A New Mom’s Guide to the First Day of Daycare

mom with toddler

New mothers often have a hard time separating from their children. This instinct is natural and stems from a desire to keep your kid as safe as possible. However, you need the ability to leave your child in the care of your community, and that means you’ll need to make yourself comfortable with the idea of daycare and preschool.

Find a School You Trust
How can you leave your child in someone’s care if you don’t know who that person is? You’re completely correct to be worried about leaving your child with a stranger – but that just means you need to make sure the people at the daycare aren’t strangers.

First, research schools in your area, and read the philosophy posted on their website. Look for an attitude that meshes with the family environment you want to create. Then, get in touch with the people who own and run the school. As you build a sense of familiarity, you’ll be more comfortable with the idea of leaving your kids behind.

Establish a Contact Plan
Before you drop your kids off for the first time, discuss how and when you and the school will communicate. Provide multiple phone numbers that the school can use to reach you, and discuss the policy for calling to check on your child. Most daycares are perfectly fine with new mothers calling the front desk once in a while, especially during the first few weeks.

You should also take the time to consider who your emergency contacts will be. Choose people who live in the area and can respond if you’re not available. If you don’t have emergency contacts, discuss potential solutions with the school in advance.

Get Involved in the Community
When you join a new school, both you and your child will get the chance to meet new people and make new friends. There’s no reason you should feel left out of the community where your child is spending so much time.

Many schools host events for families and parents throughout the school year. In addition to attending these, you should also consider volunteering to help out on an occasional basis. Look for chances to provide good experiences for your child and all of the other kids.

Take Care of Your Emotions
No matter how much you prepare for it, you’re still going to be a little heartbroken on the first day of daycare. Of course you miss your kid; you’ve spent every minute with them since the moment they were born.

Although you should probably maintain a positive demeanor for your child, there’s nothing wrong with having a cry after you drop them off. Let yourself feel the emotions you feel. Then, let yourself be strong enough to move on.

In general, the best way to deal with daycare anxiety is to be kind to yourself. First, take steps to reassure yourself that your child is safe. Then, once you’ve entrusted your little one to the daycare staff, give yourself a moment to be emotional and breathe. When you see how happy they are at pick up time, you’ll understand why this experience is important for them.

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