Transition to Daycare

Updated on July 13, 2008
C.M. asks from Lenexa, KS
5 answers

My son will be starting back to daycare in a month. He did well in daycare from 5-9 months. Our daycare provider quit and now I'm home with him. I've LOVED our time together, but have to go back to work. We found a nurturing new daycare provider. My son and I have gone over for two one hour visits. The first visit he was Mr. Explorer & during the second visit he sat back and observed staying close to me. I needed some advice on what would work best for his transition to full time daycare. Part of me thinks he should ease into it and the other part can't bear to give up what little time I have left with him. Thoughts??

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So What Happened?

He went for a 1/2 day and a full day the week before he started. It was enough for him to get use to a new environment and for our provider to get acquainted with him & us. Thanks so much for all your help!

More Answers


answers from Kansas City on

i'll ditto everything suzi says. i'm a mom not a provider, but i know with my son i worried (as a toddler, my separation anxiety-induced FITS were legendary, so i feared the worst from my son!) for no reason - there have been days he's cried when i left, but i just give him a kiss and leave briskly, and unfortunately for the sitter (fortunately for me!) she has the job of calming him down, which he always does almost immediately. it'll be easier if you face it with confidance and a good attitude. (for him, AND for you!) i say enjoy this time with him while you can. he'll be fine! :)



answers from Kansas City on

Ditto to Suzi. I am a Mom and a provider. Drop them off and leave quickly. When you pick up your child hang around a little bit and talk to the provider. Let you child see how comfortable you feel with the provider and your child will feel more comfortable. Also, I have full time and part time children in my care. Full time children always adjust faster. Just jump right in full speed ahead. He'll be fine.



answers from St. Louis on

i understand. i had my daughter in daycare from 10-13 months and then home with me for 2 months over a christmas break. she then had to go back so i could attend school and i did the same things, a few short visits...that worked pretty well. when it was time for me to go back to school i dropped her off that morning and went to my car and cried...even though she was fine! she didnt even notice that i left and grabbed a book and plopped down on her teachers lap, i could see them through the window. you need to think that since he is acting that way on the second visit,he wants to know that him joining in the class is ok with YOU. ("is this ok mom?") it seems to already be ok with him! my daughter did the exact same thing. he will be just fine with it as long as you are. he doesnt really probably have a concept of how long you are gone. it can be harder sometimes if he gets used to you being at daycare with could become confusing. i would say if you want to, take him for short visits and dont stay there, go run a few errands. then when you come to pick him up, spend a little time talking to the provider and go home. this lets you maximize your time with him and gets him used to the idea that you are leaving now, and coming back soon!



answers from Kansas City on

I think that dropping him off should be fast, but maybe you could drop himk off with the new daycare for a couple of hours a few times before you go back to work to ease him into it. Then it won't be such a shock to him.


answers from Kansas City on

From the mommy perspective I can understand how you feel. I only wish there was a really good way to transition him into staying there. But from a daycare provider perspective with 21 years behind me, I think fast is better. Just like ripping off a bandaid. Slow is torture. You need to work hard not to let your own feelings show. Be positive about it. Talk about how nice of a day he will have. Give him something to feel familiar with, a toy, blanket and even a picture of you. But leave him fast at the door and let this provider do her job. It could take as little as 2 days or as long as a month for him to stop crying at the door. But I promise that in 99% of the cases he'll be playing happily before you have a chance to drive around the corner.


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