17 Month Old Boy Crying & Not Eating at Daycare

Apall81 - posted on 04/07/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My son just started full time (M-F) daycare this week. He went last week for a few hours so he can see the place and meet the teachers. Until now, he has been at home with a nanny while I work from home so while I was not with him all the time, I would get to see him and hold him every now and then during the day.

Today is his second full day at daycare and the facilities and teachers do seem really great. I know there is an adjustment period but I wanted to know if what my son is experiencing is normal or is it a sign that he is just not fit for a day care setting.

He cries all day on and off and only eats certain snacks. He generally never eats his lunch and drinks very little. He has napped but only about an hour when at home he usually sleeps 2 - 2.5 hours. He was exhausted when he came home yesterday but happy to be home. When I dropped him off today he was in bad shape. He cried a ton and I peaked into his classroom a few times throughout the day (without him seeing me) and he looked like he was crying on and off. He had his soother in his mouth which does help but at home he was almost off the soother so it tells me he needs the comfort now.

I guess my question is, how long should I give it before I see some progress (doesn't have to be the ideal but just SOME progress). I know every child is different but it will help get an idea. I feel so horrible leaving him in such a state and knowing he won't eat much or drink, breaks my heart that he may suffer weight lose among feeling so sad for being there.

Thanks so much for your replies in advance!

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Ev - posted on 04/07/2015

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You might want to ask about bringing in food. A lot of them do not allow it because if they are on the USDA food program they have to count all the kids that are eating. Some only allow food if the child is having allergies to what is served. I do not think you should worry about him missing a few meals because he is getting used to a new place and people. He will make up for it later or it will even out at a later time.

Apall81 - posted on 04/07/2015

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Thanks, Evelyn. You are right about hanging around after drop off - I feel even worse after that. I'm most worried about him not eating / drinking much. Perhaps I can ask the teacher if I can drop off some familiar meals as he gets adjusted. Not sure they will allow that though.

Ev - posted on 04/07/2015

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It does take time for a child to get used to a new routine, people and places. You can not expect him to get comfortable overnight with this change. He is also having to get used to you not coming in off and on during the day like you used to do. Also you hanging around to see how he does does not benefit you or him. If he did catch you peeking in to see what was going on with him, he would start going crazy with the tears and crying again. You need to go in, drop him off, hug and kiss him and tell him you love him and be back later, and then leave. Do not make a big issue out of it or it will make it worse for both of you. Let the teacher have him and you go. I know how hard it is to leave a child in child care but you should give it a couple of weeks or so for him to get used to the changes, people, other kids, and routines. It might take a bit longer because no two kids react the same way.

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