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How long does it take for a toddler to stop crying at childcare?


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#1 watermelon75

Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:08 PM

How long does it take for a toddler(2 years old and 4 years old) to stop crying at a childcare? how long does it take for them to get used to childcare going twice a week and stop crying when u leave?


How long should i give it before i think that they dont like it there?

Edited by lovelove2012, 20 February 2012 - 10:09 PM.


#2 Brownie22

Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:13 PM

My DD cried every drop off for the first 5 months! She was 3.5. I used to call about 15 mins after I left and they'd say she was fine. A couple of times I peeked in after she thought I was gone and she was playing happily. At the end of the day she would tell me what she did and who she played with so I knew she was doing fine while there. It was hard but she has come a long way. I think you should consider things other than tears at drop off to gauge whether your child really does not like it. Good luck!

#3 FeralSingleMum

Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:14 PM

I can't say for every child but for my 2 year old, he stops crying in about 30 seconds or when he can't see me anymore.

When I shut the door to his room he stops and plays. I've watched him through the glass in the door.

#4 F1widow

Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:16 PM

For younger babies (under 2 I think) I've heard that it takes 10 visits. That was about right for my 10 month old. Since your kids are going twice a week, I would leave it at least 6 weeks.
In terms of deciding if they don't like it, are your kids old enough to ask? Speak to the careers, if they play happily after you've gone then it's probably just separation anxiety.

#5 Hootabelles

Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:28 PM

All depends I think.
For my confident little one, who went only 1 day a week, she was fine to begin with but then after about 1 month she started to slowly hate it.  I would walk her there and she would cry the whole way.  By the time we got there she was hysterical..I couldn't find out why.  SHe would just cry 'please don't leave me here.'  I ended up pulling her out after 4 more weeks as I couldn't handle it.  The center didn't help either and would say she was fine after I left but I used to watch from out a hallway and she would still be hysterical.
I figured there was no way I could traumatise her anymore.  She started to have night terrors and wet her bed as well which was never an issue...it has broken our hearts.
Kinder though she loves...makes me wonder about that cc place sad.gif

I really think it will be different for each child and also how the center handles it as well.  Mine did nothing.  I would be trying to peel her off me and they would stand there saying she will be ok..ah yeah if she lets me go maybe!  I personally think it had a lot to do with the center.  Mine is on the city edge and a big center(160 kids) where I think staff are in and out more than kids....it was incredible how the staff rotated there.  I can honestly say there was only 1 there that looked to even like her job..the rest would just wander around and talk amongst themselves.  Each time I was there a child would come up to me and ask me for water, a hat , toilet or their mum..it was horrible.  I wondered what they did there with the kids as they seemed annoyed most of the time with them and never playing (could tell with their tone of voice eg- 'what..I can hear you, just wait already'  ohmy.gif )  That was the day I cancelled her spot!


#6 moomin mamma

Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:48 PM

My 2 y.o. doesn't cry.  Says "See you" and walks in.  She is full time now.  She is at a small daycare, 12 kids under 3 and 18 kids in the big kids group.  One kid was pulled out after 3 months as she sat and cried and cried for almost an hour every day (part time).  Most kids there stop crying as the parent walks out the door.  Staff there are great, many have been there 15 plus years.  I think their chef has been there for almost 30 years.

When Miss Two was part time, they recommended that the two days were beside each other, eg. Monday and Tuesday.  They said that was easier for the kids to remember and helped them fit it quicker.

No, hang on, Miss Two does cry, when she is sick and CAN'T go to daycare!!!



#7 watermelon75

Posted 20 February 2012 - 11:16 PM

At my childcare centre, i see lots of children crying everyday and the workers just ignore them. Its so frustrating cause i feel they are probably doing that to my son. I have seen my son running after them so they can hold him and they carry him and then let him down after 30sec, but thats cause they saw me looking.

#8 BornToLove

Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:39 AM

DD attends full time, she stared attending at 18 months. It took her less than two weeks to adjust to being at day care. Caveat: DH does drop off so there isn't the mommy guilt for her to feed her emotions off of. I feel this makes a huge difference in how quickly she adjusted to daycare. I am sure if I took her in the beginning she would cry at drop off for the first month.
I have heard form a number of people, daycare workers and other parents, that it can take upwards of 6 months for a part time kid to adjust to daycare (3 days a week or less). The kids just don't go often enough and it confuses them, making it harder to bond with the workers and other kids.
My niece is in part time family daycare back home (in Canada). The woman who runs it insisted my niece attend full time for a month before dropping to part time purely so the adjustment process is faster and easier. The woman has a very detailed transition plan for all new kids entering her care, so yes the people providing care make the biggest difference.

