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So Confused on Toddlers Behavior with New Daycare, HELP PLEASE!!!

5 answers
I have a 23-month old daughter and she has been going to an individual childcare sitter since I returned to work when she was 8 weeks old. About a month ago, my husband and I decided to make a swich for more than one reason. The sitter was wonderful with our daughter and loved her as if she were family, and from our standpoint and my daughter's, the feeling was mutual. But the babysitter was somewhat unreliable from time to time (let's just say she liked to take too many vacation days which put our family into a bind), so this was our primary reason for putting her into a daycare facility. Not only that, but the daycare of our choice was on my way to work which would obviously save us on mileage and gas costs since the sitter was 5 miles out of my way each morning and each afternoon, and of course the other logical reason is for the tax cut... as we paid the sitter cash and couldn't claim it on our taxes. In today's economy we're doing everything we can to help financially! Well, since we have put her into daycare, I've wondered if we made the right decision. For the first couple days, she seemed excited to be there, but that quickly changed to screaming her head off every day when I dropped her off, which is something that I've NEVER had to experience before because she absolutely loved her sitter. I knew the first several days would be hard, but we're finishing out our 3rd week and it only seems to be getting worse. She now starts crying the moment I slow down to pull into the daycare parking lot! Not only that, but she has went from about a 3 hour daytime nap at the sitter's house to between 30 minutes and an hour and a half at daycare. You would think with the lack of naptime sleep during the day, she would sleep better at night, but of course that isn't the case. She is sleeping less at night, is sleeping more restless, and waking up earlier in the mornings, as early sometimes as 4:30am. I feel as if she isn't receiving the rest that she needs which is a big concern of mine, but the number one problem my husband and I are having is that we just don't believe she's happy there. In the mornings when I take her inside and into her room with her playmates, she starts to climb up me like she's trying to escape, and she just seems to be afraid. In the afternoons when I pick her up though, she seems to be happy, but the moment I get her into the car, she becomes almost lethargic immediately b/c she's so exhausted. Chloe is a very personable little girl, she's not timid or shy with anyone, so this really concerns me on the crying b/c she normally gets along so well with children! Obviously I don't want to make any hasty decisions b/c the fact is, this daycare is very convenient for Mommy and Daddy. BUT, I love my daughter more than anything and I also cannot handle seeing her this unhappy every day. She's still a little too young to tell me what is going on inside those walls, so I am basically at a loss here and don't know what to do. This is VERY hard for me and I don't know how much longer I can keep her somewhere that I don't feel she's happy. I also understand though that the daycare provides somewhat of a more structured environment, and if I don't stick with it now, we'll face the same issue when she starts preschool in a couple more years. How do I know if this is something I need to be taking action on? Do I need to remove her from daycare and take her back to the sitter where I at least KNEW she was getting the proper attention, affection and rest? How much concern should I have with a crying baby in the mornings but a decently happy (yet exhausted) baby in the afternoons? Where do I draw the line on this and how do I know if she's just attached to Mommy or if she hates her new childcare? Is there a way to tell if she's not receiving the proper care? Can someone PLEASE help me on this?!?! I may be overanalyzing this situation but it's really tearing me apart! I know my fellow Mommies can relate b/c our children are our everything! Thank you for your time! Signed, A Desperate and VERY sad Mommy!

answers (5)

