New parents will experience a lot of “firsts” as their babies grow and develop through infancy and beyond. As you may experience a hurricane of emotions, you’ll also witness your baby achieve a variety of significant milestones, and you’ll embrace unforgettable moments with your little one. Every milestone is exhilarating and overwhelming at the same time. Sooner or later, you may find yourself preparing your infant for daycare.
All parents want to ensure that their babies’ transition to childcare goes smoothly. In this post, we are going to discuss some essential aspects of preparing your infant for daycare.
What to look for in an infant daycare provider
The most important aspect of this process is to entrust someone with the health and safety of your infant. You need to feel comfortable and at peace with whoever will be caring for your baby while you’re away.
Make a list of your needs and expectations, and remember to prioritize them based on what is most important for you and your family. From there, you can start making calls and reaching out to nearby providers in your area.
It’s also very important to make sure your chosen daycare provider is licensed. If you’re comfortable with a center that’s not licensed, ensure that they have at least an infant CPR certification. Remember that CPR is administered differently when it comes to kids versus adults.
Information you need to discuss with the daycare provider before your baby’s first day
Don’t hesitate to tell your chosen center your preferred ways of doing things when it comes to caring for your child. You know your baby best, and it’s essential that you keep daycare staff informed.
For example, if your baby has difficulty transitioning from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding, let your provider know that you’re in the process of trying different bottle nipple levels to find out which one works best for your little one. These kinds of details will help make the transition easier for everyone involved. Here are some other details to tell your provider about your baby:
- Typical feeding times
- Sleep schedules
- Any allergies or sensitivities
What you need to know when transitioning to daycare
During this transition, expect that your baby will experience some schedule changes, including things like nap times, and playtime. Your baby will also adjust to a new way of being consoled if he or she cries. Things will change for your baby, which can be very stressful. So be prepared to have a fussy baby during those first few weeks until your little one becomes used to the new routine, setting, and caregivers.
Even though daycare centers don’t tend to subject your child to instant significant changes, you may notice that your child’s routines will sync up with the center’s routines. Try to adjust your baby and family to this new schedule during weekends in order to help your baby have a smoother transition when weekdays back in daycare roll around.
Preparing your baby for a new caregiver
Is your baby very attached to you? We recommend practicing spending longer stretches of time away from your little one before starting with a new caregiver. Eventually, your baby will get used to you being gone for a few hours at a time. Before your child’s first day, practice this separation. Try to build up to the same length of time your baby will experience away from you each day at the center to help make this transition easier.
Items to bring in on the first day
When preparing your infant for daycare, make sure you pack two sets of everything. Place all of your little one’s personal items (such as teethers, blankets, and pacifiers) in a bag. Use another bag for all of the items to be left at the center (like wipes, bottles, formula milk, diapers, clothes, bibs, and other daily-use items). We recommend labeling everything with your child’s name.
Also, remember to submit all of the necessary paperwork, including the following:
- Immunization records
- Emergency phone numbers
- Names and photos of adults who are allowed to pick your baby up at the end of the day
- Physical exam records
Ensuring that your child has all of the necessities at the center
It’s a good idea to bring two weeks’ worth of items. These may include:
- Formula or milk
When it comes to breastmilk, bring as much as necessary. There will be days where your child may be hungrier than usual, so it is essential to leave extra at daycare. Breastmilk storage bags are excellent for daycare centers because you can label them with your child’s name and dates. Having reserves at the center preventing you from having to bring in more every single day.
The Bottom Line
Preparing your infant for daycare can be emotional and stressful. To lessen your anxiety during this transition, take time to address the necessary details ahead of time.
ABC Academy helps assure parents that their babies are well-prepared for days at the center. Call us today for more information.