5 best practices for Helping you child adjust to daycare

Dropping your little one off at Daycare/ school is very bitter sweet. I have had a front row seat to the back and forth that caused anxiety and frustration in both parents and children. You did not want to let them go and miss out on the fleeting precious moments, but you also want to set them up for good everyday. 

If you are new to parenting and/ or to taking your baby to school there are so many questions or concerns that you might plague you as you walk out the door. But here are 5 ways to help your child bond with their teacher and help with peace of mind at morning drop offs.  

 

1. Have a conversation with the teacher ahead of your first day

there are childcare centers that are very a time to the parents desire for a nurturing environment for their child. I’ve worked at places that allowed parents an intake meeting with teachers and I’ve worked at places where every portion of intake was handled by the administrative staff. Regardless of which model, alsways make sure you can meet with the teacher so you can ease your mind. If you are sure about the environment then your child will also be at ease during drop offs. Tell the teacher about your child, your concerns and come up with a plan to address them all.  

intakes were essential to my ability to bond with every child I came in contact with. They allowed me to figure out how to approach  each child and address what it would take to make them feel comfortable at school. It also helps parents to know that it is safe to talk to you about concerns they might have or ideas about how to help with issues. 

2. Prepare your child  

this is the most sound advice you will ever receive. Talk to your children about Everything! Let them know about plans. Take them to tours and intakes if you can. I know this might seem a little hippie-dippie , but let them guide your choice. Kids are a tune to so much. My fiancé and I took our nephew apartment hunting with us. Out of the six locations we visited that day, there were only two locations where he was at ease and wandered and he gravitated towards the leasing agent. We let distance from work and money be the deciding factor between those two, but we feel at home and he feels at home and that is what matters. Trust their instincts in order to have more meaningful connections.  Talk to them about school. Show them pictures of the children and teachers in their class. Make it exciting for them. Talk about school like the magical experience it can be for them. Preparing them also prepares you and sets expectations. 

 

3. Create a drop off ritual

Helping children adjust to school becomes easier when there is something they can count on everyday. I had a practice of greeting each and every child in a way that helped them feel welcomed and wanted. I also tried to respect the last few moments moms and dads tried to steal before heading out to work. The greeting would sometimes looked like a quick cuddle session. Sometimes it was asking about their night. For others it was just sitting and sharing a meal. One friend wouldn’t let go of her parent’s hand until I had her hand. Every ritual allowed for bonding opportunities for my students. 

4. Let your child walk in the door

Letting toddlers and preschoolers walk in gives them the opportunity to explore their new  environment to bond with teachers and other children. It also keeps them from absorbing your anxiety. You can carry them in the building, but when you are approaching the door put them down and encourage them. It will make the transition easier on the both of you. 

 

5. Give them an idea of when you will return.  

I know that the parent that drops off isn’t always the parent who picks up. — One of the first families I got to know had a one parent pick up and drop off routine. I referred to Dad as Snuffleupagus because I never saw him. It was our running joke for the year and a half I was her teacher.  — Letting children know about when you are returning helps them to adjust to their day. 

Bonus tip:

Early childhood teachers are there to partner with you in reaching your parenting goals. Building a rapport with them is important. Ask for details about you child’s day. Be honest with the teacher and yourself about behaviors or concerns. Having open communication with your child’s teacher in all situations will really help you child thrive. 

 

 

What are some some morning rituals you had with your parents or that you have with your child or students?  

 

 

When Do I Start Potty training

In September of 2017, I sat my 17-month-old nephew on the toilet. I had no expectations. He sat for about 5 mins and then it happened! He peed on the potty! He immediately hopped off the toilet and we gave him tons of praise. However, all attempts to recreate that moment were pointless. He was not ready to start even though we were VERY ready.

Every child's potty training experience is different but the signs that they show to tell you that they are ready are often the same. So here is what to look for when you are ready to potty train your little one. 

Age

On Average most children potty train right around two years old. Some show interest at 15 months and some kids do not show any interest until 2  1/2. I have had students who didn't give up their pull-ups until they were well into their threes. 

It is never too soon to start preparing them for potty training. Books about the pooty are a great place to start.

 

Physical signs

If your child is walking and running and if they and sit up on their own for a length of time from two to five minutes, then they can physically go to the toilet. The ability to step up and climb up is also helpful when potty training, especially if you plan on using the full-size toilet.

Something to consider as you embark on using the regular toilet -- a squatty potty. A little traction goes a long way and as their bodies adjust to sitting to eliminate waste, giving them a little help will go a long way.

 

Cognitive/ Social Emotional  Signs

When your child begins to understand multi-step direction, shows pride in their accomplishments and understands that things have a place that is how you know that they are ready to start potty training. Other things to look for is an increased interest in their own waste and in your toilet behaviors. the best time to potty train is when you notice that your child is in a very cooperative stage. 

 

Elimination Behaviors

I always found it to be very funny when I would see little bodies hiding in the corner. A lot of my co-workers referred to this behavior as going to the library. Children would hide in the corner, squat down, making grunting noises and then return to play as though nothing happened. this is a clear sign that they are ready to potty train. it means they have enough control over their bowels to poop with purpose. Children who remain dry for long lengths on time ( two hours or more) and who eliminate at relatively the same time each day have also developed enough control over their bodily functions to start potty training.

There was a little girl in my toddler room who used to always strip down to nothing. She would throw off her clothes in a second.  She potty trained in under 30 days. There was another girl who would only remover her diaper. It would frequently be wrapped around her leg. She potty trained in under 30 days. Children who do not like the sensation of wet clothing tend to move through the potty training process quickly. 

Communication

Another skill that should be developed is expressive language. Your child should be able to communicate well enough to tell you when they have to go to the toilet. Helping them to understand potty words and expanding their vocabulary through conversation and books really helps develop language. The more your child can say the easier it will be to train them.

 

A few other things to consider before embarking on getting rid of diapers FOREVER! 

Is your child afraid of the toilet? There are ways to help them be calmer and to show them that the toilet is not scary. DO NOT FORCE THEM TO GO IF THEY ARE SCARED! it will only make the process longer. reassure them and ease them but of the fear.

Is everything calm and stable? If you do not plan on going on any trips of moving then jump into potty training as soon as you can. the more stability a child has the better they will do with potty training.

 

what are some tips and tricks that have worked for you?