Baby Hints & Tips

Transitioning your baby into childcare

transitioning baby to daycareMy Bub will be 6months when I go back to work in 5wks. We have her booked in to daycare for 3 half days and 1 full day. To get the position it is starting in 2 weeks… What is the best way to transition her into daycare… Few hours each day for the first week? Only a couple of days the first week, then build up? Thank you.

  • I work in childcare (currently on maternity leave though) and I suggest to possibly take her in before she starts to get her familiar with the environment, educators and other children. Allow her to explore herself. Personally, I know what it’s like when parents leave children and it’s hard, they cry and scream but you just have to know that in 10 minutes time they will be fine. Stay with her for a little while and try an ask an educator to set an activity up that she will enjoy and hopefully she will continue with that activity as you leave and its just reassurance, tell her mummy will be back even though shes only 6mths old ans may not understand. Make sure you say goodbye though lol, I see some parents just sneak off and it is heartbreaking when the child realizes. She will learn and become familiar with everything and trust me, it will take time but it will come to a time when you walk through the gates and she runs off without saying bye .. Also, call the centre as many times as you like through out the day! It’s not only going to be hard for her but you’ll need some reassurance as well that she is doing fine GOODLUCK.   Kayla
  • My DD is almost 11 months and I went back to work full time when she was 6 months. She went every day from day 1 and is yet to miss a day. She fit in really well and it means she could establish a routine quicker than here and there days if that makes sense.   Michelle
  • If u talk to the administrator they will tell you the best. She did it for me when my bub started.   Leanne
  • I had induction at my childcare centre which included first 1hr there with bub, then next three visits were 1 hr each time by himself. Start as soon as you can so bib can get used to it and also cos bub will get sick! They share all their germs with each other! The first month was the worst for us for illnesses!   Tammie
  • Most places will organise an orientation week the week before your child starts care so that you can be with your child during their first few days and see how they transition into a new environment with unfamiliar faces. Since you’re not starting work for a few weeks, you could ask to stay for the first few days and watch how your little one is. I returned to work 4 days a week when my twins were 4 months old (now 7 months) and I honestly feel they are still too young to really understand what is going on. They were perfectly happy from their first day! Hope your little one is the same.   ashlee
  • My dd was 10m when she first went I took her in 2weeks b4 we started for an hr to play for the 2 days she was going nxt week she went for 2 hrs with me not there for one of the hrs then nxt week she started she went from 9-4 then following week I started work so she went 7-3 n now she is nilly 2 goes for 3 days n goes 7-530 unless I finish early it’s 7-4 but she loves it n I say to her Monday nights go get your bag we will pack it for school she pulls everything out n I say go get more undies or another shirt of pants n stuff she needs then she packs it I pack her food in the mornings then she’s up at 630 dressed hair and in the car by 10 to 7 childcare at 7 then she is all happy breaky there n she’s good.   Kass
  • Short visits frequently, as many of the days as possible. Frequency and repetition is key to developing her memory of it as a safe place.   Kahlia
  • We took our girl in every day for an hour for 2 weeks before she started (she ws 6months when she started) and stayed with her. The first day she attended we stayed for half an hour then left. It ws the hardest thing to do for me and she ws still upset despite the preparation but it helped a lot. Take her in as much as possible beforehand and bring a favourite toy or something that smells like you, that helps too. Goodluck xx   Emerald
  • Gradually building the time in day care can help aswell as for the first few days staying with bub for a while whilst there. Play with them and the carers showing bub its a happy place. And never leave without saying goodbye. Sneaking out can more upsetting.   Kira-lee
  • My son was 7 months when he started at day care and he was perfect and has been ever since. I can probably count on my hands the number of times he’s cried or been hard to leave. He’s always been very easy going though. He is 2.5 now!   Kirstie
  • At that age she should be ok. Mine started at 8 months and he was fine. As long as you tell them your routine.   Amanda
  • You will be nothing more than a sleepless baby feeding machine for the first few weeks but the first smile makes up for all those sleepless nights.   Jo
  • Take her in for an hour or so one or two days the week before she starts, stay with her, get her and you used to it. Then leave her for the whole day. See how she goes.   Fiona
  • I started my little one 9-2.30, the next week 9-3.30. I would slowly increase the hours but do the start time the same ( If that makes sense). If you can stay a little while this helps too, but not too long.   Jo
  • Try and arrange with the day care for you to go the first day, stay for a bit the next & so on, any good day care should let you do that.   Hayley
  • My daughter was just on 5 months when I went back to work, and I only send her 2 days a week. I didn’t have the time to transition her in beforehand but she has settled in fine. Doesn’t even care that I’m leaving.   Rachael
  • I wouldn’t worry about ‘transitioning’ at that age. They adapt amazingly well.   Amy

How did you transition your child into daycare? Comment below

** Tips for which childcare options are available in Australia and which may suit your family the best

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