Smooth Sailing: How to Drop Your Toddler at Daycare on Their First Day

July 31, 2023

The first day of daycare can be both exciting and nerve-wracking for parents and toddlers alike. As a parent, it’s natural to feel a mix of emotions ranging from pride to apprehension. However, with a little preparation and a positive approach, you can ensure that the experience is enjoyable for your child and hassle-free for you. In this blog, we’ll share some practical tips to help you drop your toddler at daycare on their first day with ease and confidence.

Familiarize Your Child with the Daycare Environment

Before the big day arrives, try to familiarize your toddler with the daycare environment. If possible, arrange a visit to the daycare facility with your child. Allow them to explore the space, meet the teachers, and interact with other children. This way, the daycare will feel less intimidating on the first day, as they’ll already be somewhat familiar with the surroundings.

Start with Short Visits

Ease your child into the daycare routine by starting with short visits. A couple of hours for a few days leading up to the first day can help your toddler adjust gradually. This method allows them to build trust with the teachers and become comfortable with the new setting.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

Children often mirror their parents’ emotions. If you’re visibly anxious or upset, your child might also become unsettled. Maintain a positive attitude and exude confidence when talking about the daycare. Explain to them how much fun they’ll have, and reassure them that you’ll be back to pick them up later. By doing so, you’ll help instill a sense of security and optimism in your toddler.

Pack Familiar Comfort Items

Consider allowing your child to bring a comforting item from home, like their favorite stuffed animal or blanket. Having something familiar nearby can provide a sense of security during moments of anxiety or uncertainty. Just make sure to check with the daycare about any specific policies regarding personal items.

Create a Farewell Ritual

Establish a simple, consistent farewell ritual when dropping your toddler at daycare. This could be a special handshake, a goodbye hug, or a quick wave through the window. Having a predictable routine will make the separation easier and provide reassurance to your child that you will be back.

Communicate with the Caregivers

Open communication with the daycare staff is crucial, especially during the initial days. Share important information about your child’s likes, dislikes, and any specific needs they may have. Knowing these details will help the caregivers in understanding and supporting your toddler better.

Say Goodbye with Confidence

When it’s time to say goodbye, do so confidently and with a smile. As tempting as it may be to linger, a quick and decisive departure is often better for the child. Prolonging the farewell may cause unnecessary distress for both of you. Trust that the caregivers will take good care of your little one, and remember that most children settle down quickly after their parents leave.


The first day of daycare marks a significant milestone in your child’s life, and it’s natural to feel a mix of emotions. However, by taking some proactive steps and maintaining a positive attitude, you can ensure a smooth drop-off experience for your toddler. Familiarize them with the daycare environment, start with short visits, and create a consistent farewell ritual. Above all, communicate openly with the caregivers and trust that your child will adapt to this new phase with ease. Remember, it’s normal for there to be some initial adjustment, but in no time, your toddler will look forward to their daycare adventures with excitement!

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