How do you feel about sending your baby to daycare? Are you wracked with guilt? Anxious at the thought of separating from your little one? Distressed because you feel like you’ll be losing control? Overwhelmed by the enormity of this next chapter?
What to expect on baby’s first day at childcare
Baby’s first day at daycare can elicit strong emotions from parents which can be challenging to manage. But you should know that everything that you’re feeling ahead of your little’s one’s first day - and everything you will feel on the actual day - is completely normal. And you aren’t alone.
At Evoke Early Learning, our highly experienced, warm and caring team will be with you (and your precious baby) every step of the way. You can have total peace-of-mind that your little one is in safe hands and they’ll work together with you make the transition as smooth as possible.
There’s no ‘right’ way to manage the transition. The important thing is to do what’s right for your baby and your family.
That said, there are some very effective tools which can help parents and caregivers prepare for the change and get through the first day feeling calmer and more at ease. There are also ways you can help your baby adapt to this new routine. So, if your family is facing this new chapter soon, you’ll be interested in these tips on what to do in preparation of baby’s first day at daycare.
Managing your baby’s first day at daycare
Orientation. Visit the centre a couple of times before your child actually starts in order to familiarise them (and you!) with the new environment. If your child is enrolled in either our Albert Park or Clayton childcare centre, this ‘pre-visit’ will provide their assigned educator with all the necessary information to facilitate and support their transition, plus it’s an opportunity for the team to help you develop strategies to help your little one settle in. Read more about our orientation opportunities here.
Create a home routine which resembles the routine at childcare, including meal times, nap times etc. This will help you feel at ease that your baby will adapt well to the childcare setting.
Be aware of your emotions and be positive. It’s not only helpful for your baby to hear and see you excited and optimistic about this new chapter, it’s helpful for you too. It’s not always easy, but choosing to have a positive mindset and making the effort to be upbeat and embrace the change will make the transition easier for you. The flipside of that is that babies mirror adult behaviour, so if your child senses any anxiety or distress, it can negatively impact their behaviour too.
Don’t prolong your departure on the first day. This will be distressing for you and for your little one.
Plan a ‘me-time’ activity on baby’s first day. We understand that you’ll want to be close to your phone, but it’s a good idea to celebrate this milestone day by doing something for yourself. It could be a coffee with a friend, going for a walk, taking in a movie - whatever you choose to do, make it a lovely distraction and an acknowledgement of the great job you’re doing as a parent!
Let the childcare centre help YOU!
If you’re feeling a bit anxious or uncertain about this next step, we warmly invite you to book a tour of one of our Evoke Early Learning centres or have a chat to our friendly team. We often suggest that parents take photos of their child while they’re visiting our centre or borrow a book from our library in order to continue the conversations at home and deepen the connection ahead of the first day. Our Evoke Early Learning centres are family affairs and our aim is to create warm, welcoming and loving spaces where everyone in the family feels at home. We understand how you feel and we want to help you enjoy this exciting and rewarding new chapter as much as we know your little one will.