5 Tips From an Infant Room Teacher: Preparing for the First Week at Daycare

Updated: Oct 20

Fretting about how to prepare your baby for daycare?

Taking care of a baby is hard work. No doubt about it.

Frequent feedings. Frequent naps. Figuring out how to get your baby to actually take a nap, not in your arms.

Frequent smelly poopy diaper changes. Frequent wardrobe changes when your baby pees on you while you are changing his diaper.

Snuggling, while walking around bouncing, and shooshing, or singing, when nothing seems to make your baby content.

Taking care of a baby is really hard work.

Now, add a few more babies to the mix (like, eight babies total), and put them all in one room, with two adults. Dang, I can't imagine how quickly my sanity would go out the window.

Born Happy, Parent Coach, Baby Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Coach, Nashville TN, Daycare,

Infant room teachers are miracle workers in my eyes. I mean, like, real miracle workers. Snuggling babies all day sounded dreamy, until it didn't.

These teachers really know their stuff. Especially when it comes to leaving your baby at daycare for the first time. This is a super stressful time for parents (and sometimes babies).

So, I asked Infant Room teacher Kristy Barnhill for some of the best tips she could offer. Here's what she had to say.

Born Happy, Parent Coach, Baby Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Coach, Nashville TN, Daycare,

1. Getting Baby to Take a Bottle

Try to transition your baby to a consistent feeding schedule before returning to work. Most babies will always listen to their tummy clock and eat when it's time to be fed.

Some babies have a hard time taking a bottle when there is a lot of activity and noise around them.

If it is quiet and relaxing at home when you feed your baby, he or she will be used to that.

If your baby will not eat in the infant room where there is noise from daily activities, we will ask another teacher to come in and sit with the other babies while we take your baby to a calmer and quieter area (like at home) and offer a feeding there. This is helpful for many babies.

Some babies are just not comfortable with the bottle itself.

Try different brands of bottles or even different flows of nipples. I have had a lot of success with the Medela Bottles for breast fed infants.

Born Happy, Parent Coach, Baby Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Coach, Nashville TN, Daycare


2. Getting Baby to Sleep in a Crib

Some babies only want to sleep while being held in warm and loving arms. Anyway, who doesn't want to cuddle a sleeping baby?

Other babies like to sleep while in a swing.

However, many states (including ours here in Tennessee) require that babies sleep in cribs and on their back in order to reduce the risk of SIDS.

The best way to help a baby accept sleeping in a crib is to continuously to offer it to her. We will lay your baby in her crib each time she sleeps and soothe her to try and help with a smooth transition.

Additionally, many states mandate that a baby is not to be swaddled or placed in a crib with a blanket while at daycare.

We can however use sleep sacks and the babies love them.

I recommend the Zipadee Zips sleep sacks.