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Working It Out: New-Sitter Solutions

A change in childcare  -- whether it's a new sitter or a switch from one daycare center to another  -- can often be difficult. How some parents eased the transition for their child:


School Ties

My husband and I always refer to daycare as "school" so our 2-year-old feels like a big girl. For a week before she started at a new center, I drove her by it each morning before work and said, "Look, there's your new school. You'll be starting there next week, and you're going to make a lot of new friends and have so much fun." It helped to get her excited about it before she even set foot into the "classroom." She couldn't wait to go.

Laura Self, Grapevine, TX

Ducking fear

I took my 16-month-old son for a visit to his new family daycare center one morning shortly before he was due to start. He played with the provider and some of the other toddlers, and he got attached to a toy duck. The first day I dropped him off, the provider took him right back to the same toy. He's been happy there ever since. It also helped to have his first day fall on a Wednesday so he didn't have to be there a full week to start.

Leah Lawrence, Minneapolis, MN

Picture Perfect

When my 5-year-old son moved to a new center, I placed a photo of the two of us inside a frame I made of craft foam (so it wouldn't break) and put it into his backpack. He carried it around for about a week.

Tracy Slaughter, Comstock Park, MI

Sweet Scent

I sprayed some of my perfume on my 2-year-old daughter's favorite stuffed animal and let her take it with her to the new daycare center. "Kitty cat" later became her class mascot.

Dana Wells, Pasadena, TX

Repeat Visits

Every day for two weeks before my 20-month-old switched from family daycare to a center, I picked him up a little early after work and took him to the new place. When the time came, it was already familiar to him.

Amber Nelson, Pensacola, FL