Help your Baby Better Adapt to Daycare

Keep reading to discover five tips to help your baby adapt to daycare and stay calm at the beginning of this stage.
Help your Baby Better Adapt to Daycare

Last update: 18 May, 2023

As parents, we’re the refuge and safe place for our children during their first years of life. Therefore, it’s normal for them to feel fear and anguish when faced with unfamiliar changes. However, there are some techniques to help them stay calm and feel safe. Today, we’ll present five tips to help your baby better adapt to daycare.

Leaving our comfort zone and facing new realities is something that causes anxiety to most people (and children are no exception). This is because they don’t know what to expect and how they’ll be able to adjust without the company of their loved ones. So, your three to twenty-four-month-old baby will be starting daycare soon, we recommend taking note of the following recommendations.

5 tips to help your baby better adapt to daycare

When we make the decision to admit our little ones to daycare, we know that we’re leaving them in a safe place where they’ll be able to learn many things and interact with other babies.

However, when children are so young, they’ll most likely think you abandoned them and cry disconsolately when you leave them at daycare. It’s important to accompany them with empathy and explain things calmly so that they know that everything’s for their own good.

Here are some recommendations to help your baby adapt better to daycare.

1. Keep a calm and positive attitude

When it comes to enrolling your children in kindergarten, it’s very important that you’re sure of your decision and don’t transmit the wrong messages to the little ones. Daycare is the first big change in children’s daily lives. It’s therefore essential to keep a calm and positive attitude. Even though babies are still learning to communicate, they can read their parents’ emotions in their gestures.

Parents with their children in daycare.
Keeping a calm attitude and accompanying children during their first days of daycare is essential to help them adapt easily.

So, when you take them to explore the place with their teachers and classmates for the first few times, try to make the experience a happy one. Before you head out, be enthusiastic and encourage your little one to do the same. This way, they’ll know that this is a safe environment where they’ll go to have fun and make new friends.

2. Try to make a gradual adaptation

If you already know which daycare center you want to enroll your child in, try to take them gradually before they begin classes for good. This way, you’ll be able to accompany your child to explore the place and the people with whom they’ll interact with there. That way, when they must attend and stay on their own, they won’t feel that they’re in an insecure environment that produces separation anxiety.

Remember that all children have different personalities, and some are much more attached to their parents than others. For this reason, a great idea is to stay with your child in the nursery for a couple of hours at first and gradually give them more independence. This way, your child will know where they are and will be sure that mom will come back for them later.

3. Let them take their favorite toy with them

Young children have very few strategies or enough emotional intelligence to adapt to new changes in their lives. Because of this, and in order for them to feel a part of home close to them when they’re at daycare, allow them to bring an object that they’re fond of and attached to. It can be their favorite stuffed animal, their bottle, or even a family photo.

This way, they’ll be able to hug them when they’re a little lonely and feel the warmth and love of mom and dad close by. These valuable items will give them the security and confidence they need to not feel sad and know that everything will be okay.

4. Accompany your children and let them know your unconditional love

One of the main reasons babies and children often get sad and anxious when they’re dropped off at daycare is because they think their parents will abandon them in that unfamiliar place. So, always accompany your little ones to daycare and pick them up punctually with a smile on your face when they leave.

A baby looking up and crying.
If you want your little one to adapt as soon as possible to the daycare, let them know that you’ll be back for them very soon.

For your baby to better adapt to daycare, it’s helpful to create routines where fun and unconditional love abound. This way, they’ll feel at ease every day when attending daycare, which is key for them to start their school years on the right foot in a couple of years, a time that will be full of experiences and friends to meet.

5. Avoid long and dramatic farewells

When children start attending daycare, it’s a change that not only affects them but also their parents. Because of this, it’s very important that you always remain calm and don’t transmit to your little ones the anxiety or momentary sadness that leaving them in daycare can cause you to experience.

When you leave, keep a smile on your face and don’t make the farewell last too long. Otherwise, you’ll only generate fear and anguish in your children. Therefore, say goodbye calmly, give them a big kiss and hug, and tell them that in a couple of hours, you’ll be back for them.

Follow these tips so that your baby can adapt better to daycare

When the time comes to separate from our children for a few hours a day so they can be cared for and instructed in a daycare center, it’s important to remain calm and motivate them to be calm and give the best of themselves. This way, they can be sure that they’re in a reliable space and know that mom or dad will come back for them very soon.

So, don’t forget to apply all the above tips so that both of you feel calmer and can enjoy this new stage that’s beginning. Remember that daycare is a prelude to school life, so trying to make the change as pleasant as possible is essential.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.