Toddlers who have attended daycare from the time they were infants have typically long gotten over their separation anxiety when their mom or dad drops them off each day. But for the toddler who is new to daycare, the experience can cause a lot of anxiety in the beginning. Thankfully, there are a few things parents can do to ease their child's fears and adjust to the new normal. Here are some tips to implement with your child.
Bring Along Their Favorite Thing
For some children, it's a preferred blanket that offers security. For others, it may be a favorite stuffed animal or doll. Let them choose one thing that offers them comfort in new and unfamiliar situations you are not available.
Leave Extra Early
Until your child adjusts to the new routine, be sure to arrive to the daycare facility a few minutes early. Before you even get out of the car, remind your child that today they will be at their new "school."
When you go in, spend a few minutes talking with their daycare provider and saying hello to the other children. Note interesting things listed on the class schedule of activities or point out a favorite food from the snack or lunch menu. These few extra casual minutes prior to your leaving usually help a child become more comfortable, and before you know it, they are off playing.
When a child goes off to daycare for the first time, it's not just hard on them — it's hard on the parents, too. As difficult as it may be for you, however, your child is looking to you for comfort and support and to see everything will be okay.
If you are nervous, upset, or crying, your child will pick up on your attitude and adopt the same one. This will just make it harder on everyone. This is a situation that calls for you hiding your true feelings, at least until you get back to the privacy of your vehicle. Put on a happy face and hopefully your child will mirror your behavior.
Put Together a Picture Book
You can get a small photo flip album from your local discount store. Inside each sleeve, put a picture of your child's family members, such as siblings, parents, or grandparents, their bedroom, house, car, pets, toys, and anything else they love. When they get lonely, they can flip through their pics.Share