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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. I also posted this in the child development section but thought I'd pop it here too.

    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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    My Ds cried at drop off (every single one) until half way tgrough last year. He just turned 4.

    He went backwards a little when DD arrived and at the end of my pregnancy. So I would suspect that is making it worse.

    Does he settle after you leave?

  3. #3
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    Oh wow, I'm glad I'm not alone! Did you feel upset or were you used to it?

    Yeah he settles after a few seconds to minutes after I leave. He seems well attached to the carer and she is very responsive to his needs

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    DD went through a phase like this at about the same age. It lasted about 3 months and I think it's pretty normal (but awful for you!).
    Some people say 2 days in a row works better than just 1 day a week.
    She then went a bit funny when DS was born because the drop off routine changed and she realised I was going home with DS, not to work, she couldn't understand why she was going to daycare but he wasn't. I ended up having to just say I was going to work.
    So when baby comes my advice would be to try to keep the routine as consistent as possible.

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    Thank you @rosey82 a few people suggested the one day might be a little harder on him. That's my aim to prioritise his routine as bubs won't know any different anyway!! Glad to hear it's not just us going through/been through it

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    I just got used to it I guess.

    He was happy after I left.

    He was/is an anxious baby/kid. Very clingy. So he was like this every time I left him with anyone - even DH!

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    my DS is 2.5 and is going through separation anxiety really bad at the moment. He was clingy when first started daycare, then he settled and was fine for ages. Then all of a sudden around 2 he started getting clingy/cryng at drop off, now its turned into full on screaming/meltdown. Its bloody awful and sometimes I'm leaving almost in tears as I feel SO guilty (yaya for guilty mum syndrome haha!).

    What I think has contributed to it:
    - New baby on the way and he knows something big is happening even if he doesn't quite grasp what
    - Moved up rooms and was the youngest kid again and in a sea of kids - more kids/less educators (his nursery was small)
    - Doesn't know all the kids/educators in his new room so is anxious about that
    - He's naturally shy so finds these big changes pretty hard.

    Daycare have been really supportive in helping him find way to settle and he's getting better. Drop offs are still really hard (he's also very clingy with me at home at the moment) but once I'm gone he is fine and has a good day. I just have to remind myself that he is fine and cared for and copes ok once I am gone. He's settling a bit more now but I do expect him to arc up again once the baby arrives.

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    Thanks @Pearlygirl sorry to hear you're going through it even worse than I am. It helps a lot to know it is normal, especially with a new baby on the way.

    Today I let him take his balloon in, he still protested a bit but was happy all the way up til I handed him over which is an improvement. And I'm not upset at all which is a big improvement!!

  10. #9
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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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