Starting nursery'Arranging a playdate with other children who will be in their class beforehand will help prepare them for being with lots of children, especially if they're an only child,' says Rosemary. 'This is much more important than them knowing how to read.
Teach them to go to the loo and sort themselves out afterwards, so they're ready to cope at nursery. Some nurseries allow children to attend for two hours a day and gradually build up. Tell them what time mummy, or someone else, is coming to get them so they know what to expect.'
'Before our girls started pre-school, we visited the classroom together,' says Jane, 35, mum to Evie, 10, Annabel, 6, and Katie, 4. 'We talked about what would happen when they got to nursery, and went shopping for books to prepare them. We also made sure that they were potty-trained, as this could have made them insecure or nervous.'
Going on holidayIt's not just permanent changes that can be stressful. Any alteration to your usual routine, like a holiday or a short stay with relatives at Christmas or Easter, can have an effect, if the place you're visiting is very different from home,
Alexandra Maeja Raicar suggests showing your child videos of where you're going. 'Prepare your child for the long journey and make sure he has his favourite toy or comforter. Where possible, stick to some parts of his old routine. Also, try to imagine yourself being a little child, to remember how strange adult life can seem.'
'We have a mobile with music that helps lull our children to sleep,' says Lindsay, 39, mum to Ellen, 4, and Honor, 18 months. 'When we went away, they couldn't sleep and it was really difficult. The next time we were away from home, I dismantled the mobile and just took the part that played the music. They slept fine and now I take it everywhere.'
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More help and advice- Coping with your child's first day at school
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- Ways to prepare your little one for school
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