1st week at Daycare - Not going well - Need advise.

Cledia - posted on 05/11/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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My son will be 1 on May 19, we started him at a day care last Monday (3/5 days).

1st day - When we dropped him off he was fine, didn't even cry. When I went to pick him up he was crying, the teacher mentioned he was fine all day but when he saw other parents taking their kids that is when he started crying.

2nd day - he cried a little when I dropped him off, and the teacher said he cried on and off throughout the day.

3rd day - same as 2nd day.

Yesterday when I dropped him off as soon as we walked into the room he clinked on to me and started crying. I called mid morning and they said he would cry on and off but he didn't want his milk nor breakfast. I called during lunch and he was still crying on and off, still didn't want milk, water or anything, so I stopped by during lunch and took him something to eat. The moment he saw me he started crying. I gave him the food I took him and he devoured it. You could tell he was hungry. But the moment he sees me get up he starts crying.

Please advise. I feel terrible. I don't know what to do.

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Darla - posted on 05/11/2010

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I would ask the daycare their suggestions. I'm sure they are use to this kind of thing.
My mom and sister both worked at a great Christian daycare. Do they seem loving to you?
I wouldn't pop in when you're not taking him home - in his little mind when you come you're suppose to take him home. Give him 2 weeks to get use to the environment. Continue to call and check on him - or even stop by- and peak in - but don't let him see you. Think of it from the daycare workers perspective... they just get him settled down and then the mom pops in again - leaves - and then they've got to get him settled again for the afternoon.
Even taking him food might make a 1 year old think you're going to do that every day. There again, I'd ask the daycare.
Honestly, putting my boys in daycare at 2.5 and 3.5 yrs of age was the hardest thing I ever did - and that was over 20 years ago!!! I still wish I could have just worked part time instead of leaving them all day long -- but it just wasn't possible.
Give it a little time for the little guy - it's a big adjustment for him and you.

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Natasha - posted on 05/20/2010

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I know you cant see it now but believe me it gets better. If this is his first time in the environment it takes some time to get use to I went through the same thing in march. I was sending my child to home private care but then a spot opened up for him in an early head start program which is a center. the first and second week was so hard because it was his birthday week when he started he was the youngest in the class and the only one not walking. His teachers assured me he would pick up on walking just from being around the other kids and that once he knew everyone it would get better. Its hard seeing your baby cry and be afraid but if you trust the center that he is going to. Trust that everything will be okay. It gets better I use to peek through the window and watch him cry. Now when I come he is reading books and playing with the other kids I am happy to see him in a happy learning environment. I took it to prayer and just asked that to show me if this was not the place for my baby and I felt confident that it was. Try that...... I hope this helps

Rebekah - posted on 05/20/2010

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My son never really adjusted to day care and he was in day care for 4 months, then my husband lost his job and so daddy takes care of him.

I can say that it did get better. Definitely stay with your child until he's ready for you to leave - it may mean you'll be late to work (just leave earlier). I did this for a week and instead of having to wait 30 minutes, I could wait 15 minutes and by the end of week I only had to wait 5-10 minutes. Once he realizes he's got a safe place to be, familiar faces, friends, toys, and all the other cool stuff, he'll be ready to leave mommy's clenched leg and venture out. Before he takes off, just kiss his cheek, say I love you and see you later, then walk out the door.

As for not eating breakfast or lunch, if it's the day care food, pack food for him for awhile. I had to do this for about month and half because he wasn't used to the day care food. They would try their food first, if he didn't eat it, then they'd give him what I packed and he'd always eat that. He was also slower than the other kids, for they kind of rushed through eating times, that I made them slow it down, otherwise he wouldn't get full - which would aid in more crying throughout the day.

As for him crying when he sees other parents coming, I had to deal with this too every day - in never ceased for me, but it did get better. Things I did was I would plan a night out or a day out on the weekends and have some come over to watch our son, and tell him mama is going bye bye and I would be back later. The sitter would always mention that mama is coming back. I would also take him to church events where there was a nursery to leave him and come back for him, to get him used to mama isn't "leaving" him forever and I will come back. Some days when I picked him at the day care were better than others, but when he saw me he would stop crying and smile and get happy.

It's hard, but he will adjust through time. I'm sure my son would of adjusted more if he was still in day care, within 2 more months he would of been just fine. :) Just keep giving it time.

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I'd be taking my child out of the daycare and staying home w/ him. I know that doesn't work for everyone, but I would be doing absolutely anything and everything to make it possible.

Anne - posted on 05/20/2010

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Hi Cledia, I was also a Home Child Care Provider when our daughters were much younger. One other thing to caution you on is this DO NOT SNEEK OUT ON YOUR CHILD!!!!!!!!! Let him know Mommy is leaving to go to work, but you know he will have a great day and mommy will be back to get him when you are finished working. Then LEAVE QUICKLY!!! Children pick up on our stress and concerns very easily. So do not let him see you upset about leaving him or the fact that he cries at time through the day. I will be Praying for you and your son.

