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Sending your baby to daycare: How to encourage the adaptation of the child and parents

Sending your baby to daycare: How to encourage the adaptation of the child and parents

By Erika Valenzuela

I remember being curiously serene the first time I left my daughter in the daycare. I returned to work after the maternity leave
and sending my baby to the daycare was not an option, but a must.

Nevertheless, behind my serenity was my feverish mother’s heart, swinging between the exaltation of my professional life with
projects of my own, and the mourning of my maternity leave.

Now I had to leave my daughter between the hands of someone else’s five days per week.

“Isaac was 16 months old when I sent him to the daycare,” a friend told me. “This was the only time when I could recharge my
batteries because I was alone to take care of my little boy at that time”

In Julie’s case, the choice to send her daughter to the nursery was done easily. ” I have known the educator for years. I trust her
fully. So it was very easy for me to leave her my child. It was like my friend was guarding my baby for a few hours to give me a
break. In other circumstances, it would have been probably different.”

Sending her baby to the nursery for the first time makes one of the most significant steps to the stages of his transition to life in
society. It will bring a lot of changes in his daily routine as well as yours.

Here are some tips to help you better live the nursery phase.

To encourage the adaptation of the baby

We all know it: Every child is different. In consequence, their reaction and the time of adaptation to the nursery depends not only
on their age but most importantly on his temper.

Certainly, the adaptation will not happen in one day. The reassuring routine that you have introduced during your parental leave
will be greatly changed. There’ll be definitely a lot of intense crying, refusal to eat, to sleep, to participate and regression. All of it
accompanied by the anxiety of separation around the age of 8 to 12 months.

Visit before entry.

Make small visits to the nursery in the weeks before his entry. This will ease the first contacts. The places and faces will not be total
strangers for him when he starts his integration officially.

However, take the precaution of warning before pointing. This will prevent you from falling like a hair on the soup at an inconvenient
time.

Opt for a gradual integration

Begin the integration little baby with a few hours at the nursery and then extend gradually. Then, you will give him the time to gently
adapt to his nursery.

Your educator can certainly guide you to the most suitable rhythm of integration for your child.

Debrief the educator

Take the time to inform the educator about your child’s habits. What he likes to eat or what he doesn’t like. His typical behaviors. His
temperament. His sleeping habits, etc.

Be confident

It is primary to make your child feel that we trust the person we’re leaving him with. Also, do not extend the goodbyes when you’re
leaving your baby between the arms of a new educator.

The little ones are sponges to the feeling. We try then to not melt in tears in front of them on the first day at the nursery.

Talk to him and assure him.

Take the time to talk to your little baby. Explain to him what’s going to happen. Reassure him.  Put words on what he feels. He already
understands your intonation even if he is very small.

Establish a routine

Set up a departure routine to the daycare and back. A series of ritual gestures always in the same order. This will help your little treasure
to anticipate the next things and thus help adapt to this new rhythm of life.

Use a familiar object

Bring him an object from home that he knows well: toutou, doudou, a family photo or others. Having near him smells and familiar
faces will reassure him.

Spend time with your baby after his return from the daycare.

Take time to take time.

Leave the dishes. You can skip some chores for a few minutes with your baby. This is the best time to connect with him. He will feel
loved and reassured.

One thing at a time.

” It went well for Isaac the first week since it was half days. But when it came time to integrate the naps, things went tough. I still gave
him the breast to put him to sleep! “Continued my friend,” I admit that it was not easy, but he ended up learning how to fall asleep alone. Hallelujah! ”

To reassure the parents

If there are parents for whom the start of daycare for their dear little ones are done without much trouble, for others, this transition happens
with a little more difficulty.

This is not the case of Sylvain for example:” I was afraid that he might feel abandoned. In my family, it was always the grandparents who
took care of the children.”

Stress, anxiety, guilt, and tears. Even insomnia. The transition towards the daycare is, without doubt, an emotionally intense period for
the children as well as for the parents.

These pieces of advice will help fathers and mothers to easily live this transition.

Disregard judgments

One of the first things you need to integrate when you become a parent is that there will always be someone to tell you that you are scraping
your child no matter what choice you make.

So here’s my advice: let everyone make judgments. The reasons why you send your baby to daycare or not, belong to you only. Be at peace
with that.

Sending your baby to the daycare: Ask for references

Before choosing a daycare, find out from your acquaintances. Ask them for references. Do some research.

If there’s a moment when you should benefit from your social media networks, it’s now.

Visit several daycares

If possible, visit more than one daycare to find the one that suits you best.

Bring your child during the visit. Discuss with management and educators. Is the contact good?

Observe the behavior of other children. Do they seem to like it? Do the educators seem benevolent?

Do not be afraid to ask the three hundred and fifty thousand questions that could get into your head (about the daycare, of course, for other
topics, have a drink with a friend or make an appointment with a specialist).

Trust your instincts and be confident.

Sending my baby to the daycare: The key is communication

As you will now understand, the key to a beautiful daycare integration is the trust between you, the daycare staff, and your child. This trust is
built with good communication.

Afterward, make a point of maintaining exchanges with both the school management and the educators.

Will my child have an emotional trauma?

No, you are not giving up on your child.

No, he will not develop an emotional deprivation and will not become a dangerous criminal because he went to daycare.

Will my child be attached to his teacher more than me?

No, your child will not forget you.

A competent educator will, of course, seek to develop a bond of attachment with your child. This so that he can feel confident in this new
environment. It is rather if this link is not created that you should ask yourself questions.

Do not worry. You will always be his parents of love. A mother and a father are irreplaceable. It is up to you to maintain the precious bond
of attachment with your cherub.

Let your little bird fly

Last advice but not least: Leave your little chick, duck, kitten, treasure … discover the world!

Look at the positive sides of sending your child to nursery: He will develop his independence. He will learn to integrate with the individuals
outside the circle of family, he’ll integrate the life basis in society, he’ll create links of friendships and confidence. He will learn a lot of new
things in a stimulating environment!

If these are not good reasons to let your little bird fly while attending daycare, I wonder what it is.

Sending your baby to the daycare: And after?

Be confident, he will end up adoring this new environment and you may have difficulty later to make him leave.

If for my daughter integration in the daycare was quite normal, with the crying and the natural adaptation steps of the first weeks, it is later,
while I saw her through the window in the middle of the day. ‘interact with other kids, that my mom’s heart has finally been softened.

My baby, so small and fragile just a few months ago, was growing and gradually finding the way to independence. It was then, on the other
side of the daycare window, that I shed my first tears of pride.

Oh boy! If it is to be the same at each step, I have not finished yawning!