The first day of the nursery is a much anticipated milestone for your child that marks the beginning of a new phase. It is full of cautious excitement, anxiety, and of course, crying from both the child and the parents. Children cry because they have no idea what to expect from the new environment, while parents cry out of worry their babies might feel abandoned there.
In fact, these mixed feelings are perfectly normal and will not persist for long and will wear off within the first week if the parents are collaborative with the nursery, primarily making sure that their child is actually ready to take this big step.
Preparing your toddler or baby for the nursery is essential for their emotional well-being. It starts by gradually separating them from their parents and adjusting their eating habits; babies going to the nursery will be introduced to solids besides the milk and need to be familiarized with new faces other than their parents'. Also, it's important to gradually get them used to fixed sleeping patterns so waking up early gets to be a desirable habit, not a morning disaster.
We don't promise the first day(s) will be relaxed and tear-free because, to be honest, crying serves as a natural reaction to the new strange environment, and it is a sign that your child is emotionally and intellectually stable. However, we can promise you these feelings will slowly but surely be placated once your child finds happiness and safety in the new place.
Kissing your baby goodbye, you need to bear in mind it has to be brief and sweet. Try to contain your feelings and don't surrender to his or your tears. We don't advise you to leave suddenly as that will fill your child with fear and distrust. As a parent, it's important to have a good relationship with your child's teachers. Children are reassured by this friendship, and feelings of security will find their way into their little hearts.
At Little Academy, we receive children in a joyful, warm environment with faces wreathed in smiles to calm their worries. We also set up activities with the parents to soothe their separation anxiety. Our psychologist can be consulted and she can talk to children whose anxiety does not seem to be soothed easily.
On the first day of the nursery, it's a good idea to meet the children who will keep your child company. Accompany the teachers to introduce him or her to the nursery's facilities and play rooms. Don't worry if they refuse to have any food on that day as it is just anxiety keeping them off.