First Day at Daycare

Tammie - posted on 10/04/2011 ( 201 moms have responded )

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Yesterday was my son's first day at daycare. He was fine all day til it was lunch time and then he cried for his mommy. Today, was a different story. He made sure that I wasn't gonna leave him-no matter what I said!!! I can't stand to see him cry the way that he did! Has anyone gone thru this before? How did you cope??

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Ashley - posted on 10/04/2011

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I went through this with two of them at the same time! They both started daycare the same day so i had to deal with it twice. It was hard there were a few times i left daycare crying. My parents usually drop them off and my mom has left crying her eyes out. It's really hard but after a couple of weeks you just have to tell them thats enough you are fine you will have fun and thats it. Do the providers give him extra snuggle time ? They did with both of mine. They'd take them aside sit them on their knees and show them toys or colour with them. They'd talk to them to let them know they will be ok. When i'd go pick them up they were always having a blast playing with the other kids and always ended up having a good day. Usually 5 mins after you leave their fine. It took both of mine about a month to adjust and now their so excited we can hardly get them out of their seats. They go running in laughing and when i pick them up their always in great moods. Trust me when i say it gets better. It's just scary for them going into a new place with a whole bunch of new faces. Talk positive about daycare. Say oh you are gonna go to daycare tomorrow. Your going to have fun right? You going to play with your friends? When he's had a good day praise him. In the mornings say oh no crying your a big boy right? Your going to have a great day. It really helps. And always reassure him you will be back. When you drop him off say mommy's gotta go to work now but i will be back after work. Before ya know it he'll love daycare and that's all he'll talk about!

Jane - posted on 10/07/2011

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It is so sad that our culture hasn't evolved enough that moms are able to stay home with their children. Most of my generation could do this and in many other countries they can. In the long run, if the children have the support of loving parents they will be Ok.

Anita - posted on 10/04/2011

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Tammie, I work mornings in a daycare, and I see kids that wail and cry and cling-on something fierce when they are dropped off. These other moms are right--the children do adjust, usually really quickly. Some get noticeably easier in a matter of a few days to a week, others take a couple weeks or sometimes longer. My longest-running one still whimpers while mom is taking off his coat, but then she hands him to me and we go wave bye at the window and he is fine within a minute--literally. The best drop off is a loving but matter-of-fact "I've got to go--give me a hug--I love you! Wave bye to me; or Go (eat breakfast/play/look at books, etc) and I'll see you after school." If he's still clinging, physically hand him to a teacher, and walk out. Something to that effect, and then walk away confidently, even though you want to stay and make it all better. It gets better--it really does :) Good luck, and courage to you, Mama :)
ps: be warned, after seeing progress during a week, expect that Monday might be tough again--they kind of have to "readjust" after being home for the weekend.

Lizette - posted on 10/11/2011

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You drop and go as fast as you can but not before telling your child you will be back after snack time or whatever time it is that you get him. Make a chart at home so that he or she is aware of the daily routine. That way he knows when you will be back.

Karen - posted on 10/11/2011

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I have worked in a daycare for twenty four years so rest assure that this normal. Try to leave quickly this makes it easier for the Childcare provider to step in and pick him up. Sometimes a family picture helps calm some children down or perhaps a blanket or something special to him. It usually takes 2-3 weeks for children to adjust. Also be sure to ask what his favorite part of the day was and find out done of the names of the other kids in the class, then you can focus on the parts of the day your child liked and the friends that he played with. Hang in there it will get better and the social interaction with the other children will be great for your child:)

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Kylie - posted on 10/12/2011

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Hun I've had 6 kids let me tell u this is normal for most kids I went through and the first few kids it broke my heart but now I walk out like nothing anyways he will get over it and it's better for him if u make it a quick drop off cause the longer u delay it the harder it is for him he will get over it but believe me for his sake it's better for u to make it a quick drop off and before u no it he will be begging to go it's so easy for me to say this now but it's so hard especially being your first but I promise u most kids go through it and they do get over it, goodluck xx

Seta - posted on 10/12/2011

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I just want to say thanks to all the parents and caregivers who've posted on this topic and to Tammie G. for starting it. My little girl (2 yrs, 8 months) started pre-school yesterday, so everything that has been said has been so relevant, encouraging, insightful and really helpful. I will soldier on and hope it gets better soon.

