Working Parent Parenting & Child Care by Stage Child Development Education Family Health Family Life In the News

Transitioning to Toddlers – Help!

I’m feeling a little stressed out this week. It’s not the holiday shopping, cleaning, decorating, planning or even the huge pile of laundry stacking up in the corner of my bedroom (well maybe it is a little of all that). But what has me really worried is I received the letter. Those parents who’ve had their child in a child care or daycare center know this letter or maybe received the news directly from your child’s teacher.

My package begins with “Welcome to the Toddler Program!” and includes tons of helpful info about the transition up to the next classroom.

Toddler TransitionsYikes! My little baby boy is moving from his infant haven to the wild world of toddlers starting in the new year. Now don’t get me wrong he totally belongs in toddlers – he’s always so busy exploring his world and getting frustrated when he can’t communicate what he wants. So he’s ready for sure.

But for me I’m feeling stressed about the logistics and how to emotionally prepare for this transition. How does the nap on a mat thing work? What size blanket should I get? Should I make the clean break from his one bottle before nap to all sippy cups on his first day or wait? Is that too much change in one day? What are other toddlers bringing for lunch (he always wants what others are having)? How is he going to handle the extra stimulation? Will he need to go to bed earlier at night to decompress the day?

Somehow I seemed to have forgotten all this in the five years since Olivia made the transition from home daycare into the same toddler program. It’s helpful to know I have a support system to lean on: Progressive Mom wrote about her Toddler Transition experience, all the other bloggers have been through this, and even parents are talking about the topic in our community forum. And of course there is my center support team including our always knowledgeable and helpful center director, his infant teacher and new toddler teacher (which happens to have been his primary caretaker for part of his time in the baby room).

So just writing this – sorting through my thoughts and the available resources – is making me feel much better. My first action item is to schedule a transition meeting with his new teacher and to plan to chat with his infant teacher. What else should I be doing (besides laundry!) to prepare?


  1. lisa December 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    My son made the transition 2 weeks ago so I understand how you feel! I’ve actually been very happy with it so far and he really love it. We got really lucky that our center has been slowly transitioning him for awhile and he was spending a few hours in there every day so it made things a lot easier.

  2. MediaMom December 13, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I think the hardest thing to adapt to when you make the transition is the difference in the way you communicate with the teachers. In the infant room, there is often time and opportunity for plenty of conversation at drop off to go over how well your son slept, ate and pooped the night before. The toddler room is 100 times more chaotic, and unless you’re among the earliest drop-offs, the teachers simply don’t have the opportunity to do what they need to do in the classroom and have that same level of conversation with you. But remembering that from my first child helped a lot, and remembering that part of the toddler transition is about learning to be part of a group (eating, napping and reading all at the same time, for instance) helps as well.That that does take a lot of getting used to, even if you’ve been through it before.

Please Log In to Comment