Four Ways You Can Help Your Child Have a Smooth Transition to Day Nursery
As a new mom, you are able to spend a number of months at home with your new little one, bonding, caring for them, and just enjoying that very special time together. In the U.K., paid maternity leave makes it possible for moms to enjoy life at home with a baby without worry of losing their job or being without pay. Unfortunately, for most couples nowadays, it’s imperative that both people work full-time, which means when that maternity leave is up, it will be time to return to work.
The end of this maternity leave quite often sparks the transition to day nursery, as most families can’t afford to have one parent staying at home permanently. Preparing your little one for day nursery can be quite difficult, not just for them but also for you. While most children will adapt after a few weeks, there are tips you can use that will help to make the transition smoother and more relaxed for all.
Here are four ways you can help your child to have a smooth transition and make the process of going back to work easier.
Babies Under Six Months Can Be Easier to Transition
While you may think it would be impossible to transition a baby into day nursery, often the exact opposite is true. For those who are under the age of six months, there is no such thing as separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is obviously the worst part of the transition. So, if you plan on going back to work shortly after the six-month mark, you would be wise to get a jumpstart on the transition and get them into day nursery before that point, even on a part-time basis.
Chat with Your Toddler in Advance of Starting Day Nursery
If you’ve been fortunate enough to stay home with your little one for a longer period of time, then talk to them about day nursery and start getting them used to it. Toddlers will feed off your energy and if they sense that you’re okay with day nursery, and you make it sound like a positive experience, they will take on that same perception.
Chatting about it in advance will also take the shock value out of just dropping them off and leaving. You can discuss what happens at the day nursery, what their day will be like, and encourage them to ask questions.
Ease Into Day Nursery Rather than All At Once
Another helpful tip for parents is to ease into a day nursery. What this means is introducing them to a day nursery on a part-time basis to start with. That could mean a couple of full days a week, or even a couple of mornings or afternoons to get started. This can seem much less intimidating and overwhelming to your little one. They will get to know the day nursery, the staff there, the routine, and understand that you will come back to pick them up and there is nothing to fear.
Day nurseries such as Little Hands, Little Feet, https://www.littlehandslittlefeet.org/, tend to offer a variety of options, including a part-time schedule. This truly can be the best way to get started with a day nursery.
Make Sure the Drop-Off is Drama-Free and Quick
While you can’t control how your little one will react at drop-off, you can control how you deal with it. Parents who linger just draw out the process and actually end up making their child more upset and emotional. Instead, keep things light and positive, make the drop-off quick, give a kiss and a hug, and then walk away.
Sure, they may cry, but the worst thing you can do is give in and stick around, as then the crying will become a habit and they will continue doing it each morning. Kids are excellent at adapting, so even though there’s a good chance there will be tears, they tend to dry up within a couple of weeks. You can always check in with the nursery once you get to work, just to have that peace of mind that your little one did settle down.
Stay Consistent in Your Efforts
Those first few days can seem like pure torture for you and your little one, but by staying consistent with your efforts, and keeping a positive attitude, you will both get through the transition period with flying colours.
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