Advice for Day Care

Updated on April 24, 2007
L.Y. asks from Waukee, IA
13 answers

hi, I just started to go back to work again and I put my 22months old son in a day care today. He's been crying for a long time and my husband end up brought him home. We're so stressed out! Don't know what to do. Any good advice how to leave him and I heard everybody said that he will get used to it eventually. Is that true?? Anything I should do? I wish I can stay at home with him as I used to, but we need extra cash . Any advice or input will help. thanks!

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So What Happened?

Hi everyone, thanks so much for the advices. We will try for a week and see how it goes. My husband still stressing out and thinking to get an in home day care better than a center.
Do you have any advice between in home VS center?

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answers from Omaha on

It's so hard! I put mine in day care at 6 months - he adjusted pretty quickly. Then I stayed home with him from 18 mos to 2.5 years and put him back in day care and it took a while for him to adjust...almost a month. I took him part time at first to get him used to it. I think he went two 1/2 days the first week, then 2 1/2 days and 1 full day the next week. Then full time.
He'll get used to it, it's just going to take a while. My little guy cried for 30 minutes the first day,,,then it was 15 minutes for a couple days...then it was 10,,5,,2,,O!

Good luck!

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answers from Rapid City on

Hi Erna:

I feel your pain. I've had to do that with my children in the past. They do eventually get used to it. Usually only takes a few days. It's sad that we moms have to part with our babies so we can afford to live though.
I am now, after many, many years a stay-at-home mom. I actually found a way to make extra money at home and would love to share with you what I do. It might just take the strain off of you of having to do the whole daycare thing. I mean, factor in the cost of daycare and what you actually make when you go to work, this might just be something for you. You never know and it costs nothing to listen to the information. It's been a total God send for me and my family. Now I'm able to stay home with my 3 children. What a blessing it's been. And I'm still bringing in an income from home.
Go to:
Go to "get more info" and I'll personally call you back and get you the details. There is no selling, stocking or delivering of products....another great reason I love what I do!!!
God bless!!



answers from Omaha on

Hi Erna,

I am in total agreement with these smart ladies! I am also a daycare provider in business for the past 18 years. The best way for you to handle this is to start talking about your schedule from the moment your day begins. For example, "Good morning lovebug! We are going to change your diaper, and then after that, we are going to get dressed, eat a little breakfast and then we are going to C.'s house where you are going to see your friends and play all day while Mommy is at work." While you are driving to your daycare provider's home, talk about the buildings you pass everyday, talk about where you turn the corner, etc. By doing this, you are creating structure and schedule. He will know exactly what is coming up next, he will be prepared for it and then when you get to your provider's home, give a quick kiss and hug and tell him you will see him after nap and snack. Leave immediately. Prolonging your departure will only make things much, much worse. Many times I will tell parents to wait at the top of the stairs and listen after the kids think they have left. For the most part, the kids quit fussing very quickly and get involved in an activity. Your daycare provider should be guiding him toward something to do. Puzzles and books are a great way to distract someone immediately.

When I have kids that have separation issues, I always go over the schedule with them, talking about all the things they do in the morning to prepare for daycare and then what we will do during the day. Kids thrive on schedules and boundries.

Before long, your child will be adjusted to his schedule and you may have a difficult time prying him away from his friends at daycare!

Good luck and let us know how things are working out.




answers from Omaha on

Hi Erna!
First thing I would say is this....Do you personally know the daycare provider? My daughter and I ran daycare and never had this problem with any of the kids we watched. They felt safe and comfortable with us. We also took the time to get to know each child BEFORE we started watching them. There are ways to distract a child and avoid the separation crying. Your daycare provider should know how to do this. Another little hint: how does your child react when you pick him up? Does he want to go home or stay and play? If he runs into your arms and clings abnormally (not the "so glad to see you Mommie" hugs) then I'd be looking for another daycare. Careful screening is a must when chosing daycare. Not every child will connect with one specific provider. Personalities do count when interacting with the kids. Not saying you've chosen poorly or that you're provider is anything less than loving, just giving you another point of view. Sometimes, you have to look beyond the obvious for answers. Hang in there, Sweetie!!!

Just Me!



answers from Fargo on

I have only been doing daycare for three years, but in all that time I have only had one child who never fully ajusted to my setting. In that case it was mostly due to mom sticking around day after day while the child cried (when dad droped off there weren't issues). After 9 months of not adjusting the mom desided to stay at home. The other part was the child needed a smaller setting then I had (I have 12-18 around my house at any given time).

In my expereince the older the child, the harder the adjustment. But if you and the provider can work together it shouldn't take long at all. See if the provider will let you bring a security item (blanket, stuffed toy) or have a picture that stays at daycare at night, but you take with you to work everyday. Also, just having a ritual that you do when you drop off can help. Just remember when it is time to leave you need to just leave.

