Transitioning into daycare tips? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 01-23-2012, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll be starting school at the end of this month. 9 month old DS has been with me 100% of the time since he was born, except for a couple times when my mom watched him for a couple hours.  he still is 90% BF, with a little bit of baby led solids. I'm going to have to leave him for 3-4 hours 4 days a week. I'm hoping it will only be enough time for him to play a little, have a snack, and then i'll be back! He falls asleep for naps on me, and I;m not quite sure he'll take a bottle (although i have been pumping like a mad woman just in case).

any advice on how to make this a smooth transition from mamas who have been there before?

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#2 of 16 Old 01-23-2012, 04:20 PM
 
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Who will be taking care of your child while you are in school?  I put my daughter in day care for 4 afternoons a week when she was 5 months old.  After a couple of weeks, I came to the realization that wasn't going to work.  She was too sad and I had to go to her to breast feed once at day because she would not take a bottle.  I eventually hired someone to come to our house.  I don't know if that is financially feasible but that seemed to be less stressful for all of us.

I think it will be a difficult transition.  Keep remembering why you are doing what you are doing (i.e. going back to school).  Remember how it will help both you and him in the long term.   I think that helped me feel better in the long term.  Good luck!


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#3 of 16 Old 01-23-2012, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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unfortunately private child care is not an option for me otherwise it would have been my first choice. hopefully it wont be as hard on my LO as it was on yours, because this is my only option! i have to go back to school in order to receive financial benefits from the state that my son and i need.

i think keeping my long term goals in mind is a good point.

i'm looking for practical advice on how to make this transition as easy as possible.

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#4 of 16 Old 01-23-2012, 10:54 PM
 
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As a daycare provider.

 

Short amounts of time, but consistant days is the easiest. It's hardest on the kids if they come M + W and then are home a whole week (or any type of 1 - 2 day combination.

 

I would try in the beginning, at least until he is used to it, to send him at least 4 days a week. Even if he is only there for  2 hours because he doesnt' need to be there that day. IME, it's much harder on the kids that come sporatically than the kids who have a consistant schedule (and that includes every other day, also difficult for kids). 

 

Also, try really hard to bring him in a good mood (ie: fed and slept). I know it's not always possible, but at least in the beginning if you can.

 

At his age I would use an avent sippy cup to try to give bm or water. take out the spillproof vaulve in the beginning so he realizes milk or water comes out of the cup. Try the milk warm and cold, some kids like it one way or the other. Once he gets teh concept of the cup, you can put the valve in and he can have some sucking needs met. Go for the hard spout if he has teeth, the soft one will last you all of 2 days before he chews through it.

 

Ask DCP about bringing something back & forth. I always allowed and encouraged a small stuffed animal, a cloth diaper, something from home to come with the kid.

 

In my experience it can take up to a month for a child to adjust, so don't give up too soon or assume it's the daycare (of course if you are seeing red flags do something!). Even after a month a bit of crying in the morning is normal. I have one who has been with me 9 hours a day now for 3 months. He still needs to make a whimper in the morning for the benifit of his mother. The second she closes the door he gets this big grin and starts to play.

 

Good luck! I agree remember your goal in mind and have confidence that you chose a good person to watch ds when you can't, and it's for a good reason.


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#5 of 16 Old 01-24-2012, 02:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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THANK YOU. this all very helpful advice :)

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#6 of 16 Old 01-26-2012, 10:41 AM
 
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Ah, Mama! I don't envy you. It's SO hard to let them go!

 

I have been working since my daughter (now one year) was only 3 months old, but my husband was able to stay home with her until she was about 8.5 months, at which point she started going to daycare. She's been going for about 3.5 months. Here's my straightforward, no bones-about-it advice:

 

1) Drop him off quickly. He will cry. You will probably cry. But remember, drawing it out will just make it worse. Rosa still sometimes cries on the days when her favorite provider is not there. You just have to give him over, and walk away. Lingering will only make it worse. Trust me!

2) Don't call all the time. If I feel she is having a really bad day, I'll call once, mid-day, just to check on her. And she is ALWAYS doing fine (or, at least, that's what they tell me;).

3) I agree with Justmee (above): try and transition into it. Start with just a few hours at a time, a few days a week, and work your way up. Our daughter goes pretty much all day W-F (three days/week), and Wednesday is still by far the worst, b/c she's had four whole days home with one of us. However, it only takes her a little bit to readjust.

