We are officially back to school — at daycare!
Like most daycares, our school had a little break between summer and the start of a new school year. After having had my son in daycare for the last year (he started as an infant and is now in the 1 year old room), I’ve put together a list of 4 things that are essential to our daycare routine, and for daycare survival!
1. Pack the night before.
This can make for a long night at home, but packing the night before can be a serious help when you are rushing out the door in the morning. I like to get all the bottles, sippy cups, and lunches made and put away- and leave a sticky note on the doorknob so I don’t forget anything. If you can have everything in the same spot overnight, it becomes muscle memory to grab things on your way out the door every morning. I may or may not have had to make multiple trips back home on occasion for items left in the fridge.
2. Give yourself some wiggle-room.
Every morning is not going to be the same, some days the sun might rise a bit later, the baby might sleep in longer, and you might be exhausted from the night before or from the work week. Give yourself wiggle room to get to daycare, drop off, and get to work. Rushing, worrying, annoyance, and overdoing it is going to set the whole day off on a bad foot. As a working parent, I feel sometimes like I don’t have enough hours in the day- but glancing at my phone, speeding up, and getting my mind full of distractions is the worst possible and absolutely most dangerous idea in the morning rush.
3. Three kisses.
My son is one now, which means he is beginning to understand when I leave and has enough wherewithal to protest. This third trick is something I still am trying to perfect: three kisses at the door of the classroom- or at the play table as you walk in. This is perhaps my saving grace, as I leave my child at daycare and try not to feel like the worst mom in the world when he’s crying (even though I know he stops moments later). Three kisses at the door, everyday, and off to work. Grown ups always come back, as Daniel Tiger would say!
4. Label your stuff!
My son has a common name, and we opted to get labels made from Mabel’s Labels. Ironically, we have friends at daycare with a baby the same age as our son, with the same name, so naturally, we’ve had mix-ups! We found the use of the labels are great- and a really good use of money – we’d recommend them if you attend daycare. The labels are mailed to you and are able to withstand the dishwasher, can soak in water for hours (read: days), and you can remove them and stick them back on. They work on plastics, clothing, fabric backpacks, inside shoes, and even on Sophie the giraffe!
What daycare survival tips do you have? We love to know in the comments below.
Thanks so much for this great article! It is really difficult to leave your kids at daycare, especially when you know you have to rush off to work. One thing in particular that has helped me was buying a bunch of bottles/sippy-cups that I could use, that way I am not spending my nights or mornings washing for the next day. It gives me more time to spend with my littles! I am also lucky to have a great husband that can get to work later so he drops them off and I pick them up.