My son has been going a day care center since he was almost 8 weeks old.  I have noticed that with him at day care, he doesn't nap very well at all, maybe 1 hour tops all day, then when he gets home with my husband he naps for 2-3 hours.  on the weekends we can get him to nap 4-5 hours with no issues. It can be the different environment she's in now.  before it was just a few kids, and now there is more then likely 10, so there is a lot going on.  Not to mention, he nap times are different and the lights and noise are different too.  It will more then likely just be a learning curve for her to get used to it.  If you have concerns then talk to the director (don't warn them, just show up unexpectadly and talk to them) Some day care centers leave the toddlers room lit up like day time, others leave it dim.  Remember babies are sensitive to change and can feel over whelmed very easy.  Try not to duck out when she's not paying any attention.  Don't linger either, quickly say Mommy loves you and will see you soon.  Be patient with her, as she's been thrown into a whole new world, with new friends to make.  I am a firm beleiver in babies being able to sense when their parents are in distress, so try to remain calm cool and collected during the drive in.    Good luck, I am sure it will turn around for the better soon.  Give her a chance to get used to it.
When my daughter was a baby she was watched by my sister.  After my sister got married we moved our daughter to a home day care which was close and convient for us.  It was our first "real" day care so we didn't know the right questions to ask or what to look for.  Ameliah, my daughter, would play by herself and not talk EVER over there.  The provider asked if there was something wrong with her, but she acted normal at home and was talking full sentences.  We did move her because I finally listenedo my instincts.  You're his Mommy only you know if something is not right there.  Listen to her Mommy instinct and that is the only way you will know if that is the right place for him!  good luck.
Agreed milliesmom.  you need to be confident and comfortable with who watches your child, not just cause it's convient for you, but that you get the 'right" vibes from the directors, and employees.  You need to be able to have an open conversation and dialog with anyone who cares for your child.  Interview other day cares both with and without your daughter.  Don't make appointments just show up.  if you feel you need to make a change.
After working at a preschool for 3 years and growing up with a mother who was a director of one, I have a lot of experience in this department. First you should know, that changing from a  private sitter to a preschool, is a very big change and it may just be a little stressful for her to get into the swing of things. I had chilren that bawled, as their mothers walked out of the door, and as soon as they were out of sight went on playing as if nothing was wrong. I would talk to the teacher right away, and explain to her what has been going on. Ask her a few things about her day, like if she is making friends, is there some one who is exculding her, or just all around bullying her, how long she cries after you leave, and if there have been any incidents that may have caused this sudden fear of the school. The teacher should be able to explain her day and have ideas of how to handle the situation. If you are not pleased with her response, or still worried talk to the director, ask who they are accredited by, and  research them. At my moms preschool, they do suprise checks regularly to ensure all of the rules are being followed. Others aren't so strict, so research carefully. I would  also ask other parents  about the teachers and the class, if you bump into them. The teacher will understand your worries or should atleast and help you as much as possible. If you don't feel like this is the right fit tour some other preschools, always try to go mid morning. The class will be most active and you will be a better sense of the teacher, even if you make an appointment. You can't coach 2 year olds. Ask as much as you want, their ratio (which should be 1 teacher for every 8 to 10 students), ask how they disciplin and if they switch rooms when numbers get lower in the afternoon. The first tour you should do your self, then brinng baby with you and see how they feel. Some times it just takes longer to adjust to such a busy atmosphere, but listen to your gut, if you don't feel any more comfortable after talking to the teachers make a change. I wish you the best of luck! Let me know if you need anything, I am pretty famillar with all the accredations. My school was done my NAEYC, a school that has them, has spent a lot of time and effort into acquiring this and really has the best intrest of the children at heart. Here is a website you can go to, that may be helpful in finding a better school if this doesn't work
I had the same issues with my daughter after we transitioned from private daycare to a preschool.  For us it lasted about 2 months.  Some days were better than others but I can realte to dreading pulling up to school in the morning.  My husband and I also thought we were going to have to change her back and like you the new arrangement was so much easier on both of us which is also very important.  What got us through was having a good relationship with her teachers.  I would always ask what they thought I should do or how her day was after I left.  Most of the time I was told she was a different person after I left and had a good day.  I also know that her teachers really did care about her.  I would sometimes peek through the window of the school and see her getting hugs from her teacher and a little special attention.  She is now 3 years old and even after switching daycare again becuase of a move she is a little trooper who suprized her new school with how well she adjusted.  I think by having a good relationship with the teacher and trusting my insticts we made it through.  I also think even know they are little they understand a lot of what is going on.  Even if you don't think she understands talk to her.  That always works for us.  For my daughter the more she hears about what is going on the more comfortable she feels. The best advice I was ever given was from a grandmother of 3 and a mother of five.  I asked her what I should do about my daughter who at the time would refuse to go to bed a night without a great deal of drama she told me "just hang in there and remember these things don't last forever"  I can't tell you how many times I go back to those words.  Good luck to you and your daughter.  Trust your gut-that's all we really have. 

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