You asked

Any tips for making a smooth transition into a crèche?

The first time that a mother leaves her baby with strangers can be particularly stressful for both the mother and baby. Tears can be expected from both mother and baby. Some infants take longer to adjust than others. It depends on the infant and their temperament.

However, there steps that you can take to make the transition experience more pleasant. It is important to do as much research as possible before placing your baby in any crèche. Ask the centre how they help introduce new children to their program. Give as much information about your baby as possible so that the centre can create a transitional period that is best for the baby. 

Make the day as ordinary as possible, don't buy a new outfit for the big day. Dress them in their usual clothing, bring their everyday cup or bottle and bring a favourite toy or blanket. Talk to them in a reassuring voice, telling them that you are not leaving them forever. Give them plenty of reassurance, and try not to show any anxiety.

Take your child to the centre, about a week before the actual time that you will be leaving them there, to have a look around and get to know the caretakers. Perhaps two or three days before hand take them again and leave them there for about a third of the time they will normally be spending in care. Then repeat the procedure the day before they are to be in full time care and leave them for half or two thirds of the normal time. Once they go for the full day, they won't be as apprehensive about being left. Children often cry when you drop them off, but they will soon settle in.

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