Do tell

When it came time to drop your little one in a daycare (home or school) how did you do it?

  1. Did it cold turkey. Dropped baby off and did not turn back
  2. Dropped baby at school. Spent a few minutes playing and snuck out when I would not be missed.
  3. Walked in, put baby down and sat squat for half a day and spent rest of the day peering in through the window
  4. Eased the transition. One hour first day, 2 hours the next and started full day the next week.
  5. No daycare for my precious

Well! Kay and Cee start daycare Monday. Obviously I am in a funk and way too anxious about it.

So, do tell parenting veterans, how did YOU do it?

16 comments

  1. We started leaving S for the first time at the baby sitter’s house at 9-10 months.B was at home the first day in case she cries or is not cooperative.Anyway she stayed at the baby sitter’s house only till 12.30pm when i will be back. When my baby sitter went to india for two months she had to attend a daycare for half a day.The first half day at the day care i stayed with her. She was pretty miserable that day wanting me to carry her and all. My advice is don’t stay with them.They would want to be with us and won’t interact with the children and teacher.I used to pick her up from daycare by 12.00 pm. I wanted her to spend as less time there as possible.And i was glad when my baby sitter came back.

    As you know now she is attending a play school till 2’0 clock. She is very happy there from the first day onwards. The only problem is she doesn’t eat her lunch properly and i feed her as soon as i reach home.

    I know it is tough leaving the children at day care.But as they grow up they need company and will be miserable staying the whole day at home.I wish Cee and Kay and you both all the best during this transition phase.

    Love,
    Anila.

  2. I left my son around 8 mos of age f for a few hours…like 2-3 hrs the first week and so slowly transitioned to longer hours….The first week was waiting at home in case he was fussy to go back and ease him but interestingly he did quite well :)….loved playing the other kids there….

  3. For the first week Tuls went part time. We increased the duration of the stay over the course of the week before he transitioned full time the following week.

    Things that I learnt – it’s an emotional period both for kids and parents, so it’s best to handle it matter-of-fact. It’s a big change for them and for you, so some days will be harder than others. Eating and sleeping routine will likely go for a toss during the initial adjustment period. Some sickness is also to expected as the kids get exposed to more germs. Sorry, my intention is not to demoralize you. But if you come to terms with these realities the transition will be easier and you will be able to see things in perspective. The good news is they will get acclimatized to the new environment very soon and it will become their “second home” sooner than you expect.

    Generally, we used to drop Tuls off at day care, spend 10-15 minutes with him and the other kids, and tell him that we will leaving but will be back to pick him up in the evening. Keeping good byes brief, and matter-of-fact is a good idea. I would not recommend that you peer through the window the first day or the first week. It would just make you feel helpless if they are not their usual selves.

    Best wishes to you, K, and Kay and Cee as they start a new chapter.

  4. Hi Laksh,

    A kind advice- dont do No.3 ! I did that and felt miserable with my son crying and screaming and me ‘pesanjing’ my hands feeling helpless all the while! At one point I left and cried all the way to work. So go for 2 or 4 for a lesser emotional roller-coaster πŸ™‚ Not to scare you, but it is a big transition for the whole family. On the brighter side, the BIG plus you have is that the girls have each other, so there is atleast one another “known” person for each of them so they might actually handle it better! And also for some kids, the transition is a breeze! So Stay positive!

    -Mathangi

  5. I left Ananya when she was 3 1/2 months old as amma had to leave early because of her work. The first day was the toughest one, can’t just forget it.

    It was a Friday. I chose myself that I would leave her at the daycare for 1/2 day and start back regularly from Monday. I dropped her to the daycare, came to my car and started crying. I was indeed waiting outside for atleast 1/2 hour till I saw another parent with a little kid entering the daycare. Moment I saw the daycare provider opening the door I rushed to her and inquired about how well Ananya is doing. Looked like she was absolutely fine. Since she was just 3 1/2 months old she adapted very well to the place. But we made it a practice that my husband would drop her off around 11 AM as the place was very close to his work and I would pick her up around 4 PM just so she minimizes her stay at the care.

    We then moved her to another smaller provider very close to our home when she was around 7 months. She had been with her for 3 1/2 years until she started her Pre-K. Such a lovely lady. We never had any worries once we handed her off to aunty. Even today Ananya waits for the day she’ll go to her aunty’s. Well, there were also times when she was clingy and not leaving me when I was dropping her, but those are just countable times thats it.

    For me both the times she did good so not much of a worry. My piece of advice would be just don’t stay back there after dropping them. They’ll definitely get adjusted to the new place, its just that most parents don’t πŸ™‚

    -Uma

  6. This is a vey emotional time, Laksh, I csn understand your position. We left my son at 22 months in the day care for the first time. We were very lucky to have thatha paati watch him till then. What I learnt:
    — Keep a routine with respect to preparation at home, time they are dropped and picked up and also who drops them.
    — Do not linger once they are in, makes it harder for them to get accustomed.
    –Talk to them (even if they are very young) and explain that amma appa will be back to pick them up.
    — Always say Bye to them (this is very important as I am sure you would have heard by now)… I thought I should just drop him and leave…
    –Have plenty of tissue at hand, you will need it before you start driving. 😦

    Good luck on this new chapter and remember, they will be okay and will enjoy themselves once they get used to it.

