How to Make the Drop off at Daycare in the Morning Go Smoother...

Updated on April 16, 2009
C.L. asks from Odessa, MO
6 answers

Hi ladies, I need some help! My 3y/o started daycare last week, he goes 4 days a week. This is his first time of being watched by anybody other then family. I was a stay at home Mom until last week when I started school. My oldest went to my best friend's in home daycare, so he was a little easier to deal with when dropping off. My youngest was ok the first couple of days when it came to leaving him. But the last few days, and today have been horrible! He starts crying he doesn't want to go to school before we even leave the house, and when we get there he's in tears and doesn't want to let go of me. My close friend's daughter is there, and he knows her, so he has at least one friend. When I pick him up in the evening (he's there from around 8-4:30 or 5) he seems just fine playing by himself, or with others. Any suggestions on how to make the drop off easier? I always talk about school in a positive manner, and the teacher always brings up fun things they can do why he's there, but he just isn't buying it! It breaks my heart, and I feel bad for leaving a crying child with the poor teacher!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers


answers from San Diego on

I agree with keeping the drop off very short, no matter what. I also agree with calling a few minutes later. Most kids stop within minutes. I've seen some stop before the mom even gets the car started.

Another thing you can do is laminate a picture of you and him and hang it on a string so that he can wear it. If they don't want him having it around his neck, you can get one of those buttons that you put the picture into. Hobby lobby would have personalized pin makers. Let your son keep this picture so that he can be reminded that you will come back and the two of you will always be together.

Another thing you could do is bring some treats for the whole class. Let your son know that he will be able to give them to his friends. That may make him feel real special. Let him bring in the cookies or whatever you choose.

Mostly, you should feel good if the place your son is going has a good reputation. It's all so very normal. Just keep in mind that all kids have their own personalities. I have seen kids that belong in a center. I've seen kids that belong in a home situation. I've seen kids that were difficult to please no matter how hard we tried and yet the same child would be pleased as punch with someone else. The funny thing about kids is that they can dislike a grown up and not know why or not be able to put words to it. I used to have a little girl that I homeschooled for half a school year for her parents. The child was 8 and she would get a migraine at school when she wasn't sick. It started happening everyday. So she would come to my house and be all better within minutes. We decided to homeschool her because she was deathly afraid of her school. Later on down the road she admitted to me that she was afraid of the school principal. She described the woman to me as a black woman with really tall big hair that was dyed bright red. She said she wore a lot of makeup and that she had a lot of jewelry on and really long fingernails. She said the woman walked around the school all day long and was in and out of the classrooms and scared her. She never once told me anything the woman said that scared her. It was all about how she looked.

If your son is not complaining and is happy within minutes it's probably okay. But try and talk with him about the school and his day so that you can make sure this is the place for him. No child should be stuck in an environment that is too much for them.


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on


I'm a Home Day Care Provider and a Mother of 4 (youngest ones are in Kindergarten and my 3.5 year old is in Preschool).

From a provider point of view - have a speedy drop off routine. Lingering Moms & Dads do so much more harm than good (and I am a lingering Mom myself). I welcome lovies too, my rule is that they can have their special toy in tow until breakfast then after that, if they don't want to share their special toy they need to put it in their cubby (they can have it back at nap time). As a provider, I have my own routine with each child in the morning. It may vary from child to child, but each has their own welcoming (and parting) routine. For children who need to object to being left in the morning I always try and take them from their parent's arms to mine. I think a gentle touch is very important. Once the parent is heading out, I try and distract the child with a task - maybe helping me put on a morning CD of music, or helping me with the dishwasher, or getting breakfast ready. Sometimes it is a book or a "special toy". I set out special activities in the morning, so maybe helping me pick something out from our Activity Closet. When it is a new child, I always make a point to call the parent's cell as soon as the child settles in - which is often before they even reach the end of my drive. I also welcome parents to call me on my cell. Talk with your provider and ask for their suggestions, how they like to handle it when you leave (so you will know what is happening), if they mind calling you (for your piece of mind).

As a parent, man it is bitter sweet to have your child be upset when you leave them! On the one hand, knowing they prefer you is great - but on the other is all the guilt of leaving them upset! Sometimes my own kids are playing me, sometimes they are really upset - and sometimes I can't tell which one it is. It is in these moments that you know the true value of really trusting who it is you are leaving your child with! Always follow your gut. I've been a Mom for 20 years - never have I regreted following my gut instincts and often I have regreted ignoring them.

