Prepping Quarantine Babies for School

Hi guys! I’m back. Sorry I took a little break for summer but now I’m back with some interesting topics for Fall. Today’s topic was inspired by some insight I received from my cousin on transitioning your little one to school as well my experience with daycare during these pandemic times. Finding a childcare center for a toddler has been a challenge. Once more of the world became vaccinated and cities “re-opened”, it seems like all parents got the same idea of “send kids to school now!”

Once we found a center through the state government site, it felt like we struck oil. Fast forward to his first week. He walked in and had no issue getting picked up by the teacher as I said goodbye. As I returned, a teacher in passing said “he was so good. He sat in one spot looking around for a while and I said to myself, oh he must be a quarantine baby”. A what? And it hit me…I guess he would be classified as such. It was only 4-5 months after his birth that the world shutdown and he’s been in quarantine ever since without interaction with anyone his size or outside immediate family. Prior to school, he loved seeing babies and kids on TV, and seeing them in real-life was a thrill. One thing he can’t stand is closed doors and I can’t blame him for wanting to escape any chance he gets being “in the house” for like 18 months.

Now for the older tots who are transitioning to pre-K and first grade, they have a slightly different set of expectations in preparing for school. If they’ve been home, they may not have had the opportunity to experience and learn some of the things that are further explored from daycare or child development center. Basic things like closing the bathroom door when you potty that they would have to put into practice at school or in public. Here are some other things that parents can practice with these little ones prior to starting or returning to school:

  1. Wear bottoms (this goes for parents AND kids as most of us have gotten used to only being seen from the waist up)

  2. Potty etiquette - Practice what to do during potty breaks. Pants stop at the ankles, do not take them all the way off (they may have trouble putting them back on). How to wipe for a clean swipe. Flush the toilet (with your foot or grab tissue for handle). Washing hands with soap & water. Elmo has a really catchy song and cartoon on PBS that even taught Miles. Drying hands before returning to class and grabbing the potty pass. Safe bottoms, meaning if your child hasn’t practiced fastening a belt or button on jeans, stick with elastic or stretchy wear until they have developed that skill.

  3. Opening snacks - who knew that opening fruit snacks or snack bags of Goldfish required skills. Yes practice those pincer grips and where to open. Even straws in juice boxes, especially for those kiddos who bring their own lunches from home.