I work from home, so my baby girl, 15 months, has never had to go to daycare. My parents are nearby so she is used to them and is happy to stay with them. I would like to be able to leave her in the nursery during church and I'd like to have the option to leave her at a daycare for a few hours if I have an appointment and I'm not able to leave her with parents. But, she will not stay with anyone else. When I take her to the nursery at church, I try to get her to play with something and she happily plays, but the second I start to say goodbye and leave, she screams and gets hysterical. It makes me feel horrible and I never am able to leave her like that. What can I do? The daycare workers say to just quickly give a kiss, and say bye bye with a big smile and just walk out and go, and they say she will eventually stop crying and get used to it. But, I haven't been able to do this. I also would only be leaving her in the nursery once a week and/or at the daycare when I have an appt, maybe also once a week if that, so I don't know if that's enough time for her to get used to it. I'm a first-time-mom so don't know what to do. All the kids in the daycare are just calm and happy, and then when I see my daughter freaking out, I feel horrible. I also am worried because I was a sensitive/shy child and I don't know if my daughter will be like me, and I'm afraid of planting a seed of fear if she is sensitive. Does anyone have any advice/experience?
My daughter wasn't ready to be left with even my husband, without me, until she was 18 months old (I know that age precisely because I went to a concert that night with friends and it was the first time I had been away from her, like, ever). She was quite literally attached to me hours and hours every day in a carrier (I also WAH). Up to that point, she had pretty severe separation anxiety and while we could have forced it, it wasn't worth it for us. At that point she was ready and handled it fine, and I was able to go out then and leave her with hub, or my parents, for several hours at a time from that point forward. She handled preschool fine (with one little blip where I did the "just leave and she'll be fine" - and she was because I could see her through a window, literally 30 seconds after I was gone she was fine - that lasted for about 3 weeks if I recall...but she was 3 years old, not 15 months at that point - I wouldn't do that with a 15-month-old, personally.). At almost 7 years old now, she bounds away from me in new situations full of confidence and as independent as all get out, and will chat up anyone who happens to be caught in the range of her voice. LOL!
Just figured I'd post to let you know that just because she is like this now doesn't mean that she won't grow out of it. Our best results, with both kids, has been periodically nudging them to the edge of their comfort zones, and if it's not time yet pulling back and trying again in a couple months. That's how we worked it with breastfeeding, pacifiers, potty learning, cosleeping, etc.
I finally learned to circle around to the back door of the center and listen. My kids invariably stopped yelling by the time I got to the back. So the people who advocate for the calm departure may have a point. It may be worth taking a chance and seeing whether the hysterics persist once you're out of sight. Some kids may really be not ready to be left, but many will actually be fine. It's worth giving it a shot to see what happens.
I have to leave my 15-month-old to work and he always cries when I leave him at daycare or with a babysitter. They say he always calms down in a minute or two and plays normally.