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Baby Basics

What Are Some Tips For Starting A New Day Care?

Baby's going to a new day care, and the transition's not going well. What should I do?

Changing day care is a big transition for children, and every child will react differently. To help baby, try to verbalize what she is feeling. Tell her she's in a new place, and it will take some time to get used to it. Also, talk about some special, comforting items at the day care she might like. It can also help to bring a transitional object like a stuffed animal or blanket, so she can feel some sense of home while she's at day care.

Also, talk with the staff at her old day care. Ask them what she seemed to like and dislike there, and then offer these suggestions to the new caregivers, such as where and how she liked to nap, and how long it took for her to get comfortable.

Finally, sit down and make a formalized plan with her new caregivers. Help them understand baby by explaining what she likes, what she doesn't like, the best way to soothe her, and so on. Then, ask how they've handled transitions with other children, and for any more information about how she's responded to various soothing techniques so far. With time and the appropriate level of care and preparation, baby will get used to this new space.

By Tammy Gold