How to Help Your Toddler Settle in at Nursery


If your toddler is starting nursery for the first time, or returning for a new term, we’ve got the top tips to help them settle in at nursery.

The start of a new school term is upon us, and for some parents this also means time for their toddlers to start their education journey and settle in to nursery. Lisa John, Head of Nursery at family members club Maggie & Rose, has shared her top tips to help parents get their toddlers through the door (without too many tantrums) as a new term begins.

What is settling in at nursery all about?

Settling in at nursery is all about making a child feel just that, settled! It’s important to provide children with the time they require to settle into nursery life, once children are settled, they will feel comfortable in their environment and have bonds with their carers. Children will show interest in other children and eventually make friends.

Tips to help toddlers settle in at nursery

Each child and family are different and will naturally have different needs, which is why each settling in session is so unique and tailored. We believe catering to individual needs is what makes us extraordinary. We always ask mum and dad to stay for their little one’s first nursery visit and during this session we learn all your tips and techniques to get to know what makes your little one happy. Getting to know the parents and their child helps us settle both little ones and grown up’s into nursery life.

The Buddy System

toddler-settle-in-nurseryEach child will settle in at nursery slightly differently. It is important to let them be independent from the outset and allow them to make the important decisions. In the first few weeks that your little one is settling into nursery, they will very likely be drawn to a team member for comfort. We always let parents know about the bonds their children make. The main carer they bond with will become their buddy and be responsible for tracking your child’s milestones as they play, learn and grow.

Read a story about nursery

There is an array of books available that talk about starting nursery with the aim of helping a child settle in. Why not try and buy a couple of these books a few weeks before your child starts at nursery and make it part of the bedtime story routine.

Routine reminder

Remind your child of how much fun they will have playing at nursery before they head off to build excitement. Talk to them about the new things they will get to experience and learn at nursery.

Do not expect too much of them

A comforter or favourite toy from home helps children to feel safe and secure. This can help them to focus on something positive when they are missing familiarity. Show your child where they will keep their comforter at nursery, and they will also quickly learn that this is a special place for them to keep their own things. Remember it takes time to settle into a new space and it is natural for children to experience separation anxiety, take each day as it comes praise your children and always be positive about nursery.

Communication is key

Always talk with nursery teachers and carers about how your child is settling in they are there to help and ease any worries you might have. It is important you feel confident as your children will sense any anxiety you have.

Say goodbye and leave them to settle in

When it’s time for you to say goodbye, explain carefully that you’re about to go and you’ll be back to pick up when nursery is over. Don’t start to leave and get tempted to go back, as hard as it may be! Carers are always on hand if parents want to make a quick phone call. Rest assured that your children’s carers are skilled and will provide comfort security and distract your child with super fun activities including all their favourite things to do. Before you know it, your child will be engrossed in nursery life and tearful drop off’s will be a thing of the past.

Read More:

Want more information and inspiration on everything parenting and lifestyle? Hit ‘Like’ on our Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and join the conversation on Twitter. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to Baby Magazine!