Tips for Transitioning to Daycare

Updated on March 07, 2007
M.H. asks from Evanston, IL
4 answers

I have an 11 month old daughter and currently work part time. Up until now we have had sitters come into our home; however, I am currently looking for a full time job and will need to put her in daycare. I am a little worried about the transition into daycare. I tried to bring her to the drop-in center at our Y a couple times, and other than the first time, she has cried and not lasted longer than 10 min. The thought of leaving her crying kills me. I'm sure she'll get used to it, but I'm wondering if anyone out there has any tips on how to make the process a little easier.

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answers from Chicago on

This is the most heartbreaking thing! My daughter was 15 months when I put her in a daycare. I would check out places very thoroughly. Check into Action for Children. They can supply you with a list of DCFS certified daycares in your area. (You also might want to check out in-home daycares as they are not as stringent about "rules" as a commercial place.) They will also provide a list of questions to ask and things to look for in a daycare. They'll tell you the adult to child ratio per age group as well. I would never leave my daughter without making sure someone was holding her when I left. She cried a lot at first, but by the time I took her out, she was ok. It was just a very long day for her as I would drop her off at 7:30 and pick her up around 5:00 or sometimes later. Good Luck!

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answers from Chicago on

I'm not quite sure where you are located but we started taking our son to our babysitter when he was 2, she's an at home child care provider and I love it. Primarily because she's at home and not at some commercial day care. Most of those places if not all, don't allow physical contact with the children. That made me very uncomfortable, especailly because at first, my son was very attached and didn't want to stay with her. Luckily, I've known her for many years, so I was very aware of how she did things and how she treated the kids.

Take a look into places or people, that are at home, kids will feel safer and they will transition into different phases, such as potty training, much easier then if they were somewhere else. My child care is in the Logan Square area if you have any questions. She is also much more affordable then a day care center. Good Luck!! [email protected]



answers from Chicago on

One thing to keep in mind is that dropping them off at the Y or Ikea or whatever is not like daycare. My older son has been in daycare since he was 3 months old, and I couldn't leave him at Ikea or the Y because he gets too anxious. The caregivers are nice enough but they don't know the kids, everything's unfamiliar, and it's just not the same. Daycare is like their home away from home - the drop-in at the gym is just some unfamiliar place.

My second son didn't start daycare until he was 11 months old, so I've had to do the later transition also. He's a happy-go-lucky and outgoing child so it wasn't really that bad. The first time I visited with him for about an hour. Then I dropped him off for an hour, then for some short days, and finally full time. It helps if the daycare person can really engage and draw them in to play and have fun with their friends.

Actually, he didn't start fussing about being left at daycare until he went through a mama-clingy phase about 6 months ago, when he was about 2 1/2. That was really hard, and I felt miserable every time I left him. But my husband had easier drop-offs, so we tried to make a point of having him do the drop-off whenever possible. And after a couple of months he started to seem cheerful about going to daycare again.



answers from Chicago on

I put my daughter in daycare at 14 months after being home with her previously full time. I won't lie, it is really hard and you are going to cry just like she will. I almost think it is harder when they are older because they are used to you. That being said, I would tr to bring her for shorter periods at first if at all possible that way it is not such a long day for her.
Good Luck! She will get used to it and even like it:)

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