Transition tips

In my last blog entry I had said it was really hard transitioning my second child from being with me all day to leaving her with her Grandmother when I returned to work. 

Two months before heading back to work, I started the transition by visiting with Grandma at least once a week, and trying to slowly increase my time away by 10 minutes each time. Every time, Tiny Tickles would scream until I came back. It really broke my heart. It stressed everyone out and it got to the point where I thought, how am I going to go back to work and feel good about it?

I looked for advice online and came up with a few strategies: I joined a spinning class once a week and left her with her dad for a few hours and we practiced waving bye-bye. It was hard at first, she would cry and was very fussy, but she really got used it after a while.

We did this a lot and sometimes it just felt like nothing would work, but then I called Halton Region 311 for advice from a nurse, who was a mother of 3 children and she suggested that Tiny Tinkle’s temperament was difficult.

She suggested that all these things were causing stress on her and that I should wait and just rip it off like a bandage. That way it would alleviate all stresses on the both of us, and that I should continue to breastfeed her and just enjoy each other’s company. We did just that and it made me feel so much better in the end.

And she seemed to transition a lot better than I thought possible.  All of the things I tried really helped in some way by preparing her for what was to come.

I felt good about doing it because I knew that the next best thing for her was having someone who loves her and me taking care of her. It is the best thing possible for the both of us. I knew she would be safe and well cared for. I stopped worrying and enjoyed my time with her.  Transitions are not easy… for any of us.

Tips that I found Helpful

• The Kissing Hand Book by Audrey Penn (Author), Ruth E. Harper (Illustrator), Nancy M. Leak is a great book about children starting school and facing separation. (Publisher Child Welfare League of America)

• Make visits to Grandma’s more often and eventually start increasing your time away

• Teach your baby how to wave bye 

• Tell her what you are doing and always make a point in saying good-bye and when you get back say “I told you I would come back”.

• Another tip that I read about, I did not end up doing it but is such a great idea. Make a photo album of family members and the daily routine. Children, even babies, recognize and start to put everything together. Plus they really like looking at pictures of themselves and family members.

Shari Nelson is an advertising sales rep at City Parent and a contributor to the magazine's social media, including Facebook and Twitter. She has a background in Early Child Care Education. She has two daughters a 6-year-old, a 1-year and 10-year-old dog. She aspires to not have too much “Stuff”.  She challenges herself and her amazing, talented carpenter husband to be fit and healthy.