Are you sending your child to the daycare for the first time?
The idea of separating from your baby can be tough in the first months. The concern over safety and security makes the separation particularly hard. But there comes a point wherein you’ll have to leave your child to their own devices, and you’ll need to find a place that’ll accept them for a couple of hours
That’s where daycare facilities come in. A childcare and early learning centre is a secure and convenient place to leave your baby for a short while. If it’s your first time considering a childcare facility, here are some things you’ll need to consider before signing up for your local daycare.
The first weeks are always the hardest
To all the mothers out there… know that your first few weeks will always be the hardest. You and I know that it’ll be difficult — but you have to be a superhero for your child. You need to stay strong for both you and your child and muster up the courage to get through it. It’ll be worth it in the end.
After all, you know it: there’s nothing you can’t handle! If you’ve done your research, you should know that your child is in safe hands. Kick those self-doubts in the bucket and trust that your child’s safety is in good hands.
If you can, pay a visit to the daycare beforehand
Do you live in a big city with multiple daycare facilities? You can try shopping around to see which facility your son or daughter would love best. You can do this by researching the various facility locations and ensuring that they’re free to visit. Then, with your child (though you also can without), visit the daycare and absorb as much information as you can from the people there.
You may have a lot of options to pick by the end of it — but it’ll help you gain a sense of security over your choice.
How to handle the first drop-off
Dropping off your months-old baby in daycare will be an emotional rollercoaster, no doubt about that. But don’t worry, there are ways to get it done as smoothly as possible.
A good approach is to pay a visit to the daycare as you drop your child off. You don’t have to intrude and stay for a longer time than what is needed. You can stay up until you believe that your child is in safe hands and looks comfortable being alone.
Maybe you can find a teacher to trust to look after your son/daughter to help accompany them on their first visit. Then, you can keep in contact with them and get their number so you can phone in and ask how your baby’s doing.
You’re going to be emotional. FEEL IT!
For many mothers, the separation is going to hit them. Hard.
There’s nothing wrong with allotting some space to cry after leaving your baby in daycare. Many mothers do it. It’s a completely new situation for both you and your child and it can get overwhelming even after you’ve left the establishment.
Heck, you can even feel emotional once you pick them up after the daycare. It’ll be a wholly new experience — embrace it, savour it, and most definitely allow it to flow.
It’s okay to call out of work
Stressing over your child and work can be daunting. If you’re already feeling the anxiety of leaving your child in daycare days before the event, you should call out of work if it permits. There are several reasons why this could be beneficial:
- Your emotions might consume you the entire day: This can decrease your productivity at work. It’s better to devote your attention to your daycare visit.
- A little day all to yourself: Aside from caring for the baby, you may enjoy a few peaceful hours by yourself. This can help recalibrate yourself and refresh your mind to tackle the next few days and visits to the centre.
- Allows you to be present In case of emergencies: If something happens in the daycare facility, you’d benefit from being free to visit at any time instead of being stuck at work. You won’t be constrained by a schedule either.
Prepare for your baby’s visit — clothes, snacks, and bags
Your child’s welfare is of the utmost importance. Before you go, prepare their outfit for the day, food, their favourite toy, and spare outfits in their backpack.
Try to keep a checklist of things to bring beforehand so that you don’t forget anything. The pressure of forgetting something important can cause major setbacks and can tarnish the visit. Having spares of things won’t hurt either.
Picking your child up
Once their time in the facility is up, you’ll need to give your child some attention afterwards. Hugging your child can make them feel relieved and reinforced to continue the visits. Another great source of reinforcement is their favourite snacks.
Aside from that, if they’re old enough to talk, you can ask how their day went. If they’re still too young, ask their care provider about their day. This can help you examine whether the daycare is of the standard you’re hoping for. It can also help give you peace of mind for the upcoming visits.