Starting Week 3 at Daycare

daycare calendar

Image from my Instagram feed

After the first not-so-awesome night after daycare, which I learned was caused by Nora’s first daycare-transmitted cold, we’ve been engaged in transitions. A lot of them, but the biggest two are sleeping and eating. You know, the two things that kids need to sustain existence. Nothing big.

Sleeping

Nora has never been a great sleeper. She has always been a wakeful child, who struggles to fall asleep. Aaron and I have done tons of work over the past two years, just to get to the place we are now: two hour nap in the afternoon, hour-long bedtime routine that leads to 3-5 hours of uninterrupted sleep, and then co-sleeping until 6:30 AM. It works for us, for now.

We knew that transitioning to napping at daycare was going to be a struggle. But, we didn’t realize how smart she would be during the transition. By her second week at daycare, she had learned the triggers for when it was nap time. And she talks about it at home. “Miss Sarah turns off the light. Turns on music. Brings out the cots. Not sleepy.” Imagine her overemphasizing the words cots, so that it is very loud and drawn out.  CAWWTSS!  She talks about the cots like this every night.

For her first two weeks, she refused to take naps. She would take fifteen minutes at the most and then ask to play. Luckily, she played quietly while the other kids slept. This made our evenings at home painful after dinner. She would get so tired that she would pass out during the evening walk and then she would launch into hysterical fits during the evening routine. We moved up her bedtime, which helped, a little.

Eating

Nora has always been a rough eater, as well. She goes through phases of wanting to eat only one or two foods. She’ll eat only yogurt and honey or clementines or garbanzo beans for every meal, for a week. And then it’s over. Knowing this, Aaron and I struggled with what to pack for lunch. We tried her current obsession (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches) during week one, which didn’t work. We tried a new dish (beef, broccoli and noodles) during week two, which didn’t work until the last day.

In the meantime, she was on a hunger strike during the day. But when she came home at 3:15, she would eat tons of snacks and she would ruin her dinner. During dinner, I would have to feed her in my lap while eating my own food, just to get a few bites of food in her.

Where We Are Now

As you can see, for our routine filled lives, this has been a huge shift. The good news is that it’s getting easier. On Friday, she had some weird/awesome breakthrough. She slept for 1 full hour on the cot (CAWWT!) and ate  all of her lunch and all of her snack. We’re crossing our fingers that it holds for the next week.

Our next hurdle that we’re jumping through is helping her to predict her schedule. She talks about going to daycare, even on our non-daycare days, so we want her to understand the new rhythm of our lives. Over the weekend, we took one of those large blotter calendars and converted it into our daycare calendar. She helped me to highlight each day she’s in daycare with with green markers and a green stamp. (We can’t decide whether or not to highlight the non-daycare days. Suggestions?) Once it’s hung up, she’ll help me cross off each day before going to bed.

That’s where we stand as of the end of week 2. We start week 3 on Tuesday. We’re hopeful that her successes from last week will transfer to this week.

How did your little one react to moving to daycare? How long did the transition last?

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4 thoughts on “Starting Week 3 at Daycare

  1. lynnc2010

    I would leave non day care days blank personally. Just so that she associates the colored ones with day care happening and isn’t mixing up what colors mean what.

    Reply
    1. Jessica Post author

      That’s the theory that we’re using, Lynn. She’s not even 2 yet, so I think too many colors will confuse her. I’m glad that our instincts were right. 🙂

      Reply
  2. aliciafinnnoack

    Agreed about leaving the home days blank on the calendar.
    I think naps and eating will work themselves out … there is something about seeing all the other kids do something. Hey, I guess it’s Peer Pressure (duh, Alicia).

    Reply
    1. Jessica Post author

      I keep hearing about this magical peer pressure from other parents. I never thought I’d wish for it, but I sure am now. 🙂

      Reply

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