10 tips for surviving your baby’s first day at daycare

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.

Here are 10 tips for surviving your baby's first day at daycare. It can be hard for mom and dad to leave their infant at daycare but these are tips to make the transition after maternity leave a little bit easier. Click on the photo to read more!

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 🙂

Here are some other helpful baby-related posts:

What to Packing in your Hospital Bag

Helpful Information for the Formual Feeding Mom

The Definitive Guide to Pumping at Work

You can read all of my parenting related posts here.

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  • Reply
    June 9, 2016 at 10:46 am We never used daycare, but felt the same way when sending off to preschool. It was so nerve-wracking!
    • Reply
      June 9, 2016 at 11:52 am I can imagine it's the same feeling!
  • Reply
    June 9, 2016 at 4:51 pm Totally agree with J. Having Eric drop off is our normal routine but if it wasn't I would have had him do it the first week anyway and I know a lot of moms who found that helpful. Moms are still full of postpartum hormones and dads most likely aren't dealing with the stress of also returning to work after an extended time off as well as the baby starting daycare. Your tips are spot on! It's such a tough time, so emotional. You are doing great - and tomorrow is Friday! I know I was never so glad to see a weekend as I was the first week Dalton spent in daycare!
    • Reply
      June 10, 2016 at 12:13 pm Yes, that's our routine too, although I couldn't not go in the first day (I think it weirded A out that I was there for the drop off because she got super serious). Thanks for the kind words- I'm definitely looking forward to this weekend!
  • Reply
    Millie Hue
    July 2, 2018 at 7:09 pm Thanks for pointing out that it is more advisable to make the separation with the children fast because it will be easier for both the kids and the parents. I will keep that in mind since we will be sending our child to a daycare for the first time next year. Knowing my child, she is kind of shy type, so I am really expecting that it will be difficult for her when I leave her in a new place with new people.
    • Reply
      Jessy Freimann
      July 4, 2018 at 8:31 am Good luck- I'll say a prayer that it's an easy transition! Kids also go in phases with it. My two year old is at the point where she cries every time I leave (and 2 minutes later is totally fine of course!).
  • Reply
    Taylor Bishop
    January 24, 2019 at 10:37 am Thanks for these tips for a baby's first day at the daycare. I'm glad that you explained you should try to have any information on hand about your baby for the daycare. This seems important to give beforehand especially so the daycare can make any necessary arrangements.
  • Reply
    Steele Honda
    May 8, 2019 at 6:45 pm I like your tip to take your baby in to meet the daycare teacher in advance so that they are not going to complete strangers on the first day. I have started looking for child care because I am going to have to go back to work soon, and I want to be ready for when that happens. I think it would be really nice to take my daughter in to meet the daycare teachers or child care providers so that she is more comfortable with them and not completely freaking out the first day because that would make me feel better leaving her with them too.
    • Reply
      Jessy Freimann
      June 7, 2019 at 3:08 pm Thanks Steele! I hope it worked out. It's hard to let them go, but daycare has been a wonderful thing for my girls <3

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