4 Tips For A Successful Transition To Daycare

Daycare can be an enriching experience for children. However, many young kids experience fear at the idea of being separated from their parents, even for a limited time. Luckily, you can help to lessen your child's fear and increase their chances of having a great daycare experience. Here are some ideas that can help you and your child have a successful experience transitioning to daycare: 

1. Take your child to daycare before you go back to work

Returning to work is a common reason that parents take their kids to daycare. It's natural to want to spend as much time with your child as possible. However, scheduling them to start daycare a few days before you go back to work can benefit both of you. This way, you can pick your child up early if either of you suffers from separation anxiety. The ability to work through your feelings ahead of time can make daycare less of a daunting challenge.

2. Encourage your child to make friends

Friendship can enrich a person's life, surround them with support, and give them people to play with. Daycare is a great place for children to make their first friends. Some kids are shy at first, but any child can make friends with the right encouragement. You can help your child to make friends by encouraging them to talk to other kids at daycare.

3. Allow your child to bring a comfort item

Many children have a favorite toy or blanket that brings them comfort. Kids may need comfort more than ever when in a new and unfamiliar environment. To that end, allowing your child to bring a comfort item to daycare can give them some of the familiarity of home. Cuddling with a security blanket or stuffed animal during naptime may make it easier for kids to fall asleep. Before sending your child to daycare with a personal item, make sure to clear it with their teacher. You should also write your child's name somewhere on their item in permanent marker to make sure it isn't misplaced.

4. Talk to your child about their favorite parts of daycare

Even if kids dislike being separated from their parents, there are often things they enjoy about daycare. Reminding your child of these things can encourage them to focus on the positive aspects of their new experience. When you pick your child up from daycare, make it a point to ask them about their favorite activity at daycare that day.