Rachel - posted on 10/12/2011

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it is totally normal for it too take a while to get used to day care, usually the 3rd day is the worst, they know you are gonna leave!!! just be strong make sure youdo say goodbye and you will come back let the carers know what time you will be back so they can reassure the child and make sure you are back at that time, he will then learn to trust you will be back when yiousay you will be.

Helen - posted on 10/11/2011

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Hi Tammie it took my son 2months to settle at his daycare and it was tough but we had to be strong for him. As an educator in a daycare I tell my parents that it normally takes 2-3 weeks for them to settle and it just takes them to encourage all the time. Remember its all new teachers, friends, RULES as well as the routine so just hang in there and as a parent it is ok to feel emotional just don't let your child see it.

Kathy - posted on 10/11/2011

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I have been at the other end....as a in home daycare provider. I have seen kids do that as there parents are leaving (the first few weeks are the worst) and with in a few minutes after the parents leave they are back to there happy normal selves. Give him time to adjust and give yourself a few minutes of extra time in the morning knowing you might have to deal with that for a few weeks or days. Sometimes just dropping them off and leaving works better for some. Other kids letting them get settled and involved with something before leaving works well. Hopefully by the end of the month he will be saying im good mom and pushing you out the door. If it is a good daycare and he is having a good time there and making friends that will happen.

Paula - posted on 10/11/2011

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Hi Tammie,
I work in a daycare and I am one of the educarers..children cry when they are dropped off..we redirect their attention to something that is colorful and interesting and before long they are fine going about their business..Be strong and drop off your little one give him a hug and a kiss and tell him you will be back..don't try and sneak out..it upsets them more..One thing I have observed if Mommy is cryin the kids will too..Best of luck it gets better I promise..

Candace - posted on 10/11/2011

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Yes. I am currently going through this right now. My son is almost 3 and he does this to me when I drop him off but I just remember back to the days when I used to teach at a daycare. I had children that would cry to the point that they were gagging because they knew that their parents were going to leave. About 10 mins (if that) later they would be fine and playing with their friends or me. I know it's really hard listening to your child cry but just remember that it's for their own good. They learn quite a bit while in daycare and social interaction with children their own age is very important. The worse thing that you can do is linger when your child is crying, just give him a hug and kiss and let him know that you will come back. I always tell my son that Mommy will always come back. Then I kiss him and hug him and tell him that I love him. I of course leave with my head down because you do feel a little bad but it gets easier.

Alisha - posted on 10/11/2011

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When my daughter has those issues I kiss the palm of her hand and tells her when she misses me to hold on to it.

Katie - posted on 10/11/2011

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I have worked at a daycare for over 3 years and it does get better it will take him a couple weeks to get use to the new routine of things but before you know it he wont even care that you are leaving because he will be so excited to play with his new friends.

Mary - posted on 10/11/2011

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This happened with my daughter at Nursery School. They had been in business for almost thirty years and assured me that she would be fine after a few weeks(she only went twice a week) On the second day of the second week she somehow snuck out of the school and was sitting in the driveway(Gate closed) when the last kid arrived late. They didn't tell me the other mom did. I was so furious I was going to remove her. However after I talked to them the next session and realized she was never in any danger I chilled out. The next week she cried on Tuesday and we talked about it again as we had been she said she wouldn't cry anymore because she knew I would come get her just as I had her sister the 2 years before. She never cried again. It's an adjustment. Just reassure him you'll be back, kiss him and leave. They told me the longer you drag it out the worse it is. I bought a little teddy bear and kissed it as did her dad and sister and put it in her back pack. We told her not to take it out unless she wanted to share the kisses with everyone at school. Worked great.

