Need Help Dealing with Leaving Daughters at Daycare.

Updated on May 17, 2008
L.A. asks from San Antonio, TX
9 answers

Hi Moms! I guess all I really need are some encouraging words & maybe some advice on first time daycare. I have two daughters a 1 year old & a soon to be 2 year old in July. They have always been babysat by my aunt, but will begin daycare at the end of the month. I am having a really hard time with this. When we went to visit the day care, everyone was really nice & all but my oldest daughter (the soon to be 2 yr old) was just so scared. All the other kids in the 2 yr old class huddled around my husband & started yanking at his wallet chain & talking to him & the whole time my older daughter was just hiding behind his leg. She seemed so intimidated & scared, & timid around all the other kids. She was just doing her best to stay hidden from them behind mommy & daddy. If I had another choice, I most definetly would not leave them in daycare, I'd prefer family, but this is my only option. I know so many parents go through this, I guess I would just like to know some other parentts' experience leaving their little ones at day care for the first time. I know it's going to be so hard on my girls & even me. I'm the one who's going to have to drop them off & daddy will be their night in shining armor picking them up. I just don't know how to deal with this. It is so scary & emotional for me, I can only imagine how my babies are going to feel. How can I just walk out & leave my baby crying & her not understand that mommy has to go to work & that she'll be ok. I know I would have to go through this when they start school, but I figured I had a few years til then, they're only 1 & 2. I just don't think I'm ready for this, but we have no other option. Anyway, any encouraging words or your experience on how long it took your kids to adjust would be greatly appreciated. THANKS.

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answers from Houston on


Don't worry so much!!! As long as you have done your homework and picked a daycare you feel good about everything will be fine.

My son (almost 3) has stayed with family with the execption of mothers day out twice a week. In August he will start full time daycare too. I have done my homework and have peace about him going to the one I have chosen.

I worked in daycare while I was in high school and the teachers really love the kiddos! You would be suprised at just how much. It has to be the love of kids that keeps them in the childcare business because it is a very low paying field.

I will keep you and girls in my prayers as you adjust to the new changes. EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE!!!!!




answers from Corpus Christi on

Maybe it will help if you just keep in mind that your 2 year old needs to learn how to interact with her peers, and she's not going to develop that skill as long as she is not in an environment that promotes that. Its great that you had your Aunt to keep your kids all this time, but the downside to that is that they aren't going to have the social skills that children in daycare have, thats why your daughter reacted to the other children the way she did. Once she is there and gets to know the kids, she won't be afraid or shy, she will be one of the group grabbing onto strange parents wallets who bring their shy toddlers in for the first time :)



answers from Houston on

I know this is hard. My family watched my daughter and with my son we moved to a whole new state. I had to put him in daycare. And as a mother I would stay and be late for work just not wanting to leave him. He'd cry and and cry and scream JUST ONE MORE KISS..MOMMMMMMY MOMMMMY. The daycare lady took me to the side and said let's try saying our good byes in the car and kisses at the door and just let him come in with me at the door. If you want to peek in the window for the whole day feel free but just don't let him see you.
It worked after a week. WOW did it work.

And my goodbbyes would always be things like don't worry daddy's going to get you and mommy will be home shortly after that. And if your a good boy and go in well go to CHUCK E CHEESE on the weekend.

It was so cute cause every friday his teacher would say. Josiah have fun at CHUCK E CHEESE.. HEHE he'd remember..

And 2 years later I got prego decided to quit my job and stay home. But my sons school insited I stay and work for them.

As a teacher to 2 year olds It was heart crushing to hear them cry. But it is easier for both us and you to let them go at the door. They do cling and cry and reach out to you. But after a while they are having so much fun. From playtime and centers arts and crafts etc. There day is filled and they really do have a good time.

If there still crying after a month then I'd worry.

