Your child’s first day at nursery is always hard. You’ve probably been joint at the hip since the day they were born, besides a few sleepovers at Grandma’s here and there. Whilst it can be daunting to drop them off at nursery for the first time, we’ve got some tips to make it that little bit easier.
Although it’s hard to leave your child, you have to remind yourself that it’s for the best! Nursery has important benefits for your child’s cognitive, social and emotional development.
Nursery staff are qualified to support and monitor your child’s development, teaching them literacy and numeracy skills which will prepare them for school. Your child will also get to interact with children their own age; learning how to make friends, play and share. They will also develop emotionally whilst attending nursery, as they become more independent and form bonds with people beyond their immediate family.
All of these new experiences will enrich their lives and support their development as individuals. Recognising these benefits will help you overcome any parental guilt about leaving them.
Most nurseries, including ours, will offer settle-in sessions where parents can bring their children in before they start. Take advantage of them! This will give your child a chance to meet their keyworker and see the nursery before their first day. That means they’re not being left with total strangers on their first day.
The last thing you want on your child’s first day at nursery is to be rushing around trying to pack a bag at the last minute. Packing a bag the night before will allow you to take your time getting ready and enjoy the morning with your little one. It will also help you feel more organised and less stressed about their first day.
No matter how much you want to cry, don’t! Babies and toddlers are sensitive and they can pick up on your emotions. Seeing you stressed will only cause them stress. Instead, try to keep as calm as possible and use a positive, excited voice when you talk about nursery.
Once you’re out of the nursery, feel free to have a good cry. If you’re really worried about them, you can always call to see how they’re getting on.
These are all totally normal on a child’s first day at nursery, don’t worry! Most of our nursery children join when they’re between 9 and 18 months old. This is when babies become more aware of their surroundings and begin to experience separation anxiety. That means it’s completely normal for them to be upset on their first day at nursery, but we promise that it won’t last. Over time, they’ll learn that you always return for them, making parting ways so much easier.
As hard as it may be to leave your child when they’re distressed, don’t linger around. This will only get them more worked up, as they try to get you to come back. Don’t just disappear either, as this can leave them feeling abandoned. Say a short and sweet goodbye, let them know that you’ll be back soon, and then leave. It may seem cold-hearted, but trust us, this will make it much easier for both of you.
The first day at nursery is a big milestone! One that parents might be excited for and dread at the same time. We hope this guide has made you feel a little bit better about your child’s first day at nursery. If you’re looking for a supportive and caring nursery for your little one, check out Riverside Nursery.