I have only taken kids 15 months old to 4 years old. I never have gotten a baby call that panned out. Anyway, I have found with every placement when they walk through the door we almost immediately break out the play dough.
I think this has saved me many tears over the years because:
-It takes their minds off of what is going on.
Play dough is not something that I break out every day and I assume the same of most people. So it is novel to the kids, including mine I already have here.
-Everyone, even adults, can sit down and play with play dough.
It is a great way to cautiously interact with the kids without being in their face or offering them toy after toy they don't want from you.
-It is a sensory item.
Some things are just soothing...squishing play dough seems to be soothing to most kids.
I have only had one child reject the play dough immediately and he had diagnosed mental issues that I am assuming played into that. His theory was to cry...for a very long time. All my kids that did not have extreme mental issues loved the play dough.
And after play dough break out the snacks. I always assume my kids are hungry.
Just thought I would throw this out there. Do you guys have anything you do that seems to work out great for those first few hours of a new placement?