Kathryn - posted on 05/13/2010

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I am a daycare teacher and I agree that you should drop by during the day to check on him. I also agree that you shouldn't let him see you. At his age it is hard to transition them into daycare because this is when they go through separation anxiety. Give it a few more days. He will soon bond with his caregivers. Making it easier to drop him off and make for a better day. Hope and pray that all goes well! God Bless you and your family!

Donna - posted on 05/13/2010

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As a teacher of this age group at a childcare facility I will tell you that this is perfectly normal. The first couple of weeks are the toughest as you both adjust to the change. We tell parents it can take up to 3 weeks for a child to completely adjust to the change.

I agree with Leanne, check on your child throughout the day and at different times, both on the phone and visiting the center. Also, do NOT allow your child to see you. This will upset him more and make the transition even tougher. Assuming you checked out the faciity earlier to see about any licensing violations the center may have, if not do so immediately. Also, talk to the center director about your concerns.

You also need to be aware of the fact that your child is just beginning to experience separation anxiety. If you have left him before, he did not understand the passage of time well enough to realize you were gone. He is now beginning to understand this, so will be anxious when you leave.

Does your child have one primary caregiver at the center? How does she respond to your child and his crying? How many children does she have to care for? When I have a new child join our class (we have up to 8 young toddlers, ranging from 1 year to 19 months currently, and 2 teachers) I provide that with lots of extra attention. He or she may spend lots of time on my lap for the first couple of days, I allow the child to decide what they are ready to do. I give them lots of extra love and do whatever I can to help them feel secure. If your child's caregiver doesn't understand child development and is not compassionate to the changes your child is having to make, that could be part of the problem. I work with lots of young women who do not have children and they just don't get it sometimes.

I would talk to the director and the caregiver about your concerns. Also, if Dad can, see if he can drop your son off and see if that makes a difference.

Leanne - posted on 05/12/2010

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First is this a daycare home or a Center? The first week is always the hardest week, being in a new environment, and the teachers should help him transition. If at all possible, try to drop in the daycare/center to observe the going on's at various times (but be careful not to let the little one see you as it could cause a separation anxiety all over ) I am assuming you checked with your local licensing agency to review the facilities file, if they are licensed it is public knowledge for parents to review the files. If the child continues to cry even before you walk in the door, I would look for another facility. Good Luck to you and your little one. We have all been through what you are going through if we ever had to work and do daycare.

Michelle - posted on 05/12/2010

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I agree with Darla. My daughter stayed with a friend beginning at 6 weeks of age so she didn't have any problems - now me, that was a different story! I would say that maintaining a routine is the best thing. Make sure you drop him off at or around the same time every day and pick him up at or around the same time every day. Disrupting the routine really makes life hard on all involved, the child, parent, and caregivers. Good Luck.

Tomesa - posted on 05/11/2010

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i would take him out immediately if by day 7 (1 week) he was not better acclimated to the daycare environment. perhaps he would fare better in a private home care environment versus a busy daycare center?

Shannon - posted on 05/11/2010

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If you trust the caregivers that are watching your child wholeheartedly, then you need to give it two weeks before you make a decision. Many toddlers will take that long before they transition and settle into a routine. It can be very heart breaking but if you trust that the care givers are doing everything they can to make your child feel safe and cared for it will happen.

If you have difficulty with your child's care then I suggest spending some time in the centre to see if there is something that is affecting your child negatively and then speak to the director about it.

This is not uncommon some children just transition easier than others and it is always hard on mom.

Sarah - posted on 05/11/2010

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Would working half days for a little bit be an option? Maybe that would help transition him into day care a little bit. May not stop the crying but at least you know that you both only have to go through part of the day.

Another option that may or may not work would be if you could spend a few days at the day care with him. This you kind of have to judge if it would make things better or worse. I can see it be worse if that due to you staying a few times he thinks that you can do that each time so it makes it much harder to drop off and him to go through his day afterwards. On the other hand, it may allow him to become comfortable with the day care faster with you staying a few days and letting him know that this place is a good and fun place too.

This is something different for him (for you both). He will get through it and one day be one of those that is crying because he has to leave day care :). Just takes some time. For some kids it takes more time than others, but they do all live through it and work through it. Just may have some tears (on both sides) before you get to the smiles.

Stephanie - posted on 05/11/2010

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Maybe try some one-on-one time with him in the mornings before dropping him off. Sit on the bed and couch and snuggle together, talk about what your plans for the day are, or maybe read a portion of a book. Like Heather said I will pray for you also.

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