To the mama about to send her child to daycare for the first time

From a mom who’s been there, I want to tell you that it is going to be okay.

To the mama about to send her child to daycare for the first time

Dear mama,

I am not going to lie. It's going to be hard leaving your precious baby in the care of her daycare teachers for the first time. You had this (mostly) magical time bonding and getting to know the tiny human you created. Your baby needed you the most—you were her around the clock primary caregiver.

As the first day of daycare is approaching, your last day of being with your baby 24/7 is also just around the corner.

Mama, this milestone will impact you in a major way—mentally, physically and emotionally. But from a mom who's been there, I want to tell you that it is going to be okay.

Here's what all moms should know about the first day of daycare, from a mama who's been there.

The first few weeks are always the hardest. But you know that already. You also know that you'll draw on your inner mama super-strength and that you will get through it.

You're a mom and there is nothing you can't handle!

You did your homework. You know your baby will be well-taken care of. And you can practically recite the research—there are many benefits to attending daycare.

From the Shop

Keep them close to your heart even when they're away, mama

Tiny Tags birthstone necklace

Tiny Tags birthstone necklace

Tiny Tags script 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags script 'mama' necklace


Still, it's not easy to leave your perfect, tiny little human with other people—no matter how loving or qualified.

I've been in your shoes. My daughter's first daycare was about as perfect as it gets. It was the equivalent of Harvard for babies. I was (and still am) incredibly grateful for being able to send my daughter to a place that gave me the peace of mind I needed while I was at work.

Yet, as I handed over my barely 3-month old to the lovely daycare teacher, I was choking back sobs. My rational brain reminded me that my child would be sleeping for most of the day and I should be thankful for the quality child care she was receiving. But my heart wasn't on board.

The internal struggle was beyond anything I've ever experienced before.

As much as I loved my job and craved adult interaction, I doubted my decision to return to work full time. I spent a few hours of my first week back at work watching daycare video camera footage (mostly my kid sleeping), and calling the daycare to check in on my daughter. (Sidenote: to all the wonderful, daycare workers who provided such excellent care for my daughter, thank you. I'm sorry I was a 'wee bit' of an emotional trainwreck.)

Mama, I'm here to tell you these feelings are completely normal. It is OK to feel conflicted about work (even if you love your job) and to question your decision about daycare.

Daycare drop-off can be traumatic for new mamas. I *wish* there was an easy way to deal with the inevitable fireworks of emotions that every mama goes through the first time they drop off their babies at daycare.

But there are ways you can plan ahead for that painful first drop-off at daycare. The 'easing in' approach helped me A LOT.

The week before I was due to return to work full time, my daughter and I made guest appearances at the daycare. On the first day, I observed the class routine and held my baby the entire hour I was there.

I returned the next day for two hours and handed over the baby to one of the smiling teachers. The kind, wise daycare director saw right through my delay game. She politely urged me to make plans for the third day and to leave my daughter with the amazing women in the infant room (she had a point… I was paying for them to take care of my child).

Mama, I ugly cried for what seemed like an eternity in the parking lot before I could pull myself together to meet my friends for lunch.

Years later, I'm here to tell you it's going to be okay. You will reflect on the daycare days with a grateful smile. Your baby will be cared for by qualified, loving daycare teachers. She will thrive in the company of other little humans.

The best part? I met some of my best friends through daycare You will have a whole new village to join. It may not be like socializing in your pre-child days, but your new tribe of fellow parents will give you exactly what you need—support and validation. After all, you will all be going through the exact.same.things—together.

So mama, as you approach your much anticipated/dreaded daycare drop-off moment, go easy on yourself. Plan for a day filled with emotional drama (with tears shed mostly by you) and if you are able, do something fun for yourself.


The mama who has been there


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5 brilliant products that encourage toddler independence

Help your little one help themselves.

One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.


Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.


Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.


Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.


BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


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