Surviving the First Week of Daycare

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Surviving the first week of child care can be difficult for children, parents, and providers. I've had two new children start in the last two weeks, so I thought I'd post about how I have learned to "survive" the first week. My first boy is dealing with a full week of daycare at 17 months when he's never been to daycare before. The last two days have been teary for him. This is what I've done with and for him in order to make him and me more comfortable.

1. Let him have a toy and blanket from home. His mom let him bring these over, and he seems to like the connection.

2. Cuddle time. This morning, I held him for about 30 minutes while we waited for the next arrival. He seemed to enjoy the closeness. I've also been hugging him all day while he got teary. (It's been a hard day today.)

I found that taking the time to get to know him and let him have his connections to home make it easy for me to transition him from being home with Mom to being here with 5 other children and a stranger.

Boy #2:

1. Let him have his space. This one likes anything with wheels or anything that spins. I take the toys over to him and let him be by himself as he adjusts. He started out in my hallway, moved to my dining room, and finally moved himself into the living room within an hour.

2. Cuddle time. He likes to be rocked to sleep even at 17 months. I sing and cuddle him on my lap until he falls asleep. This time allows us to bond and establish a trusting relationship.

I found that letting him have his space made him more comfortable.

So, my advice for surviving the first week:

1. Test out what works (personal toys/belongings, space, etc) and then use that.

2. Do your best to establish a strong, trusting relationship.

3. Know that small steps might end up being larger than you think. (I finally got the first boy to eat today!)

Now, if anyone can tell me how to get new kids to eat the first week, please do! I finally found out that the first boy loves corn. It absolutely made my day!

This is just my two cents. Any advice/suggestions are always welcome!



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