Stephanie - posted on 10/11/2011

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I have not had to deal with this from the mommy side, however I was an infant through preschool teacher for a couple of years and I can tell you that most children settle down within about 2 - 5 minutes. Part of it is a show for mommy or daddy. Hope that helps to put your mind at ease. You picked the child care facility that you did because you thought they would take wonderful care of your son.

Denise - posted on 10/11/2011

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I did when I left my daughter with my mother because I have always been home withmy children. she shared with me I needed to leave quickly so it didn't upset her. When I did she didn't get upset. It made it worse if I stayed and hugged or held her. I have been a childcare provider for 24 years and it is tough on mommies and dads. You should assure your little one that it will be fine and you will be back. Depending on how old the child the teacher should have the child make a picture for mommy so they stay busy before the entire class has arrived. This takes their mind off of missing mommy and creating something positive usually works. It does take time. Wishing you all the best. : )

Christina - posted on 10/11/2011

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wow - I am dealing with the same thing. My daughter started day care at the end of Summer, and she is doing ok there, but there are days where she just doesn't want me to go and it tears my heart out. I'm not coping. I am just trying desperately to figure out a way to stay home, so that when she is sick (like NOW, she can't go to day care for most of the week per the Dr., and we are scrambling to find care givers for 4 days that WANT to be with a sick child).. I'll have to read the thread for advice too as I am miserably incapable of providing help. Good luck!

Mary - posted on 10/11/2011

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I went through this with my daughter when she was in daycare. When I would drop her off, she was hysterical. I would leave feeling like the worst parent ever. Daycare told me that she was fine after I left. I didn't believe them, but wached around the corner one day ... and she settled down very quickly and was fine.

I did a couple things to help he and me. I gave her a picture of us (in a protective sleeve), she could pull out and look at whenever she missed us. AND I had a very strict routine - I would go in, set her up with her breakfast, I did a 1 hug, 2 hug, 3 hug ... then a see ya soon. First week was still sobbing tears and clinging to my leg. but after that it was soooo much better.

She's 9 and I still try to do that when we separate for the mornings. Good luck - it's hard - I know!!

Deirdra - posted on 10/11/2011

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Hi Tammie, you didn't say how old he is but if he's old enough prepare him at home. My daughter went through the same thing. So I started telling her everyday that she was a big girl and that she had to go to work every morning like mommy. I would have her to prepack her bag at night and keep reinterating that she was a big girl, I was proud of her and that she had to go to work. She got to where she looked forward to help packing her bag and she would say "Mommy do I have to go to work tomorrow" it was the cutest thing! She even wanted to go to work on the weekend. I gave her a digital watch and told her to ask her teacher the time and when it said 5:00 I would be there! She enjoyed it tremendously!

Diane - posted on 10/11/2011

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You can model (show him by doing) the behavior that you want him to display. Keep calm, and do your usual loving good-bye ritual. If you don't already have a good-bye ritual, make one up. Maybe have a mommie/son special hand shake or physical symbol that shows him you will be separated for a time and that you will see each other later. It is sort of like signing for language, but it is signing to say temporary good-bye. Just don't cater to (as hard as this is to do, you have to act like you are not responding to it!) his escalated crying, and he will learn within a few days that you will always be there when you say you will be at the end of his school day. You can have a greeting ritual too that is especially the only one you share at the end of his school day. This will actually help to reinforce your unique school good-bye ritual by having a unique end of school greeting ritual.

Stacy - posted on 10/11/2011

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Keep in mind that these little ones have no sense of time and they depend on the adults in their lives for all of their needs. They are in a somewhat scary world where they cannot read any of the environmental print around them and an hour may seem like 4 days. This is part of building trust and them continuing to build that trusting relationship with you because you are saying that the provider you are leaving them with is someone they can trust. But it takes time and great experiences. I would also suggest that you talk about what is coming up beginning with the night before. My daughter and I always picked out her clothes the night before and talked about the fun she was going to have the next day at school. The morning of we talked about what was going to happen. I would be dropping her off at school where she would get to play with her friends and do some fun things and that I would be picking her up right after (whatever the last activity is before dismissal) so she could start to get a sense of timing. Keep at it...He will be fine...

