Is your little one heading to day care this year? Here’s how to ensure a stress-free weaning transition for you both.
Sending your little one off to day care is an exciting time, but it can be stressful as well. There’s so much to consider – will they get along with their teacher and other kids? Will they miss you? How will this change affect their sleeping and eating patterns? With time, your child will no doubt settle in just fine, but to ease the transition for you both, follow these meal-prep tips for day care.
Get ahead by prepping ahead
The age-old advice to plan your meals, shop for them and prep them comes in handy here too. An hour or two on a Sunday could make the world of difference from Monday to Friday. Create fridge- and freezer-friendly meals, in little-people portion sizes, so that you can quickly grab what you need before you leave the house. Pancakes, cut fruit and vegetables, fritters, bread and muffins can all keep well.
Plan your milk feeds
If you’re still providing milk in the form of breastfeeding or formula feeding, make sure you’ve stocked up on both. Pump and freeze breastmilk in the weeks leading up to day care starting, or make sure you have enough age-appropriate formula. Also ensure that any bottles and teats are cleaned and sterilised if need be.
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Pack everything you need ahead of time
Pack clean bottles, cups, bibs, bowls and cutlery ahead of time. Be sure to include a pack of wet wipes, drinking water (if age appropriate) and a packet or container for dirty crockery and cutlery too. At the end of each day, check your child’s bag to replace any dirty items with fresh ones for the new day.
Ease into your new routine
Any major change, including starting day care, can create some disruptions to your child’s routine, which may affect their eating and sleeping patterns. To help prepare them for the transition, put the new routine into place before day care actually starts. For example, if you’ll need to leave the house by 8am and you currently serve breakfast at 9am only, start shifting breakfast time earlier so they know what to expect when the time comes.
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