This is the second part of the two-part series on helping your child adjust to daycare. If you haven’t read the first part, you can read it here. Having your child adjust to daycare life isn’t something that will happen right away sometimes and there isn’t one way to do it. Here are some more tips on helping your child adjust to their new environment.
Patience is so important when it comes to this. This isn’t just talking about patience with your child, but especially with the caretakers that are helping your child too. It is a hard adjustment for everyone and there is no set timeline as to how long this will take. Sometimes, a child will overcome this in a day and sometimes it will take months. At our daycare, it will usually take two weeks for the brunt of the hard adjustments to be dealt with. Of course, your child will adjust at their own pace.
In the same area as patience with this situation, understanding that there is nothing that can be done to truly expedite this adjustment can really help in these situations. Understand that your child is being put in an environment with strangers. Especially if your child is younger, understanding that they might not understand can really help adjustments. Your child is in tune with you and if you are feeling negativity, they will probably pick up on that. Don’t expect what they can’t offer and remember that this is a process that will get easier over time.
When dropping off your child, remind them that you’ll be back at the end of the day. Allow them to realize that you aren’t dropping them off and they’ll stay there forever. Sometimes, children need the constant reassurance that you’ll be back until they can pick up on the habit. Assure them that they’ll be safe and have fun and don’t allow yourself to be unsure. Be confident and your child will pick up on that confidence.
One of the biggest things that I’ve noticed has helped kids is allowing your child to bring something from home. If your daycare doesn’t allow toys from home in the daycare, allow them to bring it as far as the car and tell them it’ll be waiting in the car when they get picked up from work. If your daycare allows children to bring their own blankets and stuffed animals for naptime, let your child pick out a toy from home. Sometimes, allowing your child to bring a shirt that has your scent on it can also bring security and ease to them. Be sure to communicate with your daycare providers before doing any of these because sometimes daycare providers don’t want outside stuff in their daycare (for health, safety, or personal reasons).
Start Slow (If you can!)
If you can, start slow. Ask your daycare provider if it would be alright to have the child start part-time or one hour a day for a week and slowly build up the time until the desired time is reached. Of course, this may not be practical if you are in a hurry so don’t feel bad if you can’t do this. It all depends on what you are able to do.
I am here to assure you, progress may be slow in getting your child adjusted to their new environment, but it will happen. Trust me. There were moments with children that I was sure that we’d have to terminate the kids because nothing was changing. All of a sudden, they’d be better and the crying and uneasiness would go away. If you are having issues with this, please feel free to reach out to me! Share any questions in the comments and I’d be more than happy to answer!