    –Devi

  7. I have my own experience as a parent. But you will be getting views from parents.

    So I will tell you my point of view as a teacher who has transitioned many children( 3 months – 3 years) in to a center based setting.

    I am assuming you children are about a year. Correct me if I am wrong.

    There are three types of children I have seen.
    -Children who scream their head off and refuse to calm down the whole time during transition period/visit.
    -Children who blend well during transition, do absolutely wonderful for the first two days thinking it is a novelty and two days later reality strikes and they start clinging to parent.
    -Children who show anxiety during drop off, calms down after the primary care provider gives attention and again cries a little bit when he/she see the parent at pick up time.

    Irrespective of the child’s nature, the parent must follow the same routine everyday.
    -A transition period is good. Mon – Fri with 30-45 min each day.
    -Aim of transition is to familiarize the child with the main care providers.
    -Last day of transition tell your child that you need to go to the bathroom and that YOU WILL BE BACK. After 10 min, walk in pick up the child with a smile, no frills and fanfare and tell her “SEE I SAID I WILL BE BACK AND I AM BACK. I LOVE YOU AND WILL ALWAYS COME BACK TO GET YOU.”
    -When the child starts full time, have a definite plan with the care provider. Make sure that you pick up the child AT THE SAME TIME for the first month or so. Put your guilt aside and pick up at the child at that particular time even if you get off work unexpectedly a few hrs earlier. A young child cannot read clock, but has a sense of order such as AM snack – circle time – outdoor play time – lunch – nap – PM snack…etc. So if the plan is to pick up after lunch, respect your child’s routine and pick up after lunch. Showing up at odd times only confuses the child.
    -During drop off NEVER sneak away. ALWAYS say bye. Hug, kiss, amma will be back after lunch, love you, have fun, leave. If you linger, it only makes the teacher’s job tough and more confusion for the kid.

    Children, always do well. To be outside of the home environment(in a predictable pattern), to form attachments outside of home and for them to develop trust is an essential part of their development.

    Hope this helps.

  8. I started with Step 4, and when we went full time after about 2 weeks, I would drop her off, she would cry and cry a lot, I would stay outside near the reception area for 10 mins, then the person at the office would go into the baby room, make sure Aditi is no longer crying – abt 5-10 mins, and then I would go out, they have a window on the way to the car park, and from there, I would check to make sure that she’s fine. She started at abt 13 months and is 3.5 now.It took 3 weeks for her to settle down but I know many kids who are fine from day one. They dont look back at all and are happy to start looking at the toys. The main thing to note is that the kids will be fine. Its us who need the time to leave them alone. You’ll be fine too and will look forward to your evenings and weekends to spend every minute you have with them. Its a tricky phase but you’ll get over it and be fine.

  9. Like all said don’t do no.3. You can increase the hours day by day. The girls will get adjusted soon.
    All the very best to Kay and Cee and to you both.

  10. Laksh, I have done the 2nd option with my daughter and son both. But with my daughter I had to do this for a while as she was more emotional kid who takes time in adjusting. With my son it was a breeze. I am sure I have to revisit my techniques with my son again sometime when we decide to start sending him to school. No amount of advice prepares you for this day. Go with the flow and do what your heart tells you. Ultimately, that day will always be in your memory and not in your kids mind.
    They are young minds and they will soon forget it as they find new friends and routine.

  11. Potential unpopular view, be warned.

    Felt that around 9 months, my daughter needed more interaction than she got at home with kids. Took her myself to a day care place for a couple of hours every day, this also helped me study to get ready for an entrance exam. She was happy and I got a break.

    Son practically bounced off, happy to play with other kids, didn’t even turn around to look at me. Not sure how that felt – but it was all at my end. We have had rolling on road tantrums to come home from the car pool instead of home for a hot meal and nap. Am sure people thought I was torturing him.

    Kay and Cee have each other. And will probably love the exposure to other kids and the attention they get, all the fun activities they will have. I think day care is a good thing, so long as it is clean and safe and loving. Good luck!

  12. 1 for both Laksh. They don’t entertain any other way in most pre-schools here anyway. Div wailed for 3 months when I left her at the gate, making me feel like a total wretch all day at work, but apparently she woul settle down and play albeit seriously a few minutes after I left. She would o course do the theatrics when I got back too 😦 But it was partly her health. once we had that under control, and she realised she was having fun, she was okay. Dhruv, of course, didn’t even turn back…I was willing him to!!!

    All the best!

  13. We did No.2. I still remember it took around 1.5 months for my daughter to settle in the day-care. She would start crying the minute I park my car in front of the day-care. I am glad to hear that your kids did so good.

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