Sending your child off to nursery is one of the most daunting and heart-wrenching moments you’ll ever face as a parent. It’s a huge adjustment for both yourself and your child, but whether you’re looking to socialise them or have made the decision to go back to work and need reliable childcare, this next step in your child’s young life will shape their future development. It can be difficult to prepare your little one for the change – especially if they have hardly been away from you since they came into the world, but in this guide, we’re going to offer some helpful tips for the preparation ahead of nursery and the settling-in period:
· Keep staff in the loop
Handing over your child to new people can be just as daunting for you as it may be for your child, but informing the nursery staff about your little one’s likes, dislikes and behaviours may put your mind at rest when the time comes to say goodbye. In doing so, you can take comfort in knowing that the staff will aim to keep as much familiarity within their routine as possible to avoid your little one feeling out of their depth and should even make the transition much easier for them to deal with.
· Stay calm
Toddlers analyse and copy behavioural traits from their parents, so if they notice signs of anxiety from you, these emotions are also likely to rub off on them and cause further anguish. Try not to panic too much if your child becomes distressed when being dropped off at nursery. This is a natural reaction due to being in your company for almost the entirety of their young life. Don’t prolong the agony by waiting around to see if they settle – trust the staff to help your little one keep calm and become acquainted with their new surroundings. If you feel the need to intervene, bend down to your child’s level, offer warm eye contact and a smile and explain all of the exciting activities they’re going to be doing. You could also phone the staff to check how your little one is settling if you do have any doubts or fears.
· Prepare them for tasks
Some day nurseries, such as Seahorse Nursery, stimulate interest and learning through educational fun. Rather than simply playing with toys, your little one can begin to learn more about the world and their surroundings through sensory activities and even partaking in forest school. Get your little one prepared for new experiences and develop the element of responsibility by allowing them to help with tasks around the home and even encouraging them to play with your friend’s children. This will enhance their leadership and social skills before they
Nursery is a huge stage in any child’s life and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the concept of this new journey. By taking a few of the above tips into consideration, it should make the transition much smoother for the both of you.