Planning your baby's integration period ensures a gentle adaptation. It also usually enables the process to succeed in a short period of time.
A few points to keep in mind:
- Between 0-18 months of age, a baby is extremely sensorial. He is highly receptive to his mother or father's scent (from the home). Sounds and familiar voices as well as his routine are reference points for him. He is likely to react to everything which is new for him.
- At 6 months of age, a baby recognizes strangers and may be scared of them.
- At 9 months of age, a baby has acquired object permanence. He understands that his parents continue to exist even when they cannot be seen...he may be afraid that he will never see them again.
These are all reasons which explain why it is so important to plan your baby's integration.
Important items to consider
Complete integration, which means that a baby feels completely comfortable in daycare, can take up to 5 weeks...depending on his temperament and age. All babies are different. This fact must be respected as much as possible. A baby must be given time to adapt and trust in his own capacities. The nursery is a whole new world to discover!
If possible, it is recommended that you provide your baby with the chance to get used to meeting new people. Leave him with people you trust for short periods of time. He will get used to being around strangers.
Speak to your baby about the upcoming changes, about daycare. This is very important, even if you feel he does not understand...Doing so prepares him.
Keep in mind that your baby recognizes nervousness and fear in your voice. He knows when you are tense. This may betray your anxiety...The bond between parents and their child is usually very strong, it is normal for you to worry about being separated. Make sure you also prepare yourself to accept the separation confidently. We are aware of how difficult this is for you.
Bring a blanket or other object which has your scent (or your home's scent) on it. This may help may your baby feel safe.
Write down his routine...tell us at what time he drinks his bottles, sleeps, as well as what he likes and dislikes...
Babies do not all begin attending daycare the same week. A new baby arrives each week so there is room for communication between parents and the daycare workers.
Integration must be a slow and gentle process. The first day, we suggest you come to the nursery for one hour with your baby. This will be your baby's first contact with the new environment, the noise, the daycare workers, and the other babies. As a parent, we ask that you observe and ask any questions you may have. The next day, depending on your child, we invite you to stay a while and then leave for a short period of time. For the following days, you may prolong your absences (a morning, an afternoon, a full day).
We look forward to having your baby among us and are very eager to meet you.
The nursery daycare workers
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