Preparing For The Big Day: What To Do And Not Do On Your Child’s First Day At Daycare

What To Do And Not Do On Your Child's First Day At Daycare

The first day at daycare is a huge transition in your child’s life. This is the first day they may stay separated from you for a whole day. It will bring a wave of mixed emotions for your child. Your kids will meet new people and teachers. Some kids take time to adjust, and others can adjust quickly.

So, you have to be careful to give your kid a tear-free start. You should also be prepared for the major changes.

Today, we will talk about tips on dos and don’ts for your kid’s first day of daycare.

A Happy Start: What To Do On Daycare Day One

Let’s start with what you should do for your little one on their first day at daycare. You can use these points as your checklist, too.

Visit Before Your First Day

Visit the daycare with your kid before the first day. This is a great idea so your kid does not need to go to an unknown place. Children can get frightened or nervous when they visit a totally new place. However, if you visit the daycare, your child will become familiar with the new environment.

Also, you can get to know the environment better. Talk to the caregivers. Introduce your child to the caregivers or teachers. Show them different places in the daycare and try to make them comfortable.

Communicate With Caregivers

Make sure to have a good chat with the caregivers about your child’s needs, preferences, and any concerns you might have. Try to share what makes your child comfortable. Or something specific related to your child. In this way, the caregiver can better understand the child. Then, they can handle the kid properly.

Also share your baby’s meals, naps, and playtime. What should they do if the kid starts crying or becomes upset? Tell them the tricks. This way caregivers won’t need more time to get to know your kid.

Do Prepare Ahead

You know your child better than anyone. So, it is better you pack all the essentials for your child for the day. You would better know what to pack and what not to do.

These essentials include diapers, extra clothes, their favorite snack, a blanket, medicines, books, or paints. By packing their regular used stuff, your little one will feel more secure. They will see their familiar stuff around them. This will help them fit into the new environment.

Bring A Comfort Item

Give a comfort item, such as a favorite animal or blanket, for your child. It can ease your child’s transition into daycare. Children feel more secure and comfortable with their favorite items, which reminds them of home.

Also, having a favorite toy can help reduce anxiety or uncertainty in the new environment. It is like packing a piece of home with your kid. This can make a huge difference during those first few hours away.

Create A Morning Routine

Make a morning routine and maintain consistency to help your child adjust to the daycare environment. Their routine should include having breakfast early together. Or packing their daycare bags. Doing these stuffs will make your bonding stronger. You can also discuss what exciting things might happen that day. So, the kid becomes excited on the first day at daycare, which becomes a smoother process.

Get Them Excited

Most children become nervous when they hear about daycare. To make them comfortable, talk about the fun things they can do in the care center. You can tell your kid that they can play for a long time. They will have new friends. Together, they can dance, sing, or read. The caregivers will read story books based on the kid’s age. Some daycares arrange creative activities like making toys with clay or other things. Present the daycare center as an exciting place to have fun.

But remember not to give false hope or ideas. It will demotivate the kid if they do not find such a thing you shared with them.

Practice Separation

Practice short separations before the first day of daycare. It will help your children become familiar with the idea of being apart from their parents.

Start by leaving your child with a trusted caregiver for brief periods and gradually increasing the time as they become more comfortable. This technique can reduce the effects of separation anxiety on the initial day of daycare. It also makes the experience less distressing for both the kid and the parent.

Do Take Time to Say Goodbye

On the first day, get extra time during drop-off for a proper goodbye. A calm and warm goodbye can help ease the separation. A hug and a cheerful “See you soon!” let them know everything is okay and you’ll be back.

Daycare Don’ts: Tips for a Tear-Free First Day

We are done with what you should do for the first day of your kid’s daycare. Now it is time for us to make a checklist for don’ts as well.

Don’t Linger Too Long

When it’s time to say goodbye on the first day of daycare, keep the farewell quick and sweet. Lengthy goodbyes can increase anxiety and make the separation harder for both you and your child.

A brief, cheerful goodbye shows your child that you are confident in leaving them in a new environment. Now, they will feel more secure and settled.

Don’t Sneak Out

Always say goodbye when you leave your child at daycare. Sneaking out without a farewell might seem easier. Also, it can lead to trust issues and make your child feel more anxious or abandoned when they realize you’re gone. A proper goodbye helps your child understand that you will leave and return. This sets a predictable pattern.

Don’t Overload With Too Many Instructions

We already talked about how you should share your child’s needs with caregivers. But do not give too much instructions. It can be overwhelming for both the staff and your child. Rather, tell essential information that is important for your child. You need to trust the professionals to handle day-to-day situations. Trust these caregivers are trained in child care. There are daycares like meaningful top-rated daycare in san francisco gives best service and care child as their own. Find such a reputable center for your kid.

Never Show Your Anxiety

Children can pick up on your emotions. So, try to manage your anxiety and keep a positive impression when attending daycare. Show calmness and confidence. This can greatly influence how your child perceives the new environment. With your confidence, your kid will become confident.

Don’t Forget To Check-In

It’s important to communicate with the daycare staff throughout the day, especially on the first day. A quick call or message can reassure you about how your child’s day is going. The staff can know that you are involved and care about your child’s daycare experience. However, keep it balanced to let your child adjust to the new environment independently.


The first day at daycare means your kid is going to have a totally new experience. They are going to be separated from you for a long time. And spend a few hours with strangers. This is why supporting them in every possible way is important, so the kids feel safe and secure.

In our list of dos, you can visit the daycare one day before. Meet the caregivers and introduce your kid, too. Pack all the necessary stuff, including their favorite toy, to their bag pack. It is better to get the kid used to changing sleeping habits from a couple of days before.

In the don’ts list, never show your nervousness in front of your kid. Try now to sneak rather than give a quick goodbye to your baby. 

Stay positive and patient. Your little one will be going to rock, surely.


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Emily Pham

Infant Teacher

My name is Emily and I am an infant teacher. My aim with this position is to learn how children develop as unique individuals and learn how to support their holistic growth. I am currently a student at San Francisco
State University majoring in Child and Adolescent Development. With this experience, I am hoping to get a sense on whether I want to continue to work in the classroom or if I want to learn the administrative side of education. The experience of working directly with children is gratifying and I wish to create a safe space for children to explore with all of their senses as they develop their own personalities. I hope to be able to help build a strong foundation so that the children can have the confidence and ability to express themselves.