Need help starting DS in childcare

Returning to the paid workforce, study or just going out for the night. Discuss issues related to leaving your baby with a carer here

Need help starting DS in childcare

Postby milaha » Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:35 am

My DS is 13 months old and is due to start day care next week.

He has been quite a clingy baby - won't let anyone hold him if I am around. I can go out a little and leave him with DH, but if I am home he wants me. He has been staying at my mum's one day a week and loves her - he is happy to go to her.

I have started back at work 3 days a week and he will go to childcare 2 of those days. I will only leave him at childcare for 4 hour days initially - I'll gradually increase that to 6 hours.

He has an orientation on Monday which I stay for, then his first full day is Tuesday.

I'm not sure what to do for his first day though - should I just stay all day with him? Or leave him for an hour or two? I want the transition to be as gentle as possible. Work are understanding, so I can easily stay with him if that is the best thing to do.

So confused!
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Postby babymc » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:37 pm

Hi Milaha,

I used to work in Childcare before having my son and the best advice i can give you is to play it as it goes. I found that some children who were reluctant to leave their mothers settled down really quickly after their mother left. The second day always seems harder for the child as they know that you will be leaving them there. Let the carers know your concerns and ask them to call you once he has settled down (after you leave) or to call if he doesn't settle down. Its great that your work is flexible. You never know he might have lots to keep him busy and enjoy all the extra activies that are available to him. Best of luck to both of you and remember that it can take a while for him to settle inot the routine of day care. :D
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Postby milaha » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:56 pm

Hi babymc,

Thanks for the reply! I have been agonising over this for weeks - I don't know why I'm so much more nervous about it this time around - I thought it would be easier since I've gone through this all before with DD!

Anyway - we took him in for his first day yesterday - my mum kindly offered to stay with him while I worked. He had a good morning. I guess the real test will be next week when I leave him there without me or my mum. But hopefully he is now a little more familiar with the centre (he's visited 3 times now).

Wish me luck....
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Postby Nedsmum » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:27 am

my only advice is that the attachment has to move from his familiar people (parents, grandma etc) to new people - so give it time for him to become familiar.

Also, 14 months is the peak time for the 'clingy' behaviour, so expect it to get worse before it gets better, and it isn't a sign of anything 'wrong' in particular...

Once you decide to leave, my advise to to make it short and sweet, and never leave them without saying goodbye...

As soon as they are big enough, let them walk in on their own feet - it's easier to hand them over to another carer if the carer doesn't have to 'peel' them off you...there's something deeply psychological involved...can't really explain it...

My third child is 2 and on those days when he doesn't want to go to preschool, I try to stay calm, and say 'Ok, bye now. Mummy has to go to work. Daddy will come and get you after snack. I'm sorry, but you do have to go to preschool today'...
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Postby snowie » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:44 pm

Hi Milaha
I'm going back to work next week too. I'm planning on taking DD for a visit to her daycare this afternoon and tomorrow. Monday and Tuesday I will take her for a play and then hopefully leave her for a short time. Wednesday is her first full day - I'm stressing too - I really don't want to go back to work but need to.
That's great that things went well for your DS yesterday. I hope everything goes well next week.
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Postby milaha » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:20 pm

Thanks snowie! I'll keep you posted.

Nedsmum - that's interesting about trying to avoid having to "peel" them off. I have to admit that is my worst memory of leaving my kids, when they cling like that - even if they are fine the moment I am out of sight, having to peel them off just makes it feel so wrong!
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Postby snowie » Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:36 pm

How did this week go for your DS?
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Postby milaha » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:13 pm

It wasn't as bad as I had feared - he cried a little when I left, but stopped about 2 minutes later. He slept there for them (they pushed him around in a pram) and ate. Good progress I think!

I followed Nedsmum's suggestion to get him to walk in himself - it helped a lot!!

How did your DD go at childcare this week Snowie?
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Postby snowie » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:13 pm

She cried every day. The first couple of days, I left before she started crying. By the end of the week, she knew exactly what was going on and was whinging at me when we got to the nursery door; and crying as I handed her over. The carers seemed to be pretty good at distracting her though and she had her two daily naps although they were much shorter.
I fed her before we left home in the morning and then expressed during lunch break at work, and then fed again as soon as I arrived at the nursery. She didn't seem to want any EBM during the day. I left more solids than she would usually eat at home, and she ate most of what I left, so I guess she wasn't hungry.
Today she has been extra cuddly - not clingy, but kept crawling over for a cuddle and was quiet happy to have a walk to the park in the ergo snuggled in against me. She usually likes to have her arms 'out' but today didn't mind that they were in. This afternoon she was also very happy to be in our ring sling for an extended period of time when usually she'd be clambering to get out after 5 minutes or so.
Hopefully next week will be a little better for her in terms of saying goodbye in the morning.
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Postby milaha » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:52 pm

Hugs.

It's not much fun leaving them. But it does sound like she is going ok, if she is eating and sleeping that is a good sign.

My DD hated childcare at the beginning - she just would not settle. But then she formed a bond with one of her carers and loved it after that. I think once they start to realise that you will be back and there are fun things and people to play with in the mean time it gets better. At least that's what I'm telling myself!!

I'm a bit :? about the public holiday this week - it means that DS will only have one day there this week, so I'm expecting him to be extra unsettled next week.
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Postby foggylog » Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:38 am

Hope both your bubs (milaha and snowie :smt039 ) have a better week, and that they get used to going to care soon. i'm not looking forward to returning to work and that's not till march. they will be cared for by family, i can't imagine how hard it would be to leae them at day care. though they would get lots of great play time :)
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Postby snowie » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:11 pm

thanks foggylog :wink:
I hope so too!
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