Dropping your toddler off at daycare for the first time can be an emotional moment for both the child and the parents. If this is the first time you will be leaving your toddler alone without your direct supervision, it's understandable if you are apprehensive about how your child might handle that first goodbye when you drop them off at the daycare center and walk/drive away. If you want to make it through this big moment without too much of an issue, here are some tips that might help.

Don't Linger or Stick Around

Let's be honest—some parents have a harder time letting go of their kids than the other way around. If you see yourself as the type that is going to get weepy during big "growing up" moments in your child's life, the first time you leave them all alone with another adult might get you to suddenly get a little moisture in your eyes. What's worse though, is that if your child sees you starting to cry or get emotional, they are likely to do the same themselves. 

Make the drop off quick and short. Don't make the last hug and kiss especially long and dramatic. Act excited for your child that they are going somewhere to have fun with other kids. Don't keep turning around and staring back at them on your way to the door.

Leave Them with Someone They Know

For best results, it can be helpful if your child knows someone at the daycare center before they get there for their first official day. Maybe you have a neighbor down the street who is also sending a child there. Arrange for a playdate before you send your kid to the center so your child will be excited to hang out with their friend and won't be so focused on being left alone by Mom or Dad. Alternatively, you could take your child into the daycare center to meet the adults or maybe even join in during a play session before they officially start attending without you. 

Most daycare centers know that separation anxiety is a real thing and will work with you to schedule one on one time with your child or otherwise do what they can to make the situation more comfortable for all involved. That moment when you first leave your child alone with another adult doesn't have to be the end of the world for you or your toddler. Talk to a local daycare center like Lighthouse Academy for more tips.