4) Sleep with one of his blankets at night, so when you bring it to daycare it smells like you. Then, when he takes a nap, he can smell you. (That sounds SO SAD, right?!?!) But it works. And, strangely, Rosa naps much better at daycare then she does at home, so go figure.

5) (AND THIS IS THE BIG ONE - so please don't freak but I'm just being honest): Be prepared for your little one to get sick. It will happen, there's just no way to avoid it when they're that little. And he will recover. And then probably get sick again. But it's not the end of the world - they are really super strong, those little ones.

 

Most importantly, remember that daycare is actually GOOD for your boy. Although private in-home childcare may be preferable in some ways, it's SO GREAT that you're giving him the opportunity to interact and play with other children. You will see a world of difference in all of his skills and the way he develops. And I know it's so tough to be without them, but it's also a great opportunity for you to focus on being YOU. Although I'm no big fan of working 40 hours a week, I know it's totally helped me maintain my identity as a person (and not just mommy all the time).

 

YOU CAN DO IT! And good luck!


Happy first time mama - Rosa born 2/4/11!
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#7 of 16 Old 01-26-2012, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you mama, its really good advice... and for some reason it brings me to tears. i'm not sure why. maybe the reality of me having to leave him is setting in. 

at any rate, thank you.

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#8 of 16 Old 01-26-2012, 12:27 PM
 
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Aw, MamaMel.

I don't know what to say, besides that I totally get why it brings you to tears. There's some strange combo of missing them, wanting them to be ok, but also not wanting them to grow up and realizing that it's going so fast! (Also - being exhausted and trying to raise a child while working/going to school is enough to make anyone teary).

What I try and remember when I get like that (which is pretty much daily) is all the OTHER mamas all over the world that are doing the same thing. And we all end up raising healthy, well-adjusted, wonderful kids. Your baby boy will be fine without you (but sometimes THAT'S hard to deal with too, right? You want to be able to leave him, but you also want to be the one he always needs).

Anyway! I have no really good advice, just wanted to let you know that there are so many of us in the exact same position. So, you're not alone!

Hang in there! You got this!

<3


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#9 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 07:39 PM
 
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I agree with the ladies above too, but have one other thing to add. Say goodbye. Give him a bye bye kiss, hug, say "good bye sweetie" (or some variation), and let him see you walk out the door.

I say this because a good friend had a son who had horrible separation anxiety, and so she would sneak out every day (he was really bad though, and would literally cry until she picked him up when she did say goodbye). She still has to sneak out and he's 2.5 now.

If you say goodbye though from the beginning, he will learn that you always come back - which is so important!!!
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#10 of 16 Old 01-29-2012, 08:20 PM
 
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Great advice from the PPs!

 

The daycare provider should be your ally in this. If they greet the child with a big smile and by name -- and you give a really cheery hello to them -- drop off goes a lot easier. (I was surprised that some carers didn't do this! Babies pick up on who's a friend.)

 

I started my youngest child in daycare at six months and truthfully it was easier for her than for the children who started a bit later. The older babies "got" what was going on a bit more. However, I never saw any child in real distress. They pick up cues from mama, so being upbeat and keeping to a drop-off routine will definitely help.

 

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#11 of 16 Old 01-31-2012, 01:39 PM
 
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Yes, at 9 months, don't be afraid to try a sippy cup instead of or as another option to a bottle. I'd personally just try the cup first and see if he will take it as that is one less transition to make at some point.

If he has a lovey or pacifier, definitely bring that in. Most daycares encourage this, check with yours to be sure, but I can't see them refusing a comfort item for a baby.

Your first day's goodbye will probably be longer as it can be pretty tough to actually leave for the first time and that's ok, but after that one, I agree try to keep them brief and don't sneak out. As my daycare providers say (and I see with the other kids) 99% of the time the kid that was screaming/crying/etc. when Mom/Dad left is fine a minute or two later, usually 15 seconds later. But it's ok to call if you want to make sure, especially the first couple days/weeks when you need the reassurance. Try not to bug them, but also call if you need to.

To completely transition, I too agree a month is about right. The first week was pretty rough for my DD, the second week was better, the third and fourth weeks much better and after that she was in the groove and settled into a regular feeding schedule and napping well (for her anyway, she is a sleep fighter). That's for your child though, I found for me it took longer than that to adjust, though part of that was sleep deprivation as she was still waking 3-4x or more a night when she started. And I also agree that 9 months can be a harder age than some.

