You love your babysitter or nanny but paying her has started to break the bank. You know it is time: time to switch from a nanny to daycare. Or maybe you have just had a part-time babysitter, and you need full-time care now but can’t afford a full-time nanny. Again, it is time to switch from a babysitter to daycare. You are stressed out, though, because you have heard the horror stories from other moms who had a terrible experience switching from a nanny to daycare. You just want what is best for your kids. You desperately want a smooth, positive transition from your nanny to daycare. Here are ten steps to take so that your child will have the best transition possible! Switching from a nanny to daycare doesn’t have to be torture!
1. Start Planning and Researching
It used to take time to find a good and the right daycare center! You want a daycare that is safe, loving, lines up with your parenting philosophies, and just feels right to you. Sometimes your parent’s intuition is the best guide of all. With TOOTRiS.com, the hunt for daycare will be much quicker and easier to enroll your kids.
2. Take the Time to Get to Know the Daycare
Once you like a daycare, make sure to show your kids the TOOTRiS videos and pictures, as you want to make sure that your kids don’t take an aversion to something that you didn’t think would be a problem. (It is also important to remember that if your child has only ever had a nanny care for them in your home, you will want to get your kids used to being babysat in someone else’s home before starting daycare. Maybe a friend can have your kids over while you have a date night.)
3. Be Aware of Your Child’s Developmental Stage
If your child is two years old or under, your child is constantly going through what is called developmental leaps. There are a few developmental leaps, especially that will make your child have extreme separation anxiety.
4. Act Out “School” Days
Get your kids used to the idea of daycare! All kids love to play pretend, so pretend with them to have their toys (or them!) go to daycare, meet new teachers and new kids, play, cooperate, etc. Also, read them stories about kids who are happy going to daycare or school.
5. Give Your Nanny Plenty of Notice
Your baby spends all day with their nanny. You definitely want to keep her happy and not have her stressed out and anxious right before she leaves, otherwise your child will pick up on the negativity and become cynical and anxious over the start of daycare. Plus, you love your nanny and are so grateful to her for all the love and care she has given your precious child. So, give your amazing nanny plenty of notice that you will be transitioning your little one to daycare. And enlist her help in talking daycare up and making the idea normal to your child.
6. Create a Plan for Your Child and Their Nanny
Your child has become very attached to their nanny. After all, they have been practically raised by her! The thought of losing the nanny they love can be the most challenging part of starting daycare for your little one. See if you can still meet up with your nanny occasionally for playdates, especially in the first few weeks of the daycare transition. Maybe your nanny wouldn’t mind watching your child for an occasional date night. Your nanny might even love the thought of your little love calling her for a quick video chat when they miss her unbearably. After all, your nanny loves your child as her own.
7. Make Sure Your Child Has a Lovey
If your child has a toy that they can use as a security blanket instead of using you as a security blanket, it will help them navigate the challenges of a new setting such as daycare. If your child doesn’t have a lovey yet, help them find a toy that they really connect with – preferably a soft toy that lends itself to cuddling, though some kids pick trains or other hard toys as their loveys. And then make sure you pack your child’s lovey for them to take to daycare!
8. Pack a Picture of your Family For Them
Seeing a picture of you can help your kids feel more connected to you while you are gone. So, to help your kids transition successfully to daycare, make sure that you bring a picture of your family (with your child included!) to daycare for them. And let their caregivers know about the picture and why you brought it so that they can see if it helps your child when they are sad and missing you.
9. Be Confident
Our kids pick up on all our emotions! Have you ever noticed that your kids have more meltdowns and are clingier when you are stressed out or busy? So, help your child have a smooth transition to daycare by calming your own anxieties. Speak confidently. Give them a quick kiss and snuggle as you walk out the door. And don’t let your baby figure out that they can call you back into the room with crying. The caregivers at the excellent daycare that you picked out are skilled at calming down anxious and distraught children. And they will let you know if you need to come back and comfort your child. Most of the time, kids will calm down within just a few minutes of their parents leaving.
10. Ease into Your New Routine
Do try to start your child off slowly in daycare. If it is possible, start them off only a few times a week and with half days. Now, daycare centers can’t always be that accommodating. You will have to work with their schedule. But at least plan to pick your child up early for the first few weeks to help them have a smooth transition to daycare.
Switching from a nanny to daycare can defiantly be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be a bad experience! You might have a few bumps along the road, but take the journey slow with your child, listen to them, and give them all the extra love. And you both will be just fine!