What I’ve Learned About Daycare as A New Parent

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I had no idea how difficult deciding on childcare for my child would be. Staying at home, family helping out, nannies, daycare…there are so many pros and cons to each it can be hard to know where to start! When my son was about a year old, we decided daycare would be the best option for our family – but I honestly didn’t know much about what to expect!

Due to an unexpected move, we’ve now started at not just one, but two daycares in the past year. Here are a few things I’ve learned about daycare along the way:

The First Few Weeks Will Likely Be Bumpy – But It Won’t Always Be Like That!

Starting daycare is a big change! The first few weeks our son was in daycare, he clung to me and cried as if his world was ending. And I’ll be honest, we both still get sad at drop-off. But after the first two weeks, it started to get better and then after two months, it was no different than a drop-off at grandma’s house.

Start a Family Calendar

Between school fundraisers, special dress-up days, and parent-teacher conferences, there is a LOT to keep track of with daycare! Starting a calendar to keep track of all the special events can help everyone stay on the same page. It’s also a great way to add reminders to bring in a coat once fall starts or to bring in diapers bi-weekly.

Prep Them (and Yourself!) For Changing Classrooms

I didn’t realize that kids change rooms fairly frequently with daycares as they age. We spent our first few months constantly talking about the classroom my son was in and his current teachers – so a few months later, when he was transitioned into the next room, he was inconsolable! Even though the activities and classmates were more age-appropriate, it took a lot of time for him to settle in with the new group. So now, we spend more time talking about his next classroom and how exciting it will be for him to have new toys to play with!

Label Their Clothes

It wasn’t until my son came home in shoes identical to the ones I’d sent him to school in – just three sizes too small – that I realized the teachers have the impossible task of keeping track of clothes and hats and backpacks for multiple toddlers. It makes it easier on everyone if you keep a Sharpie by the door so you can quickly label any new clothes that you’re sending with your little one!

Remember a change of clothes for those messy activities!

What tips do you have for parents new to daycare?

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Sarah is a new mom to 6-month-old Henry. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, she graduated from the University of Illinois in 2013 and moved to Columbus to pursue a career in retail. She currently works at the Victoria’s Secret PINK Home Office. She lives in Clintonville with her husband, son, and dog who very much misses his days as an only child. Outside of work and family she enjoys reserving books at the library and then forgetting to pick them up (but somehow still reads a few books a month), exploring Clintonville by foot and bike, and oversharing on Instagram stories (add her at @Sarah_Kaechele). She enjoyed traveling prior to becoming a mom and is hoping to get the hang of it again sometime in the next five years.

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