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  1. #1
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    Default Separation anxiety at daycare - 20 month old

    Hey everyone,

    Just looking for some reassurance/advice if anyone has any.

    My son has been going to family daycare one day per week since he was 6 months old. It sounds like he really enjoys himself there and interacts well with the other kids. Although he got separation anxiety pretty early (around 7 months) he never cried at daycare drop off. Until he was about 15-16 months old and one day he just started crying when I left. Since then, he usually has a good grizzle but the last few times he's become really upset, he cries as soon as we pull up to her driveway!! He used to get excited when she opened the door but now he squirms and tries to run away. I thought that the separation anxiety would have peaked by now and be starting to reduce but it seems to be getting worse I know all of the tips to make goodbye brief, to give him lots of notice that it's daycare day, to chat to him light-heartedly on the way etc. But it doesn't seem to work anymore.

    The other factor that may be at play is that I'm having our second baby in April. I finished my masters degree in Feb and have therefore been with him pretty much every day aside from daycare days (still once per week) since then. I thought this might help his separation anxiety as he'd feel secure that I only leave him once per week but it seems to be worse. Maybe coincidence though.

    So when does it end? It's been over a year now that he's had it :'( I don't want to pull him out of daycare because I think it's really important for kids to be raised by a variety of caregivers (my parents, sister and SILs are also really involved) but it's getting to the point where I hate leaving him because I dread the crying.

    Sorry that turned into an essay but it feels good to get it out and I am open to any tips/support.

    Thanks xx

  2. #2
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    I think it's very hard for kids to be in care 1 day a week. Kids very much feel like a visitor rather than part of the program making it harder to settle. The break between days feels like they have to start all over again. I would consider upping to 2 days or pull out altogether for 12 months or so.
    Other ideas is a special comfort toy at day care, photos of you and rewards for no tears?

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    Fi Poledancer  (22-03-2017)

  4. #3
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    That's a good point and explains why it's become worse with only leaving him one day rather than multiple days (although he used to spend one day with my mum). It is family daycare so only three other kids but I suppose he still doesn't get a chance to get used to going. He has his lamb comforter toy that he is very attached to which helps. Thank you

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    I don't know about two days because I'm not working so I have no need for him to go twice, it was more to keep his place so when new bub arrives he has that consistency and I have some time with the new one. But it is food for thought if it doesn't improve

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    I agree that one day especially at this age is hard. For this reason my centre only do minimum 2 day bookings.
    My dd is about the same age as yours. She's been going since she was 7-8 months old. She still cries 90% of drop-offs. It's very upsetting for both of us (though I don't let her see I'm upset I put my smiley face on and tell her she will have a great day). She calms quickly after I leave (I rarely hear her still crying after I've walked out of sight) and by the time I pick her up she doesn't want to go home she wants to show me everything.
    I think some kids are just sensitive to it and attached to their mum as long as they are ok after you leave I'd just accept the difficult drop offs and hope in time it gets better. But gosh it feels like they're ripping your heart out every time .
    Maybe ask a mod to merge your threads as it'll get confusing to manage the two!

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    Thank you @gingermillie my son is the same, he stops crying after a minute or two (I listen from the car haha). I do the same as you and smile at him, give him a kiss and tell him he'll have lots of fun. Glad to hear that I'm not alone!!

    Oh is it bad to have two threads? I wanted to catch as many readers as possible

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    Also his dad does the pick up, I was wondering if that made it worse that I never go back to get him but he sees me as soon as he gets home. I like them having that moment together but I could start doing pick ups if it helps the separation anxiety

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    Hey guys, thought I would update - we are now 4 weeks with no tears at daycare drop off He turned two over the weekend and we are all settled in with life with his little brother who is 3 months tomorrow He still only goes one day a week which works for us x

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