Sherry - posted on 10/11/2011

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I have run a daycare for 9 years, It is hard on moms when they cry but they adjust better if you dont hang around. Give him a hug and kiss and an idea of when you will return. Like you will play, then lunch, then nap, then after a little more play I will be back. some cry for a few days, then are fine, some cry a week. I have some cry when the come and then cry because they have to leave. kids dont like change but the do adjust. Handing them off is a good idea also if they wont let go. Good Luck

Elisabeth - posted on 10/11/2011

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I didn't read throuh all the post, but have you thought having him take some sorta of lovey that smells like you? My son was fine with daycare but my daughter needed something for security. Even a square cut from oone of your tshirts may help. Just trust those taking care of him and remember it is harder on mom than anyone else. I do agree that lingering makes it worse. I also never say bye, but "see you later", kiss and exit. It does get easier for the both of you.

Asiimwe - posted on 10/11/2011

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Oh my God that is scary. I too don't know what I am gonna do especially since he is beginning school next year. But I guess you need to make him friends at school as soon as possible otherwise he might end up hating school altogether. It can be frustrating having to force him. If he doesn't want, I suggest you give him some time as you encourage him don't force him.

Diana - posted on 10/11/2011

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My daughter was (& at 11 still is) attached to my leg at all times. Up until she was 2 she was with a close friend of mine. Linda was the same age as my mom and had grandkids my daughter's age. My daughter even called her "Mom Mom" just like the rest of her grandkids. When I would leave, she would cry like she just knew I was never coming back. It was heart-wrenching. Linda assured me that it was perfectly normal and that as soon as I left my daughter was fine. I took her word for it even though there were many days that I would have tears streaming down my face as I went to my car. One day during the summer when the windows were opened I arrived to drop her off. She cried like the world was ending as I passed her off to Mom Mom and I turned and left. When I got a few steps off the porch & under the kitchen window, do you know what I heard? A little actress who stopped crying the second she could no longer see me & was asking Mom Mom if she could have a cookie. Do you know what she had the nerve to do then? That little stinker started giggling when Mom Mom brought the cookies down for her to pick one! After that I know longer felt so bad. She did it entirely for my benefit because she knew right which buttons to push. Was she sad when I left? Sure she was, but she knew as well as I did that she was in great hands. When I had to switch her to daycare at the age of 2 she used to do the same thing. I fixed some of that by sitting her at a table when I got her there with a small snack, then I kissed her goodbye, told her I loved her, & to have fun, & turned & left. Make it short & sweet. Don't linger; Don't look back. If they try to do the leg hold, have a teacher ready to a hand-off with him. The first few days are always the hardest. Once he gets used to the routine and makes some friends, I'm sure he will have fun.

Good luck & keep a tissue in your pocket for yourself to use only after you are out of his sight! I know it's harder on Mommy than it is on them. :)

Kendra - posted on 10/11/2011

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I had been going through the same thing with my son but I realized that it was just for me to give in. I always tell him that I love him and I'll be back soon.....so that he doesn't feel like I'm just abandoning him. His teacher told me that he always stops crying as soon as I leave. He just has to get use to the routine because it's a big change, before you know it he won't even care that your leaving.

