You might think that it feels like you were only breastfeeding or bottle feeding your newborn baby just a short time ago. Now all of a sudden your child is almost ready to go off to nursery. Don’t they just grow up so fast!
Nursery may not be quite as daunting as starting school. It can still be a really big change for your child. You might also find that the change affects you as well. After all, you won’t have your toddler at home to keep you company anymore – they will be starting to find their own independence in the world and making friends. If you want to know how you can prepare your child for nursery then you have certainly come to the right place. We have a few great tips – some of them might even help you get used to the change!
Set Up Some Play Dates So They Learn Social Skills
Some parents worry that their child might struggle being around so many other children at the nursery. If you have a shy child and think that they might struggle with the social aspect of nursery then there is one solution – you can always set up some play dates with other children before they do start going to nursery. If you have a friend who has a child the same age as yours, then you could get together for a catch up and play date. The more you socialise your child, then their better their social skills will be ready for nursery.
Read Books Set In Nurseries
If your child loves a bedtime story read to them, you should find some books that are set in nurseries. Or perhaps you might be able to find a story in which the characters talk about going to nursery. This should help show your child that going to nursery is a normal part of being a child. You can also chat to your child about the characters feelings about going to nursery. If they have a fun time, then you can tell your child that they should also expect to enjoy their time there. If some characters show some signs of worrying, you can then discuss these with your child and explain how to worry less about being at nursery. You can also read about being in school in a fun way like our Wizard School book!
Buy Labels For Their Belongings
Children are always losing things and this is certainly the case for kids in nursery. Thankfully, you don’t have to always say goodbye to something for good if your child doesn’t come home with it. You just need to make sure that you stitch some personalised labels into their clothes and other soft belongings. Then if something does go missing, it will be a lot easier to identify and claim it back if it ends up in the nursery’s lost property.
Attend Some Settling In Sessions
A lot of nurseries now offer some settling in sessions for all children who will be joining them in the next school year. Even though these are usually optional, it is highly advisable that you attend them along with your child. It gives you the chance to check out the nursery and ensure that it is up to your expectations, but it also gives your child to familiarise themselves with these new surroundings. It is also a great way to get your child to meet all of the members of staff before they start attending on a regular basis. That way, your children won’t think that you are leaving them with complete strangers when you do drop them off on their first day. Plus, you and your child will be able to meet some of the other children and parents who are expecting to start at the same time.
Don’t Be Emotional When Dropping Them Off
You might feel a lot of emotions when you do drop your child off for their first day at nursery. You might be worried about whether or not they will enjoy it, for instance. Some parents are also overcome with just how proud they are of their child growing up. However, no matter what you are feeling on the day, make sure that you try to stay as calm as possible. If you start crying, even if they are happy tears, it could work your child up and they might become very upset. Try to show that you are happy so that your child continues to look forward to their time at nursery.
Don’t Be Late
No matter what happens in the morning, you should always try to make it to nursery on time. If you don’t then this could end with you all rushing around. You will be stressed by hurrying so much and this will likely end up with your child very stressed out as well. To make sure that the morning before you leave goes as smoothly as possible, try to prepare as much as you can the evening before. It’s also worth setting your alarm early enough for you to get both you and your child ready on time.
Talk Positively To Your Child About Nursery
You will no doubt be talking to your child a lot about going to nursery in the run up to it. When you do ever mention it, make sure you do so in a positive way. This will help your child to make positive associations with it, which can help them get excited about going. Plus, it should help them cope better with any stress or worries that they might have been feeling too. Even though there are potentially things that might go wrong while at nursery, you shouldn’t discuss any of them as it could fill their head with negativity.
As you can see, there are a lot of useful things that you can do to make sure that your child is as prepared for nursery as they can be. Once they are prepared, you can have peace of mind knowing that they are more likely to have a good time!