A good day care can help your young child achieve important developmental milestones such as being able to forge emotional connections with people and taking part in two-way and more complex forms of communication. It can be hard for the child to get used to being separated from their parents for what may seem like eons, rather than a few hours! You can ease this painful process of separation by helping your child establish a bond with the caregivers at the day care.
You can do this through talking positively about the caregivers and letting your child have positive interactions with them in your presence. There are many other things you can do that would not only ease the transition process but would also make the time spent at the daycare a nurturing, joyful and rewarding experience for your child.
Choosing a day care
Talk to your child about the day care
If you have an older child, it is advisable to speak to them about why you need to drop them off at a daycare for a while every day and what they can expect from the experience. Make sure that you create positive associations to the day care in the mind of your young one by talking about it in a cheerful manner. No matter how anxious you feel about the impending experience, try to maintain your composure in front of your child to ensure they do not pick up on your anxiety.
Inform daycare staff about your child
It is imperative that you inform the daycare staff about your child’s medical history, food allergies, food preferences, triggers for anxiety or irritability and ways to soothe them or avoid them altogether. In a good daycare, the child to caregiver ratio is small enough for the staff to be able to take all of this information into account when taking care of your baby.
Induct the child into the daycare in a gradual manner
Children tend to form secure attachments with their parents or immediate caregivers during the early years of childhood. Though the level of dependency of a child on their parents varies, most children experience considerable emotional distress when being dropped off at a daycare for the first few days. This grief may be expressed by infants as long bouts of crying and by toddlers as crying, becoming irritable or withdrawing from any activities that may be conducted at the day care. For these reasons, it is good that you make the transition from your child into a daycare environment a gradual process. Start with leaving your child at the daycare for a couple of hours, gradually increasing the period spent at the establishment.
Give your child their favorite blanket or toy to carry along
Letting your child take a familiar object from home such as their favorite blanket or toy along can help them feel a sense of familiarity in the unfamiliar domains of a day care. It can provide them with a sense of comfort and an emotional anchor.
Make sure that the time you spend together is quality time
Now that your child would be spending a considerable period away from you, it is essential that you make the time you do spend together rewarding and memorable. Let your child know through your words and actions that you are entirely receptive to their concerns, wants and needs. When dealing with an infant, make sure that you provide the baby with a lot of physical affection and cuddling at home to help them feel emotionally secure and cared for.