Crystal - posted on 10/11/2011

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its very hard at first but trust me, but he will leave his shy shell!!! hes just shy but until he makes friends it wont be hard he will get use to it, of course its sad whn they cry when you leave but he eventually he will get use to it :) good luck

Stacy - posted on 10/11/2011

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Tammie,
Most kids go through some spells of separation anxiety. In my job as an Early Childhood Education Instructor at our local community college and a mentor /coach in the classroom, I see this every year. Some kiddos adjust easily and others take some time. My oldest daughter would cling to my leg and I would have to peel her off and hand her off to a caregiver for the first 4 or 5 weeks of preschool. But, I reassured myself that she needed to realize she was going to be okay, she was going to have fun and that I would always come and pick her up. This is an important first step to school readiness and you, I would guess, do not want him to still be going through this once he hits kindergarten. So while I know it is hard to hear him cry, know that he will be fine, he is in good hands and this too shall pass. I promise... Stacy P

Kimberly - posted on 10/11/2011

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Tammie - As the mother of five year old triplets, I can most certainly understand your plight. Reality? He's playing you. Your son is very aware that his crying affects you. I learned to walk away (even if I was tearing up in response). They will survive. And if anything, they will grow from it. That's our job. To give our children the tools to thrive in society. He will get over his anxiety about the new environment much faster if you let him know you have adjusted to it as well and it's a great place to be. In most cases, once you leave, he will realize he has to adjust to survive and will quickly change his tune. There are so many advantages to daycare. You will be fine. Your son will be fine. Good luck!

Heather - posted on 10/11/2011

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I have been through this in two situations. First I have been a daycare teacher and I have a collective 10 yrs experience. Just yesterday I had a first time 1 yr old. I am also a parent of a now 4 and 5 yr old. My 4 yr old son still has issues when he starts a new school. And he always tries to cry or cling when I drop him off (even if he knows I'm down the hall) I give him kisses and hugs and then drop and go. I am told as soon as I leave he stops and goes to play. He has even gone as far as telling me when I pick him up from preschool and we are on our way to daycare that he's going to cry when we get there lol. As a teacher I tell the parent to call as often as they want to check in and to drop them off and go. The longer you stick around the worse it's going to get. No one likes to hear their child cry for them, but you have to do what you have to do, and the child doesn't understand this. I promise you that it will get easier for the both of you probably w/in a week or two maybe even less. It's a learning of routines, people and rules (depending on the age) new schedule and people. Also one of the best things you can do is keep him on the same schedule as the daycare. As much as we would like to go by each individual schedule (unless an infant) it's not possible because there are more than 2 or 3 kids. Hope this helps

Suszanne - posted on 10/11/2011

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Your son is experiencing what most children who go to day care as a toddler go through. You might be able to practice "leaving him" so his anxiety is lessened. Try taking him to your day care and "leave" telling him you'll be back and then come back in 10 minutes or less. You can practice this way for an hour or so if you have time. You will get through this. He will get through this and your relationship will get stronger because you will be teaching him that he can trust you. Good luck!

Mimo - posted on 10/11/2011

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he will be fine by end of the week. Try to reassure him and pick him up at almost the same time daily, that way he will know mummy always comes back and don't worry, the shock of the new surrounding wears out. After day care, spend time with him, ensure he knows and sees that you love him. I'm not talking about spoiling him where you ignore what he does wrong....., I'm talking about ask him how his day was, involve him in the activities around the home i.e during dinner, discipline him, shower him yourself, play with him, read him a story, pray with him before sending him off to sleep. There are countless activities you can do with your baby. Show him that "home is where you find your place in the world and you can always run when thing are rough."

Susanne - posted on 10/11/2011

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i know what you r feeling my son is 3 years and he did the same things on his first day to school but after a week he is now enjoying himself and if it is for his good leave him as long as you go for sure he will stop crying

Ime - posted on 10/11/2011

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Post a reply!
Many mothers have gone thru this before, in some cases, the mothers do the crying. The truth is - he has to stay in school, learn, grow and progress in life. It's a starting point of independence for him. Remember the two of u will not stay together forever. Pick him up after school, u may have to give some analgesic to relieve headache, by the next week he'll make friends and get used to staying in school. Be strong and firm. It will be fine.

Vanessa - posted on 10/11/2011

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I. Have gone through I, and felt Absolutely guilty! I just kept Coaching myself with posiitiveThoughts. Such as its a natural form of seperatioN & normal to feel that way. BeSt advise always bring in a blanket & or Teddy bear that the child has at home so that he has a piece of comfort. Always keep the same routine when dropping off.AlSo if the daycare has a open policy to visit (just make Sure child doesn't see you) or call in to check in during the day; use it. Hope this helps.