#9 sarkazm76

Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:02 AM

We're going through this with our 1 year old and it's just so upsetting.  The centre is reasonably good - they admit he's upset in the mornings, great in the middle of the day and starts getting upset again when other kids start getting picked up.  We've changed his days to Mon-Tues as they also recommend 2 days together is better.  Last Friday I could still hear him screaming all the way from the front door sad.gif  I don't care what "they" say... I don't believe that is ok.  DH went back in to give him his dummy and calm him down and he had thrown up all over his carer and the room from being so distraught sad.gif  Then on the weekend he was very different with all the other people in our lives.... which he never has been before.  So I met a friend at the shops to have a coffee... he sees her more than any of my other friends.  She said hello to him and that was all good (he was in his stroller) we took 5 steps toward the coffee shop and I heard him crying, looked around the stroller and he was HYSTERICAL.  I had to lift him up and carry him.  By the time we had sat down, ordered drinks and eats, he was in a highchair... he was perfectly OK.  Sunday night we went to a friends for dinner for his birthday..... again he knows these people well (couple of new faces).  We walked in, same thing, panicky and very very upset, clinging to his dad.  Calmed him down and he was ok.... someone knocked at the door so I answered it as I was closest, it was good friends who we spent DS's birthday with just 2 weeks ago.  He lost it again.

It's early and I'm rambling... I should just say - agree with PP that it's not about whether they cry on arrival necessarily but if you see a change in their behaviour in other places.  To put your mind at ease for now try leaving, waiting 5 minutes then peaking back in.... if my child were still VERY upset after 5 minutes I'd be pretty worried.  What we are faced with now is that DS might just not be ready.  We're keeping an eye on it and talking to my therapist next week about what to do and how long to keep taking him.  I don't think that even the point where they stop crying at drop off means they are happy to be there.  It's very hard for them to be in a strange place without their family.  But if I see he is ok in other areas of life then I will feel more reassured from that.

Oh and I don't agree with the hand over and run method either.  We get DS involved in playing, then have the carer take our spot, say goodbye (NEVER SNEAK OUT) and head out.  Usually less upsetting for all then when he screams sad.gif


#10 BlondieUK

Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:03 AM

It took DS2 from September to December to stop crying. He's fine now. Waves to me from the window and blows me a kiss.

I am one to think that if your child is old enough to realise that you are 'leaving' then it's not such a bad thing to leave them with someone other than you once in a while.......but I have friends who think that child care is like sending your child to hell for a day. Mind you, the way some of the parents let their children behave, the analogy of 'demon' is actually a kind moniker for some of them!

#11 livvie7586

Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:11 AM

it really depends on the child.  i never had an issue with DS (he started daycare at 2.5), but at preschool last year there was one little girl (she turned 4 mid last year) who would have only stopped crying in the last month (so she cried from feb-nov).

#12 Monket

Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:50 AM

We left it for 6 months....probably 5 months too long....before we pulled them out.  Both kids were upset at drop off and pick up.  I had friends using the centre who had children that were quite happy there, just not mine.  

If you are at all concerned, apprehensive, uncomfortable then take you child out and try another centre or another child care model, such as Family Day Care.  My children ended up crying whenever we came to a building with a safety gate so further care in a centre was never going to be on the cards for us.

Good luck, I know how stressful your situation is.

#13 belsy

Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:01 AM

Both my kids started before turning 1.  DS1 settled within a week.  DS2 took a lot longer.  Advice is as PP said, two days in a row is handy.


Edited by belsy, 21 February 2012 - 07:02 AM.


#14 lozoodle

Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:16 AM

My girls are 15 months and 3 years, they have been going for five weeks now.

The 3 year old had a little cry for the second and third week, but since then has run in happily on arrival.

The 15 month old will still have a little cry when you put her down, but that happens anywhere as she's a bit of a clingon at times. But when DP does the drop off he leaves the 15 month old in the baby room first. She's usually one of the first to arrive so the carer usually carries her around for the first little while and reassures her. He then walks the three year old up to her room, so by the time he comes back out past the baby room about 5 minutes later he has a peek in the window and can see that by then the 15 month old isn't crying anymore and is happy.

So I guess it depends on how long they are crying for? Is it just a little initial crying at drop off or is it for extended periods of time? I think the best thing you can do is not draw out the drop off. Do a quick cuddle, kiss, and leave. The longer you leave it, the more they feed off you and the worse it can get.

How are they on pick up? Do they seem happy and like they have been joining in? Or are they teary and desperate to get out of there? If they are happy I'd say they are fine, the tears at drop off wouldn't bother me if that was the case.

#15 Pompol

Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:58 AM

Took our DS 5 months (he was 20 months when he started). I was giving it 4 more weeks when to my surprise one day he waved goodbye and went in with no tears.

#16 SeaPrincess

Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:55 AM

I think it totally depends on the child.  All of mine have been quite different.

DS1 cried every week until he started kindy.  When he was first in daycare, I used to try to get there early enough that they were still playing outside, he would start crying when I kissed him goodbye, and by the time I got to the front office, he would have stopped (I could see the outside playground through the window).  We had a bad experience with one daycare in particular, and he would get upset if we even drove past it.  I took him out of there as soon as I could and he didn't go back to daycare again until after DS2 ws born, so 2.5.  By that stage, he would tell me in the morning that he would cry when I dropped him off, and he often did, but once we got inside, he would see his friends and barely even say goodbye.

