little pick-me-up is just what you need!
7. Don’t be afraid to call if you need to- While I went out of my way not to call (I tried hard to focus on getting work done and distracted myself) some people need the comfort of checking in. I’m not really a proponent of stopping in and visiting if it’s not part of your daily routine, since you don’t want to delay the baby from getting into a new routine at daycare. But if you need some extra reassurance, don’t be afraid to call and see how things are going.
8. Remember, have faith in your daycare provider- I found it really helpful to remind myself of how much we love our daycare providers. My girl’s teachers are such wonderful people and it’s always comforting to know that they are in the best possible place if they can’t be with us or other family. You chose them for a reason. Empower yourself to have confidence in the great people you chose to provide daycare.
9. Look forward to pick up- Pick up is one of my favorite times of the day. My girls are generally always happy to see me and in a great mood from all the fun they’ve had that day. It gets even more exciting as they get older because they can eventually run to you and give you a big hug.
10. Remember, it will get easier- I promise. It really, really does get easier.
Bonus Tip- Let Daddy handle the rough drop-offs. That was from J 🙂
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