Daycare transition begins tomorrow :(

My baby is starting daycare tomorrow. Not full-time yet – the next three days are transition days:

Day 1. We go and spend an hour there, together.

Day 2. We go and spend 15 minutes there together, then I leave him alone for 45 minutes

Day 3. I leave him there for an hour.

Day 4. Start daycare, full-time.

That is what they have found works best.



Today we went to visit my dear friend who recently gave birth. As we were spending our whole day there, Timothy had to take a nap there, too. We put together a playpen upstairs and when Timothy was clearly ready for a nap, I brought and left him there. He cried. And cried. And cried. No amount of coming back in, shooshing, singing, and patting helped.

Was it because I just dumped him in an unfamiliar room, in an unfamiliar playpen?

I went back, took him out of the playpen, spent about 5 minutes showing him all the decals and toys and prints in the room. After that I put him in the playpen again; he still cried when I left, but just for a few seconds.

Now that got me thinking. Yes, he is fine when we go to drop-ins and playdates. He crawls around, interacts with others, plays – never even searching for me. But what will happen once in daycare, when it’s meal time and I am not there? Okay, maybe he will be sufficiently distracted by food. But what will happen when it’s nap time and I am not around to give him a hug and a kiss, and it’s an unfamiliar crib in an unfamiliar room? And less than perfect sleeping conditions – other babies, light, etc.?



4 thoughts on “Daycare transition begins tomorrow :(

  1. Sam

    You have a good plan of action here hon. Thing is he might have been picking up on your anxiety at putting him down in a new place when you were visiting your friend. Remember the ladies at daycare have seen pretty much everything and will be able to settle Timothy. They won’t be as anxious as you would be in that case and he’ll feed off their calmness and will most likely settle well and quickly if he does get a bit upset.

    It’s a huge change for you both but once the waters have calmed and you’re both used the to the new normal things will be ok.


  2. St. Elsewhere

    It is a good plan. I followed something just like this when I left my kid at the daycare for the first time. Before the full day started, I kept increasing her hours every day for about 3 days, so that it was not too sudden for her.

    I will let it slip here that daycare would be a huge change for both Timothy as well as you.

    Timothy is also at a ripe stage for separation anxiety, so you should keep your senses open for it.

    As far as the questions mentioned in your last para, my daughter naps longer during the day when she is at home than when she is at the creche. The level of care/lighting/noiselessness is impossible to replicate at the creche.

    The good news is, there will be eventual adaptation.

    Do you plan to go back to work once Timothy is settled in the daycare?

    1. Tanya Littleberry Post author

      Yes, I will be going back to work. Otherwise I think I would have kept Timothy with me indefinitely (until college? haha)

      Yes, I haven’t seen any signs of separation anxiety yet, so will see…

      And Timothy doesn’t nap too well at home either, so that won’t be new to anyone…


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