Lisa - posted on 10/11/2011

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I have gone through this 4 times .its separation anxiety.he will eventually get used to the routine of going every day.show him how fun its is to go to daycare.if one of the workers distract him while you leave ,he will be fine.Good luck.!!

Nicole - posted on 10/11/2011

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Back then mine had an easier time when my husband dropped him off. When he was a bit older, and maybe it would work for you now, we gave him a key and told him it was the key to the house and we needed to come get him to get in. Worked like a charm. I got that from an article that left her favorite jewelry, necklace maybe, with her child so they knew mom wouldn't leave that behind. It has them learning their importance to us, and that we won't abandon them.

Rebecca - posted on 10/11/2011

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I've seen two responses to this problem - the first happens when the day care is really good at what they do and the child gets used to the new situation, stopping eventually. The other situation is where the child never gets used to it and the parent has to either switch care or find alternate options. It depends on the child - for now, walk out of the room, do not go back, and trust the day care people to help him. Stand outside the room where he can't see you and listen then call back often throughout the day. If the day care doesn't encourage you to do those things, they stink and you should probably switch.

Krystal - posted on 10/11/2011

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It is very hard when you have to leave you little one but it get much easier once they get the routine of mommy dropping off and mommy coming to pick up. My daughter was mess when I would leave her at daycare but now she cries when it's time to leave. It gets easier with time for the both of you.

Ashlee - posted on 10/11/2011

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Hey tammie my little one started day care at about 6 months and was fine until he got to about 13 months old according to my day care director it's actually normal for children once they are about 12 months to get really clingy to mum up until they are 2 he is now 21 months and is still crying but I also know that he calms down five minutes later and cries when he has to leave. Ur little man will be fine it hurts us more then him ... Hope it helps :)

Sarah - posted on 10/11/2011

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I work in a nursery hun aand have 2children myself, a lot of children do this i no its really hard but you just need to give him a hug and kiss tell him you love him and leave. i no its eaiser said than done but its the best way the longer you stay with him the harder it will be. Most nurseries let you ringg as many times as you want so you can call them when you get home. if hes unselttled maybe make his days shorter and gradually build them up to full days. He will be fine though its all new to him and once he realises that mummy is comin back he'll be great and not want to come home lol. Its the hardest thing you'll do i do it for a living and still find it really hard and get upset. xx

Janice - posted on 10/11/2011

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i went through a similar thing with my boy. i just explained all the events that would happen that day,(morning tea,play,sleep,lunch and pickup at the end!) still cried a little when i left but didnt get overly upset. i now send both boys to family daycare (at a persons home who is a carer/educator) they have so much more interaction with her and they love going now.

Leanne - posted on 10/11/2011

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The first day is new and exciting, then they get upset once they realize it's an every day thing! I work part time in an administrative role at a preschool and we see separation anxiety all the time. It gets better over time - how long depends on the child and sometimes on their age (like a 2 year old never apart from his mother before - pretty difficult to get over!) Give it some time - but if you feel uneasy about anything, ask about dropping in (maybe to observe from afar so you're not seen) or call to check in. Usually the crying doesn't last long after you're out of the picture, and believe it or not, getting into a routine of a quick drop off works best. If your son sees that him getting upset makes you hang out longer, he'll probably keep it up! So as long as you trust the school your son is in, then I'm sure it will just take time for you both to adjust! Good luck.

Jenni - posted on 10/10/2011

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I know it is heart wrenching to see you child cry, but when my little girl used to cling to me when I left, her caregiver told me to sneak back after five minutes: there she was, sitting in the sandpit laughing and playing. They take their cue from us, if they sense we are anxious, they think there must be reason for them to be anxious as well. Be firm and cheerful and it should be OK!