Also, for my DD, it took until just recently here (she is 2 years and 2 months old) for her to be ok with not being picked up and cuddled at least for a bit by someone when she was dropped off. Luckily, she is a cutie, so her teachers never minded, but don't be shy about passing him directly into the arms of a caregiver, that makes the transition a lot easier for a lot of kids.

And don't be surprised if he is emotional right when or soon after you pick him up, a lot of kids will release the tension/stress/etc. of the day once their safe person is back with them. Try to take it for the compliment it is, he feels safe show his emotions to you!

And you will be surprised by how quickly he will make friends and play with the other kids, yes even at his age. I expected that to happen when my daughter was older, I dunno, maybe 18 month-ish, but she had friends nearly from the start at 4 months and definitely by 9 months. Daycares aren't the best environment for every personality, but my DD has really thrived in hers!

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#12 of 16 Old 02-01-2012, 12:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinalla View Post

And don't be surprised if he is emotional right when or soon after you pick him up, a lot of kids will release the tension/stress/etc. of the day once their safe person is back with them. Try to take it for the compliment it is, he feels safe show his emotions to you!
 

Thats a good point it seems to be what he has done so far!
 

 

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#13 of 16 Old 02-01-2012, 12:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So this has been way harder than i expected. DS has cried ALL day the last 2 days when he's at day care. He wont take a bottle, he wont take milk from a sippy, he wont eat solids-- nothing. I'm sure that he is just starving but what do i tell them if he won't eat? 

I feel so bad for him, and every time i call to check in I can hear my poor DS crying in the background. It just breaks my heart. I don't know what to do. I think i mostly need encouragement that this will get better, and honestly I'm not quite sure that it will.. I feel so bad for him and try to imagine how i would feel if i were him. He's probably lonely, confused, and worried, not to mention hungry. that must feel terrible. 

how do you mamas do it?? this sucks.

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#14 of 16 Old 02-01-2012, 03:16 AM
 
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Hugs mama, it will get better!

 

My recent one who started at 11 months cried all day every day for the first week.

The second week, he cried in the beginning for about an hour, and he was weepy the rest of the time but little bursts of happy.

By the third week, he was weepy in the morning, but mostly happy all day.

By the fourth week, he was a regular, happy kid with a little weepiness in the morning.

 

It does get better, the first month is HARD, but it will get better.


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#15 of 16 Old 02-01-2012, 06:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoMamaMel View Post

So this has been way harder than i expected. DS has cried ALL day the last 2 days when he's at day care. He wont take a bottle, he wont take milk from a sippy, he wont eat solids-- nothing. I'm sure that he is just starving but what do i tell them if he won't eat? 

I feel so bad for him, and every time i call to check in I can hear my poor DS crying in the background. It just breaks my heart. I don't know what to do. I think i mostly need encouragement that this will get better, and honestly I'm not quite sure that it will.. I feel so bad for him and try to imagine how i would feel if i were him. He's probably lonely, confused, and worried, not to mention hungry. that must feel terrible. 

how do you mamas do it?? this sucks.



It will get better!! Can you send him with a blanket from your bed, or a loved toy that can remind him of home? A picture of you might help too. Are the daycare workers holding him while he's crying? Ask if you can bring in your ergo (or carrier or choice) to see if that will help soothe him - it might remind him of being held at home, and help to make him feel safe.

 

It WILL get better - find out if they can have him cared for mostly by one person in the center, so that he can form an attachment to that person. I know they will have other children to tend to as well, but if he is responded to mostly by the same person every day it might be better.

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#16 of 16 Old 02-01-2012, 10:25 AM
 
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Ah, poor mama!

I'm so sorry things are going rough. I totally agree with the above post that if you can get him to bond with ONE of the caregivers at the center, that's the best route. Rosa has one woman that she just loves, and she is much better on the days when she is there. Are there any solids that he really loves? Rosa can't get enough of those organic-cheese-puff thingies, and I'm pretty sure that's all she ate for the first week or so of daycare. Better for them to get something down, even if it's not the most nutritious choice.

As everyone else said above, it WILL get better for you! I promise! And just try and remember all the important things, like how you're teaching him to be an independent little person, and how great it is you can go back to school.

Hang in there! We're all routing for you! Hugs!


Happy first time mama - Rosa born 2/4/11!
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