As a matter of fact, I had a almost four-year-old start this past week. Monday was pretty hard and he sat around most of the day and cried for about 10-15 minutes after mom left. Tuesday, he pouted when mom was getting ready to leave, and then he stood by the door for about 15 min. refusing to interact. By Tuesday afternoon, he was acting like everyother daycare kid. Wednesday, barely any problems at all.

Good luck to you hopefully you and your provider can work through this together.




answers from Omaha on

Yes, he should get over the seperation anxiety eventually, but something you can do to help him, is when you drop him off, just reassure him that your leaving but you (or your husband) will be back a little later to pick him up. Try to take him over to an activity that is going on within his class and help him to get envolved before you leave. It almost gives them a sense of reassurnace that your saying it's okay for him to be envolved and that everything's going to be okay. the first couple of days he may still act the same, but if you continue to do this, he will eventually transition :)



answers from Davenport on

Erna - I am so sorry this has been a hard transition for you. I am a licensed daycare provider and the only advice I can give is to make it quick. What I mean by that is that if you or your hubby drop your son off at daycare, do a quick hug and kiss and "mommy will be back in a little bit" and out the door you go. The longer you sit there and hang out or read to him or whatever, the harder it will be for him to adjust. He WILL get used to it and before you know it he'll be running off when he gets in the door and you'll barely get that kiss goodbye. Find a provider you trust and he will adjust - so will you guys! Good luck and please feel free to email me with any questions you have. HTH K. :)



answers from Des Moines on

Doing it now at almost 2 is going to be harder on both of you and your son than if you'd done it when he was younger, But he will adjust to it. Maybe let him take his special blanket or animal with him.

when you said that dad brought him home because he was crying a long time. Was he there waiting for him to quit or was the daycare calling because they didn't want to deal with a crying child. If it was the latter I'd look for a different daycare. If it was the former, dad needs to strength his backbone, turn around and walk out. because by taking him home, he just caved to his tantrum. (which 2 yr olds are great at). And you just told your son that if he cries loud enough and long enough he'll get what he wants.

Just give him a kiss & hug, and say "I'll be back after you nap to take you home and leave quickly.

Good luck.



answers from Omaha on

I have done child care in my home for the past 17 years so I have lots of experience with kids and parents. If you have your child in day care, they should be prepared to handle separation anxiety. Yes, your child could cry for a long period of time and it will get better as the days go by. You as a parent need to not hang around and drag things out. yes, this can be difficult, but if you trust your providers, it will get better. In my experience, they usually settle down within 10 minutes after you leave. the provider should try to get him interested in other things, to distract him, but sometimes even that doesn't work. sometimes you just have to let him cry. as long as you are assured that your providers can deal with the crying, let them. did the day care call you and ask you to take him home, or did you hang out and watch how he handled it, panicked and took him home? if he was able to see you there, that didn't help. If you want him to succeed at this, you have to give him time. As long as your providers can remain calm and soothing, and don't yell at him, things should be better after the first week. kids will adjust. Good luck!



answers from Lincoln on

He will get used to it, but it will take time. You ahve been home for such a long time that he is not understanding what is happening. Get a book like Mom and Dad go to work. I think there are tons out there. Also talk about it and that way it is not a suprise in the morning. Another thing you could try is to start to go back to work part time and ease him into the daycare. I would also ask your provider how long it is before he is calm and able to play? Is this something that is bothering her and the other children? What would she suggest? Good Luck and remember that it will get better with time!!!



answers from Grand Forks on


That's a hard thing to go through. My son was being cared for at someones home with only 2 other children there and he would cry all day for a month. Well that wasn't working out. he was less than a year old at the time. But almost a year. So after a year he went to a daycare with his sister. It worked out ok but I ended up staying there for 1-2 hrs a day. I worked nights and this worked out ok for us. I got to spend time with him and he got use to the new daycare. but the best I think is in there own home they sleep in there own bed and get to eat there own food. And get one on one care like he dose at home. My son is in school now and is doing fine. Just thought I would share with you.
Go with your gut feeling. You are his mother.



answers from Davenport on

I went back to work when my son was 3 months. He also cried alot (considering I was the only one home with him most of the time). It took a while for him to adjust, but he did adjust. Just for the record, he is now 1 1/2 years old. Most of the time, he is out of my arms playing before I get thru the door. But if he spends more than 4 or 5 days away from daycare, he goes back to crying when I leave. It still breaks my heart, but I know it doesn't last long.
It is really hard but you have to drop him off, kiss good-bye, and leave. If you keep coming back to comfort him, it will only make it worse for both of you.



answers from Omaha on

Hello I am so sorry I know what your going through my son does the same thing when I leave him somewhere. He gets over if after awhile but its hard to leave. I am a licenced daycare provider so I get to stay home with him. I had children that do that also but after 2 days they don't cry when mom leaves. My daycare kids like me and being at my house if u want to chat e mail me

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