One day you’re at home enjoying braless freedom in front of the TV with your little one, and the next, you’re back to packing lunches and running out the door with a handful of Cheetos for breakfast.
Your maternity leave is officially over.
Starting childcare can be stressful, especially if it’s your first time away from baby. Here are a few tips to ensure a smooth transition.
Bottles, hats, boots, backpacks, whatever you send with your child, make sure their name is on it. Understandably, it would be difficult for the staff to remember who had the Winnie the Pooh soother, and this way you’ll save time digging through the lost and found.
Talk to other parents
Chat with the parents at the same daycare and even those on your social media feeds. Ask them about the issues they’ve had. Childcare is usually the one parenting topic you can’t get enough advice on.
Ask for a list
Over the next few months you’ll be schlepping heaps of items to and from daycare. Usually it’s a change of clothes, soothers, bottles of milk, diapers and a lunch bag. But this can change from week to week. You might need to bring slippers, blankets, or even a Muddy Buddy for outdoor play. Having a list of things ahead of time will save some stress during those first few weeks.
Keep yourself informed
Take a look on the walls of the childcare facility. There are usually important notices for parents among the art projects and pictures of smiling babies. And after a long, hard day at work, you might just want to take your baby and get home, but taking a few minutes to get a daily report from the staff may help with baby’s issues later on that night.
Have a backup plan
Emergencies happen. When our daycare had a flood and we had no other childcare set up, I had to miss work. Thankfully the daycare was only closed for a day, but it made me realize how important it was to have someone available for just-in-cases.