Oh and remember Monday's are the hardest no matter how long they have been in Daycare.



answers from Houston on

I have to say, I have worked in daycare most of my life and it does make you feel sad that you are leaving your little one. But, my advice is, to just drop the child off and go. Don't linger in the room. They just cry longer. If my parents want to talk to me, we go outside the room. And if there is another way around so the parent doesn't walk in front of the window, they go the other way. you can always call and check on your child also. I also would suggest, not to call at naptime. When a phone is transfered into a room, it startles the children while they are asleep. I don't know if your daycare has phones in the room or not but mine does.



answers from Austin on

You will be amazed at how well they will adjust and how much they will enjoy it. My husband is off of school for a whole month and we both decided to keep both of them home during that time (2yo & 5mo old). Our 2yo started asking to go back in less than a week. All she says at home during the day is "I play w/---"...insert any number of friends:) It will take a little time, but they will reap many benefits



answers from Austin on

Hi L.,
Oh it is always so hard when they first start daycare, but I do think alot of the time it is harder on the parents than it is on the kids! I am a kindergarten teacher and have also worked in daycares. The children really seem to adjust just fine. Infact they really enjoy making friends and having fun activities all day. To prepare them (and yourself) let them know exactly what to expect, and how much fun it will be for them. The first day it is usually best for you to leave as soon as possible. It seems to be harder on children when their parents linger around. And then if you are like I was, you can cry in the car! It does get easier each day!! My daughter is 3 now and loves her daycare! Good Luck!!

M. H.



answers from Houston on


Your daughters will probably adjust to it faster than you will! The first few days (maybe weeks) might be tough but they will make friends and have fun being in school. One suggestion I do have, if you have the time to do this before the end of the month, try taking them to their new school for a couple of short days before you leave them there for a full day. Maybe the week before they start they could go for just a few hours each day.

I do have one story for you, my daughter went to school when she was 2 with a little girl who screamed and cried every time her mom dropped her off. She would throw a huge tantrum. Of course, the mom felt guilty and she kept staying longer and longer or she would step outside, wait 3 minutes and then go back in. Anyway, one day the mother had to leave quickly because of a commitment at work, she was in tears because she could not stay to comfort her child. I told her that I would stay outside and call her cell phone to let her know that her daughter was ok. Her daughter saw her walk passed the window of the classroom cried for MAYBE 1 more minute and then went to play. She was absolutely fine once she knew that her mom was gone. From that day forward the mom gave her a hug goodbye and left. The daughter tried the tantrum thing for a week or so after the mom discovered this, and then was fine.

As long as you feel that you have found a good childcare provider, you'll just need to be strong for a little while to get your daughters used to their new surroundings. Once this is done, they will be fine and in the future when you need to leave them with a new babysitter or they start doing other activities with other kids and authority figures, they will adjust much more quickly.

Good Luck,



answers from Houston on

I'm sure you are going to get a lot of responses, as this hits home for so many people. Of course it will be hard and I think it is harder for you since your children are old enough to cling to you when you leave them. I am sure there are some books about starting school or daycare that you could read them to make it seem more normal and positive. Mine started daycare as babies and I felt terrible even though they did not really know what was going on. It sounds like the kids there feel secure in interacting w/ you when you visited so that is a good sign. I still remember my babies' first days in daycare, I even saved my older son's outfit he wore on his first day, as it is such a milestone for me even though he was 3 months at the time. It IS harder for you then them, and you need to do your best to learn to relax and accept it so they won't pick up on any more tension than necessary from you, if you act happy and positive about it they will do better than if you show how anxious you are. If it is a good daycare, your kids will flourish and enjoy it eventually. It is normal to feel like you do, the first day will be the hardest; don't be afraid to call the daycare later in the day (or even morning) to check on them - it will make you feel better. Also, follow your instincts about the daycare and don't be afraid to change if you don't feel "right" about it - there are great daycares and crummy ones, but you are a good mom and you will know the difference. No daycare is the same as home but they do benefit from it as well, making friends and learning a lot of skills they would not at home. Good luck and I pray you will have a peaceful and positive transition - feel free to come here for advice if you need to as you go along! Take care and blessings to you and your babies. It will be OK!!



answers from Houston on

I completely understand how you feel. I think it is completely normal. I used to work in my sons daycare. The best thing to do is have a positive attitude when you drop them off. Give them a hug and kiss and then let them go. Do not linger, this only makes it worse (for you and the child). You children may fuss and even cry, but I promise you 5 minutes after you leave they are fine!

You can call and check on them during the day, I always did! So after dropping them off when you get to work check in.

The first few days may be rough, but after a week they will begin to enjoy themselves. This is a great way to learn social skills, making friends, sharing, crafts and learning!! There are a lot of positive to daycare, and a lot of children (and parents) who have survived the daycare experience.

If you end up unhappy with this particular daycare, don't be discouraged just find another one!

Hang in there, it will work out!!

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