Advice on easing into daycare?

So, the baby's born, what comes next? Discuss your postpartum and parenting concerns here.
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Re : Advice on easing into daycare?

Postby mamc2003 » Tue Mar 14, 2006 04:39 pm


You might be surprised to find that daycare might actually bring Lily out of her shell. Avery was 2 when I put her in daycare. She has always been the shy, reserved type and has never really wanted to play with other kids. In fact, she'd cry around other people. I didn't have a choice about bringing her only half a day, or just a couple of hours. She had to start off going from 9-5. The first month was hard on her. She cried when I left her and the teachers said she wouldn't play around the other kids, that she pretty much went to a corner and played by herself.

It's been 3 months now and you wouldn't believe the difference. When I drop Avery off in the mornings, she yells "bye mommy" and she's off to play. I can't say that she plays well with other kids, but she does interact with them better. Her vocabulary has also greatly improved too.

I worked in childcare for six or seven years and agree that if you can go with her before the big day and let her check out the playground and classroom, that really does help. Also, letting her pick out her own nap pad and pillow and blanket can help.

Good luck.

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Re : Advice on easing into daycare?

Postby shelbys mom » Tue Mar 14, 2006 01:54 pm

Tracey, I started Shelby one day a week when she was almost a year old, I was lucky and had my sister to watch her when I went back to work, she went full time when she was 2.5, look around and be happy with your choice, one of my biggest concerns was them being locked in, and access is restricted by a code entry

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Re : Advice on easing into daycare?

Postby tracey » Tue Mar 14, 2006 01:30 pm

Thank you all so much for your replies! Your experience and input is invaluable -- and very much in keeping with the advice I have received from others.
I bit the bullet this morning and set up her starting date. She will go parttime for one week, then full time from there on in. sigh. I am so certain this will be harder on me than her -- afterall, I'M the one crying about it 6 months before the fact![;)]. And I absolutely agree about saying "goodbye" and not slinking off when she's not looking-- it's going to break my heart to do it, but I know I have to!
Again, thanks so much! Wish me/US luck!

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Re : Advice on easing into daycare?

Postby season » Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:55 pm

I have friends that work in daycare. So this is all from what I've heard,as I am at hoem with my kids. From what I understand, it seems to work best, to go once with the child for an hour or two to check it out. The next day leave her for awhile (a few hours.) Do this for a few days, maybe extending the time - but keeping yourself availble in case she is just plain inconsolable. After a week or so, plan to be at full days. At 18 months she will probably still be dealing with separation anxiety, even with the easing in period there will probably still be tears, but she will be accustomed to the teachers and routines at that point.

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Re : Advice on easing into daycare?

Postby rachel a » Tue Mar 07, 2006 03:17 pm


The best advice I can offer--do what makes her feel most comfortable. Like you, we were fortunate enough to not need daycare until Dylan was 10-11 months old.

We tried to "ease" Dylan into daycare, but he didn't do well with the few, infrequent visits to daycare. He prefers predictable routines (I mean... really, really prefers routine), and going for a few hours increasingly more each visit for a few weeks didn't make him feel good. As a matter of fact, he cried at each drop off. However, when we nose-dived into daycare and he was able to develop a predictable routine, he did much better. After one week of steady daycare, he more readily went to his teacher and sometimes, without a single tear.

Now I, on the otherhand, cried frequently and it took a couple of months for me to feel better. It's a hard transition for mommy, too.

Best of luck!!!

ETA: Meg brought up a really good point. As hard as it is to just say goodbye and leave, that's the best (I know, I know... it's really, really, really hard). I once dragged out the goodbye with Dylan because he was crying only to come back a few hours later and he was still crying. Needless to say, I didn't drag out goodbye after that. And, I sincerely believe in saying goodbye and telling him "Mommy is going to work." I want him to be aware that Mommy is not abandoning him and that I'm also not sneaking away. I've read often that some babies develop trust issues when parents sneak away and don't say "goodbye".

I know this is tough hon, but it does get better.

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Re : Advice on easing into daycare?

Postby arj » Tue Mar 07, 2006 03:16 pm

We started Evan in daycare in October, when he was 27 months old.

More than likely, it will take a couple of weeks for Lilly to adjust. Evan can be a little shy too when meeting new people, so they sound kind of similar. I won't lie, you may shed some tears because they are just so pitiful when you leave them. Evan cried for a good 2 weeks each morning, begging us not to go, banging on the daycare door "Mommy! Daddy!" It was hard. And each morning he would whimper "No, no" in the car because he knew where we were going.


We initially thought we could "ease" him into it by spending more time with him in the mornings when we dropped him off, but honestly, that seemed to make it worse. So we limited it to a couple of minutes, lots of hugs, kisses and reassurance, then we said goodbye and left.

After a few weeks though, he really adjusted to the new place. He has lots of friends and loves his teachers. We say goodnight to each and every one of them now before he goes to bed. Sure, he's a little clingy in the mornings and doesn't want us to leave, but now he'll say bye without any tears and he enjoys running off with his buddies to ride trikes or eat a snack, etc.

Whichever way you decide, just know that she will be fine. I know how hard it is, but I think daycare has a lot of advantages. She will really blossom being around her peers, and she'll have a lot of fun.

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Re : Advice on easing into daycare?

Postby meg » Tue Mar 07, 2006 03:15 pm

ALl 3 of my kids have been in daycare, but they have all been infants when starting, so I have never really started an "older" child. I think I would ease her in a bit, but not too much. Like take her maybe for 2 hours one time, and half a day the next and then full force from then on. ALso, give her a good hug and kiss and tell her bye and just leave. The longer you hang around, the harder is actually is for her. I know its hard when they are crying but its actually better if you do it quick and sweet. ALso, dont even "sneak" off when she is distracted with a toy ( although I know its tempting) because that just breeds insecurity in them that any time they turn around you might be gone. Go ahead and be up front that you are leaving but that you will be back. Give her and hug and kiss, wave bye and then leave. It usually takes about 2 weeks for full adjustment, so be prepared for a few rough days in the begining.
Also, her behavior around other children is likely just a part of her personality in my experience. I have one of my 3 that is very shy and thats just they way she is and always has been. But she is 4.5 now and is much better. But being in daycare will help Lily with her social interaction skills. {HUGS} I know its hard, but you will both make it!

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Advice on easing into daycare?

Postby tracey » Tue Mar 07, 2006 02:57 pm

I am very lucky in that Lily will actually be a year and a half when I start back to work in September. We know that we need to start putting her in this summer, BEFORE September hits, but am actually wondering about the best way to go about it. I asked the daycare, (which is where DH & I both work), and they didn't really give me a helpful answer, only that it depends on the child, and our needs.
I have noticed that Lily is a pretty shy and reserved child in public (but quite confident at home!). Even in the mom's group she has been with since she was 6 months old, she is the only little one that isn't right in the middle of the fun. She is starting to a bit more, with my encouragement, but in general she seems to prefer smaller groups of people or one-on-one. I am wondering if this is developmental (she just turned a year), or maybe it is just who she is, as DH and I were both shy children. Nevertheless, my stomach is in knots when I think about the highly emotional episodes I anticipate in a few months. Anyone have any suggestions? I guess I am asking if you think it would be best to EASE her in (eg., a couple of mornings or afternoons only a couple days a week), or "submerge" her a little more fully? Any advice/experience would be greatly appreciated!

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