Another thing is how you start your morning. If he is being rushed in the morning to wake, get dressed, brush teeth, out the door - that's no good. If he is hungry when you arrive at day care and they aren't eating when you get there - that's not good either. I'm a Home Day Care Provider, so if I know a child is being rushed (by their eyes, the parent's obvious exasperation, crazy shoes/clothes for the weather) I ask the parent to just slow down in the morning. Change their diaper, give them some milk (or a little something to eat) & a morning snuggle - bring their clothes in a bag so that I can change them after breakfast. When a child gets to my house rested, comfortable (not hungry or rushed out the door) it makes for a much easier transition from home to my care.

I think it is very important that you talk positive with your son about his day (someone posted this). It is also important that you talk regularly with him about his day and how he feels about the people who care for and play with him throughout his day. Hopefully your provider gives you some type of Daily Report so you have talking points about his day to engage him in discussions. At 3, even if he can't always express himself well - he will know that you love him, care about him, and think about him throughout your day when you are communicating with him. Chances are, if there is something really great or something not-so-great, he is going to find a way to let you know.

Good Luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

it is so hard! my 2 1/2 year old (who has been in some kind of care since he was six weeks old) is going through this phase right now. i think you're going to have a rough road ahead of you because he is going for the first time at such an older age. he was okay at first because he hadn't put two and two together. now he knows he won't see you all day. don't freak out or let him know it upsets you. the best and quickest way to help him get over it is lots of positive reinforcement ('we're going to so-and-so's house today, it'll be SO fun, you're going to get to play games, and have snacks and play with....') make sure he has some warning before you just appear there and leave him abruptly. but once you are there give him his kisses and hugs, then leave quickly. make sure you tell him you love him and will be back soon, and leave it at that. anything else just drags it out, and really there's nothing you can do. the sooner you get out of sight the better he'll be. sorry to say it but that's been my experience (and also what others have told me). hopefully it'll get easier. no telling when though...just be strong. he will be totally fine. good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I have been there! It is tough to leave them when they are crying, but here is what worked for us. First, don't drag out the drop off. It just makes it worse. When getting ready to leave for school, I would have some sort of game, such as see how fast she could find her coat and shooes. I would set a timer and and see if she could beat her previous time. I also got a fun Easter egg (we used Hello Kitty) and I would put in it something like three M&Ms. She would never know what was in the egg until we got into the car and were on our way to school. This basically distracted her from thinking/stressing about school. We made the drop off easier by having the same ritual every morning. Other parents did the same thing. Some of the things that worked included having the kid literally kick the parent out the door after saying good-bye. Or, saying a silly good-bye poem. Again, something to keep their mind off the good-bye. The more you dwell on it, the harder it is. Something else we did was I would race my daughter to her class once we got inside the daycare. It is hard to cry, when you are racing Mommy to the door!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I'm not sure which is harder, the days when you drop them off and they act like you are abandoning them on a street corner for good, or the first day they race into the classroom without a backward glance to see if you're still around.

Have you asked the daycare how long your son cries after you leave? We had to switch daycares recently, so the fun started all over again. Evan would be bawling 'my mommy' and holding his hands out as far as he could reach as the teacher held him and i'd call 3 minutes later and he'd be playing like nothing happened.

That helped make the good byes easier for me .. I tended to drag the good byes out a little longer than is recommended, but hey, it's scary being 3 and being left with people who don't know just the right way to hold you when you get your feelings hurt, etc.

We had a good-bye hand shake, high fives, elbows, turnaround kiss hug that we sometimes did through tears. Then he added, 3 hand fives (high fives with just 3 fingers), feet, back, head just to keep us around longer, but eventually one day it just stopped.

Another thing that helped Evan was a transition toy ... some daycares are against it, but this one is OK with it .. he brings a favorite toy and it immediately goes into his cubby, but I guess just knowing that piece of home is there helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

All of the other responses are fabuolous. A book that I love that helped is called "The Kissing Hand". It's a special book for kids in this situation. This will help, it always has for my first 2 kids. Also the speedy drop off is key. Tell him, "See, I told you that I would come to get you!". Also, talk about the things he did at daycare at dinnertime with everyone, remind him before bed that he will have daycare the next day. And in the morning let him know that it is a daycare day. This helped my kids, good luck! :)

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches