This week is a big week for lots of us mums and dads, oh, and our kids too: it’s the start of a new school year. My Leo has moved up into year 2 and I can’t actually believe where the years have gone! I can remember the day he was born so clearly and now he is six, in year 2 and basically an adult. Before sending our little ones off to the classroom though, many parents decide to send their babies to nursery. I have never done the nursery thing but I can easily imagine how difficult it must be to decide where to send them and when. If you are starting to think about sending your baby to nursery, this guest post is full of useful tips and advice to help you get your child ready for nursery.
How to get your child ready for nursery
If you’re about to send your little one off to nursery, you’ll know what an emotional time it can be. You know they’re growing up fast, and it’s natural to worry that you’ll miss them and that they’ll struggle without you. Send them off prepared and they’ll learn, play and make friends with no problems.
If your kid is an only child, they may struggle when suddenly introduced to a lot of new children at nursery. Before they start, help them get used to being around other kids by going to a toddler group, or setting up playdates with kids of a similar age. They can start learning to socialise, share toys and play nicely with others.
Set Them Simple Tasks
Many nurseries, like Wandsworth Nursery, expect the children to assist with basic tasks like tidying away the toys or helping to give out snacks. Practice at home by setting similar tasks suitable for preschoolers. Get them to help you put things back into the toy box, or ask them to help you set the table.
Look For Settling In Sessions
If you can, choose a nursery that offers settling in sessions that you can attend with your child. This gives them the chance to explore the new place with you there for reassurance and gives you the chance to get an idea of where your little one will be and what they’ll be doing.
This helps your child to feel comfortable at nursery, and helps you to worry less about them when you send them in on their own.
Toddlers can react unpredictably to being left at the nursery for the first time. Help them to stay calm by staying calm yourself. Children can pick up on your feelings, and if you’re upset or anxious, it will tell them that nursery is something to worry about it.
Try to hide any nerves from them, and instead talk about nursery in a happy, positive way. Encourage them to think of nursery as an adventure where they’ll meet friends and have fun.
Stay On Schedule
Mornings can get away from you when you’re getting kids ready, but try and get into a routine. Children feel better with a routine they can predict, so teach them good habits for getting to nursery so they arrive on time, calm and ready to go, instead of stressed or upset after an argument about being late.
Make sure you’re always on time to pick them up. It’s important for your child to feel secure and they need to know you’re coming back for them when you said you would.
Send Them To Nursery Several Times A Week
If you can, send your child in for a fore nursery sessions a week. This can help them to adjust faster and get used to the idea of going. For small children, a week is a long time, so only going once a week will delay them getting used to their new routine.
For any of you parents about to send your baby to nursery for the first time, I hope this post has been helpful.