Dropping your child off at daycare can be tough for Mom, Dad and child—especially the first few times you do it. Some tears are likely to be shed in the process! It's okay to be a little sad, but if you're looking for a way to avoid turning into a blubbering mess (and having your child do the same), follow these tips.
Meet the teachers beforehand.
A week or so before your child is due to start daycare, call and see if you can arrange to meet with the exact teachers/childcare associates who will be taking care of your child. Knowing whose hands your child is in will help you feel more comfortable, and your child will be happier about being left with a familiar face, too.
Pack your child's favorite stuffed animal or toy.
Especially the first few times you send your child off to daycare, send his or her favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or other small toy along. This will make your child more comfortable with the send-off, and when your child is more comfortable, you will have an easier time keeping your composure, too.
Tell someone about your concerns.
What are your specific concerns about leaving your child at daycare? Are you worried that he or she won't have a good time? Are you worried that your child will feel abandoned? Talk to a good friend (preferably someone who has sent their children off to daycare and has had a good experience) about these concerns before your first daycare day arrives. Talking about problems and concerns will help you put the worrying behind you and reframe your perspective so that when it's time to leave your child at daycare, you can do it with confidence.
Do something mood-boosting beforehand.
Your mood will rub off on your child. If you're stressed and sad during the daycare drop-off, your child will be, too— and this will make you even more sad! To avoid falling into this continuous loop, plan on doing something fun and uplifting right before you drop your child off. Depending on the time of day, this could be anything from going out for ice cream to spending some time coloring or playing with a favorite toy.
If you linger for a long time in the daycare room before leaving your child, when you finally do leave, it will be even harder. Check in with the teacher, give your child a quick hug goodbye, and then step out before either of you have too much time to over-think things. You might still shed a few tears in the hallway, but at least you won't get into a mutual crying fit with your little one.
Ask for text updates.
Most daycares these days will text parents updates on their children throughout the day if this is requested. Some will even send you pictures. Knowing that you will be updated on how your child is doing throughout the day will make it easier to leave him or her in the morning. You know you don't have to wait hours and hours to know how the day went. You'll get to keep tabs on your child, though remotely, throughout the day.
See if you can do a half day at first.
Leaving your child all day when you're not used to being separated at all is a big step. If you're using daycare because it is time to go back to work, see if your employer will allow you to work a few half days before going back full time. This way, you can ease into the daycare process. For the first few days, you'll know it will only be a matter of a few short hours before you see your child again—and this can bring you a lot of comfort. When you do start leaving him or her for full days, it will feel like a natural transition.
Learn more about day care centers and what your child's day will be like through researching the ones near you.Share