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A baby's first weeks in daycare

Older children have now left for school and it's already time to welcome new little ones in your daycare.


Of course, you are looking forward to meeting these new little faces, but this can also lead to a certain level of stress. Until just recently, your routines were well-established, but now, you are back to square one. What's more, you must get to know new parents who are also dealing with a certain level of stress since they may be worried about leaving their young child each morning to go to work.


Rest assured, after just a few short weeks, your routine will once again be well-established and running smoothly. Take it easy. Themes and complicated activities can be set aside for a few weeks.


It's important that you take the time to introduce your routine so that everyone (children, parents, and you) enjoys a wonderful year together. In the meantime, here are a few tricks that will make integrating babies in your group easier.


Welcoming a baby:

  • Approach the child gently, without forcing contact. The baby may be scared if you stretch your arms out too eagerly or if you hold him/her before he/she is ready.
  • Use a soft and reassuring voice and look the baby in the eyes whenever you speak to him/her.
  • Don't forget to speak to the baby at his/her own level to avoid him/her being scared by a "giant".
  • Be flexible. The baby will most likely need his/her blanket and/or pacifier often during this integration period. Transitional objects will help the baby calm himself/herself throughout the day.
  • Allow parents to be present for short periods to make the transition between home and daycare easier.
  • When possible, try to respect the child's routine (particularly if the child is less than 12 months old). Adapting your schedule to the baby's schedule will simplify the integration period.
  • Ask parents to provide pictures of themselves as wells as pictures of other family members. Display the pictures on a wall. The baby will appreciate looking at the pictures or even kissing a picture of his/her mother. This will be reassuring for the child.

Welcoming the parents:

  • Leaving their child at daycare is a very stressful moment for parents. It is very important that you take the time to listen to them and answer their questions (without pretending to be a psychologist of course). Keep in mind that they are leaving someone who is very precious to them with you.
  • Ask parents to complete a short questionnaire about their child's habits. The information they provide will be very useful when you need to reassure and care for their baby throughout the day.
  • Let parents remain in your daycare for a few minutes during the first couple days. This will reassure both parents and their child.
  • When they leave the daycare, insist that parents tell their baby they are leaving and that they will come back later. Explain the importance of not leaving the daycare while their child isn't looking to preserve their child's trust.
  • Listen to parents and try not to take "negative" comments personally. Stress can sometimes amplify any doubts and worries parents may have. Be sure to resolve any issues promptly to avoid accumulating frustration.
  • Don't forget that parents play the leading role in regards to their baby. Avoid taking too much space. Parents must develop their parenting self-confidence. Help them do so by congratulating them for their positive actions.
  • Whenever possible, encourage the development and strengthening of the bond between the child and his/her parents.

Enjoy these first few weeks!

Caroline Allard is not responsible for the content of this article. The information mentioned in this article is the responsibility of the author. shall not be held responsible for any litigation or issues resulting from this article.


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