Today I went with Avery to daycare in the morning. We stayed for lunch and went home when the other baby went down for a nap. I felt so validated for choosing to slowly transition her by going with her for a few days first. I know a lot of people don’t transition by going with their baby, but I really felt like it’s what Avery needed. She just needs a boost of encouragement from me to know if a situation or person is safe. The other baby, who was also there on her first day, was transitioned using the rip-the-bandaid method, and she spent most of the time screaming and pounding at the door trying to leave. I obviously can’t guarantee that Avery won’t do the same next Tuesday when I leave her for an hour, but I got to support Avery as she got to know her surroundings. I encouraged her to take food from Gwen, our provider, and although hesitant at first, Avery ended up eating more than Gwen’s 4 year old daughter. The other baby starting today didn’t eat her lunch. Avery laughed hysterically at the dogs, and after sitting on my lap observing for the first half hour, she dove into the book collection and started flipping through the pages of book after book.
We are also going to transition to one nap a day while there, because the other 12 month old is also dropping to one nap. So Avery will have the OPTION to nap in the stroller in the morning when she’s used to having her morning nap (and in the same way she is used to it), and then she will nap at home with me at 1 when I pick her up. In a couple of months we’ll start doing longer days and she’ll have her nap at Gwen’s.
I also realized after today that it’s going to be a pain to have to remember to wash and pack a bib and her fork every day, so I ordered more bibs and forks on amazon that I’ll leave at daycare for her. And Gwen agreed to bring her upstairs to the tv to watch a bit of Moana if she’s really upset at my absence at first. So I’ll also have to remember to keep the DVD in her daycare bag.
I’m feeling good about this. I think Avery had fun today, and I think she’ll be happy to return tomorrow. I’m trying not to get nervous about next Tuesday when I leave her there for the first time, but I feel good about the slow and steady transitioning method.