How to prepare your child for nursery or a new school

Children in nursery

When your baby or toddler grows or it is time for you to go back to work, it can come as a shock when you find yourself preparing your child for nursery and having to leave them with the care of others.  It is often a little daunting and a bit scary for both mother and child.

Every child reacts differently.  However, the more you can prepare your son or daughter the better.  If you have a baby it is a good idea to leave them with someone you know or knows them several times before you leave them in the nursery, this will help reduce separation anxiety.  It is also a good idea to teach your baby or child to be less dependent on you i.e., practice putting your baby down on the floor more if you hold your baby a lot and encourage them to do things for themselves such as hold a cup or if older dressing themselves etc.

When a toddler goes to a new school it can be both exciting and a time of change and is also a sign that your child is going into a new phase of his or her life. If possible, try to set play dates with other children who will be in the same class before starting school. This will help build bonds and friendships so things will be more familiar on that first day of school, which of course you want them to happily enjoy.

It is an adjustment for both you and your child, be brave and hide any doubts, for during this time of transition the less you worry, the more confident your child will be!  If you think back to your first day of school this should reassure you that everything will be OK or if you didn’t have a good experience, what could you do for your child that will make the day easier? The best way to help your child is make sure they know their carer or teachers name and talk about what’s going to happen a few days before you leave them at nursery or school, including your baby.

You must expect some tears however if your toddler has been taught these skills:

1.       How to ask for help
2.       Can wash his/her hands
3.       Can go to the toilet by themselves
4.       Have easy to fasten shoes/clothes
5.       Who is picking them up- (They may have a treat after nursery/school!)

They will go in to the new environment a lot happier and adapt more easily, probably more so than you think! On the first day of school many mums tell me their child simply ran off without a second glance or the slightest tear and it was they who were left clutching the hankies!

For more help or advice on how to reduce anxiety or prepare to go back to work please get in touch, it could save you many hours and days of worry and ensure that your child continues to sleep well.

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