Zory - posted on 10/10/2011

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It is hard =( Sometimes it takes a few days or just 5 minutes for them to calm down and understand that you will be right back! A nice and loving caregiver is a must!

Natalie - posted on 10/10/2011

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Leaving your child crying is one of the most heartbreaking things a mom has to do! I romise this is harder for you than him. I worked in a childcare center for over 15 yrs . The best thing you can do is tell your child in. The car that when you get to his class you get a kiss and you have to leave. And do! Lingering honestly makes it harder fo the child,the arent and teacher. give it 2-3 weeks he will get use to the fact you are leaving but coming back. A lot of kids even cry when they are icked up for awhile but befor you know it when you come he will be crying to stay and play longer.I know its difficult but it gets easir get the book called The KissingHand and try this with your son or send a icture in a ziloc of you he can keep in his bag or cubby when he wants mommy. Stay ositive and use a hay ppositive tone about school even when you want to cry. It will get easier I promise. My son did that the 1st month of kinder good luck Natalie

Maria - posted on 10/10/2011

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Sometimes it is we Parents that makes them feel and act the way they do. We are worried too much that the kid feels it When you are sick you will notice your child will be staying around you all day sometime grouchy because they feel it your genes and his genes in away connects. Like body language its only the ones close to you who can read it. Its the parent and child bond special when we are the ones who spends a lot of time caring for them. It hurts but one must let go. We have a lot of this stages to go through. It hurts i know i have been there but make sure you dont let your kid feel it coz it affects them more,we are the one sending them feelings of doubt and fear.

Mrs Asraf - posted on 10/10/2011

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As I'm typing. I am at the neighbourhood where my 18months old goes for her childcare. And am crying at the sound of her tears and the sight if her arms reaching out to me. I promised her that I'll be back, kissed her goodbye and pray that she will be fine. It was the heaviest walk. But I cannot look back. I have to walk away confidently fr her to have confidence that I'll come back. She doesn't have to see me weep :(

Tracy - posted on 10/10/2011

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I worked with the daycare and made it possible for a graduated entry for my first. My second was no problem as we had spent some time at the daycare while I was on maternity leave so my first could have play dates with the other kids at the daycare in the dc environment. But with my first I spent a few weeks getting her acclimatized... a couple of hours on two days first week, 4 hours on a couple days the following week, then a full day. I would stay for the first little while, but when we got onto the 4 hour days, we found there really wasn't any reason for me to stick around and she acclimatized much better. It was hard in the beginning as when she started all day for 5 consecutive days, she would cry and cry as I left. I would get into the car and bawl... it was tough, but usually my phone would ring 5 minutes after I left and it would be the daycare... just putting my mind at ease because she was now quiet and playing happily. The tantrum at the beginning was solely for my benefit... Hang in there, it will get better.

Sharyn - posted on 10/10/2011

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As an educator with Family Day Care, you need to be strong.....say goodbye and go.....depending on how often he goes to daycare. will depend on how long it will take for him to be settled when you go! Please don't go back in and try to console as this is what they want.....just be strong as I know it breaks your heart to see them like that, but, the sooner they know you will not be hanging back the sooner they settle. I have had over 15 years experience and children are very knowing little creatures, they settle before you get in the car most times.

Caroline - posted on 10/10/2011

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I really don't like it when people say, "They only cry for 5 minutes". It may be true for some kids, but it's definitely not true for all. My then-2 year-old never liked me leaving. He's a teenager now, and can't wait for me TO leave. Funny that way!

I personally think that this is another "let them cry themselves to sleep" sort of scenario. You don't like it, but the "experts" tell you to do it, so you reluctantly do it. At this point, I wish I hadn't done it. That's their window of separation anxiety and really need to be able to count on stability and predictability, and that's the time of their lives that they really need the mother. The fact that some kids cry more than others, IMHO, means that they're not ready. I dropped him off a couple days a week starting at 2.5 because I felt it would be good for him. I don't think it was good for anyone.

I did the same thing for my second child, again, due to pressure. Looking back, I feel like I should have waited until they were past that phase.

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