Top Tips To Make the First Few Days of Nursery Easier as a Parent

dad walking child to nursery

Sending your little one to nursery can be an exciting yet nerve-wracking experience. The mix of emotions you feel, from anticipation to anxiety to nervousness and back again, is completely normal.

You’re not alone on this journey.

I, myself, have been through it with my eldest and will soon be doing it with my youngest. With preparation and specific strategies, you can navigate the first few days of nursery with confidence.

This article offers valuable insights and practical tips to help ease the transition for both you and your child.

Before we dive into the tips, first, let’s acknowledge the parental anxiety that often comes with sending your child to nursery. Feeling uncertain and even teary-eyed is completely expected.

It’s a big lifestyle change for both you and your small person. Your concern for your child’s well-being speaks volumes about yourself as a parent. Remember, the first few days might be a bit wobbly; they may come with challenges you’ve not faced before, but they also mark the start of an exciting learning journey for your child.

You’re entering a new stage of parenthood and it’s actually quite brilliant!

Visit the Nursery Together

For us, visiting the nursery with our daughter was actively encouraged by the teaching staff and something I’m really grateful for. 

Planning a visit with your child before their start date allows them to feel more familiar with their surroundings and may actually get them excited for what’s to come. By visiting early you’re also Introducing yourself and your child to nursery staff which can actively reduce any anxieties.

Establish a Routine

I’m on the fence when it comes to routine (I’m a sucker for spontaneity); however, when it comes to early morning drop-offs at nursery I think routine is key. 

Offering your child predictability creates a sense of stability that can help establish a feeling of safety amidst big lifestyle changes. This works not only for your small person but for you too!

Practice Separation

Ease into the separation process by spending short periods of time away from your child (if you can). For some parents, this will be the first time away from their children and understandably, it can be quite nerve-wracking. 

If you’re able to have time away you could start with a half-hour period, gradually extending to either a full or half day, depending on how long your child will be away. This time of separation can be highly beneficial for all parties.

Communicate Positively

Try to frame nursery as an exciting adventure by using positive language with your child. 

Enforcing a positive mindset onto your child will also rub off on you and put your own mind at ease when it comes to your young person starting nursery. If they're excited about nursery, you'll be able to get excited too.

Connect With Other Parents

Reaching out to others in a similar position to yourself can only be beneficial (for both of you). Sharing experiences or any feelings of nervousness can create a valuable support network which will ease any worries. Aside from the first few days at nursery, connecting with other parents will be beneficial throughout the year and further into your child’s education.

Keep Goodbyes Brief

Saying goodbye at the gates doesn’t need to be a big ordeal.

It should be short and sweet to discourage any lingering feelings of nervousness. Once you’ve said your goodbye you can then make a quick getaway and get on with your day. Prolonging any negative emotions at the gates can be disadvantageous.

Stay Informed

A surefire way of keeping nerves at bay is by keeping informed with what’s going on at your child’s nursery. Check-in with the nursery to see what apps they have available to communicate with parents, and make sure you have them downloaded on your phone. 

My daughter’s nursery has four different apps for communication, which can sometimes feel like a lot, but as a parent, I’d rather have too much communication than not enough.

Practice Self-care

Prioritising your emotional well-being is so important during large-scale lifestyle changes. Engage in activities that make you feel relaxed and recharged, enabling you to be a composed and supportive parent.

As you enter this new phase of parenting, it’s understandable if you feel nervous. Remember, nursery is just the beginning of an incredible learning journey for your child.

While nerves are natural, armed with these tips, the transition will hopefully be a lot smoother for you. By establishing routines, using positive language and staying informed, you’ll empower yourself with the confidence needed for successful nursery runs with your child.

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