DS2's eyes still fill with tears when I drop him at kindy.  I try to leave as quickly as I can, and when I look through the window on my way past, he's fine.

DD has only just started making a fuss at her new daycare.  I try to get there early so i dont have to rush her drop off - I help her unpack her drink and hat, take her to the loo and read her a book or do a puzzle, then she's usually fine. I know the girls appreciate her being settled when I go (and the fact that usually I have half a dozen children listening to the story!)

#17 aliro

Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:10 AM

my DD  who is 2 would cry for about the first month when I left, but it was only for about 10 seconds and then she was fine.  The last 3 weeks she hasn't cried at all.  She only goes 1 day a week and is supposedly harder for them to adjust.  I also try to allow myself extra time so that when we get there I can sit down and play with her for 10-15 minutes to allow her time to 'warm up' and get absorbed into playing, rather than focused on me leaving

#18 Relish*

Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:51 PM

QUOTE (lovelove2012 @ 20/02/2012, 09:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
At my childcare centre, i see lots of children crying everyday and the workers just ignore them. Its so frustrating cause i feel they are probably doing that to my son. I have seen my son running after them so they can hold him and they carry him and then let him down after 30sec, but thats cause they saw me looking.


sad.gif I'm in ECE and I generally go by the six week rule, maybe four if attending full time. If there's little or no improvement after that time I'd have no problem with a parent deciding to stop for a while or pull out. That said, a good centre/staff will do everything they can to help you and your toddler. Go with your gut instinct and if you feel they aren't being cared for beyond their basic needs (food, water, etc) then start looking elsewhere. I know even after working in childcare myself for years I knew as soon as I walked into my DD's daycare that it was going to be great. And they are. Several others I looked at I could've walked in and walked straight back out again. The vibe from the staff and the rooms just wasn't right. You definitely need the right support from the centre, or all the efforts in the world on your part won't make much difference. Good luck.

#19 spunkratsx3

Posted 24 February 2012 - 04:18 PM

I think that if my kids were crying for hours after I left them, then I probably wouldn't persist with them staying there for very long at all.  However, crying for a few minutes and then being a happy chappy for the rest of the day is ok with me.  In my experience, the 'crying for a few minutes' thing lasts a month or two.  But you get the odd day here or there where they decide to cry.

#20 PrincessPeach

Posted 24 February 2012 - 04:26 PM

QUOTE (sarkazm76 @ 21/02/2012, 06:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We're going through this with our 1 year old and it's just so upsetting. The centre is reasonably good - they admit he's upset in the mornings, great in the middle of the day and starts getting upset again when other kids start getting picked up. We've changed his days to Mon-Tues as they also recommend 2 days together is better. Last Friday I could still hear him screaming all the way from the front door sad.gif I don't care what "they" say... I don't believe that is ok. DH went back in to give him his dummy and calm him down and he had thrown up all over his carer and the room from being so distraught sad.gif Then on the weekend he was very different with all the other people in our lives.... which he never has been before. So I met a friend at the shops to have a coffee... he sees her more than any of my other friends. She said hello to him and that was all good (he was in his stroller) we took 5 steps toward the coffee shop and I heard him crying, looked around the stroller and he was HYSTERICAL. I had to lift him up and carry him. By the time we had sat down, ordered drinks and eats, he was in a highchair... he was perfectly OK. Sunday night we went to a friends for dinner for his birthday..... again he knows these people well (couple of new faces). We walked in, same thing, panicky and very very upset, clinging to his dad. Calmed him down and he was ok.... someone knocked at the door so I answered it as I was closest, it was good friends who we spent DS's birthday with just 2 weeks ago. He lost it again.

It's early and I'm rambling... I should just say - agree with PP that it's not about whether they cry on arrival necessarily but if you see a change in their behaviour in other places. To put your mind at ease for now try leaving, waiting 5 minutes then peaking back in.... if my child were still VERY upset after 5 minutes I'd be pretty worried. What we are faced with now is that DS might just not be ready. We're keeping an eye on it and talking to my therapist next week about what to do and how long to keep taking him. I don't think that even the point where they stop crying at drop off means they are happy to be there. It's very hard for them to be in a strange place without their family. But if I see he is ok in other areas of life then I will feel more reassured from that.

Oh and I don't agree with the hand over and run method either. We get DS involved in playing, then have the carer take our spot, say goodbye (NEVER SNEAK OUT) and head out. Usually less upsetting for all then when he screams sad.gif


OMG - you have just described my nephew word for word! He wont have a thing to do with us since he started 1 day a week daycare 4 months ago & he's seen us everyweek since he was born (and we've often babysat) - he also refuses to be babysat by my PIL, where previous to the daycare place, he would go to their house for that one day a week.




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