September 29, 2017

Navigating the Transition

In the daycare world, 18 months marks a big transition. 

When the calendar hits eighteen months, it means a move from the “baby” infant room to the "big kid" toddler room.

Navigating the Daycare Transition

Earlier this month we celebrated the big 18 month milestone in our house. Right, 18 months?! Where has time gone?

But, while we were celebrating Morley turning 18 months, we were not celebrating that daycare move. 

In our family, the toddler room transition did not happen as anticipated this month. And it won’t be happening next month. Or the month after that. 

It won't be happening when originally planned because baby girl has already been in the toddler room for two. whole. months!

Insert proud mama moment here.

Navigating the Daycare Transition

Back in June, one of Morley's teachers approached me about making the switch to the toddler room a few months early. She wanted to know how I would feel about moving her from a room of six 6 to 18 month old babies, to a room filled with 10 crazy (and I mean real crazy) 18 to 30 month old toddlers. As her teacher explained, in a room filled with babies she was just not being "challenged enough". Fair enough. 

Lets go back to that proud mama moment for a sec...

Talk about making a mama feel good. One, for our choice in daycare because they recognized that she needed more. And two, for having one smart little cookie. (And, if I’m being completely honest here, three, because the toddler room is cheaper.)

Navigating the Daycare Transition

So, without hesitation I said, “Let’s do it!”

And then, I realized what exactly we were signing up for. I realized that with the transition came more independence. It also came with less bottles and less napping. And, probably the biggest thing of all, it also meant that our little girl was growing up, quicker than we'd like. 

Back-peddling slightly, I asked her teacher how she thought she would do. I had my concerns, full well knowing that napping wasn’t one of Morley’s strongest suits at daycare. Going from a crib in a quiet sleeping room to a cot in a room filled with toys and friends made me a tad bit nervous. It would be like a giant sleepover party every single day, and baby girl has some serious FOMO (aka fear of missing out). Sleeping was also her teacher’s hesitation.

After a quick laugh about how Morley sleeps, we realized that if that hesitation was the worst of it, making the move was the right thing to do.  

We knew that making the switch would be better for Morley. It would be better for the other children. It would be better for, and easier on, her teachers. And, if I'm being completely honest again here, it would be better for mom and dad's bank account.

Related article >> Lessons From My Toddler

Navigating the Daycare Transition

So, similar to initially transitioning her into daycare a short eight months ago, she spent a few hours a day in the toddler room the week leading up to the big move. 

And you know how she did?

Big girl completely rocked it. She navigated the transition seamlessly.

And as for me? Again, inserting another proud mama moment here. For both Morley and myself.

Unlike that very first day eight months ago, the mom guilt was non-existent.

Navigating the Daycare Transition

Related article >> Talking Mom Guilt

Since starting daycare, our toddler has grown by leaps and bounds. In the past two months alone she has learned how to count to five (although not always in the right order), can sing her “ACs” (her words, not mine), knows her colour (yes that is singular, everything is “boo”) and is an animal expert (seriously, kid knows what a koala is).  

So to all of those mamas out there that are having a hard time with the thought of daycare, I was in your shoes once. I felt like the worst mom in the world for leaving my baby girl with strangers. But I also know that because of it, she is better. We are better. 

That mom guilt you're feeling about daycare? It will disappear. I promise.

Now, if only potty training and taking her off the bottle were going to be as easy...

How do you navigate the big transitions in your child's life? I'd love to hear your tips!

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