Toddler not adjusting in daycare
07/29/2009 at 05:02 AM

My Toddler is 22 months old. I have been sending him to Daycare for 6 months now.But he has not yet adjusted. Still he cries almost for the whole time. (Yes there were some days he was fine). I have tried all options Like a Full day, Half a day, sending his toys, lunch from home etc etc. I am not working but want him to adjust in day care so that I can resume work. But its taking long.... He just wants to cling to teachers & go out. Teacher say its not possible all the time :-( On talking front he understands everything speaks few words also. This day care is near to our house (the moment he sees the building Oh!! he starts crying). Earlier I have tried with Nanny at home, but I think in a day care they learn more & would be happy to see other children around... Day care suggest us he will adjust but it will take time... How long will he take now? I am really worried can someone help with a suggestion please......

When my daughter was that age, I was forced to return to work because my ex had left. She hated it and cried all or part of every day for many months. We had to change daycares 3 times because she never adjusted to any of them. At 3 1/2 we finally found a preschool that she adjusted to after a few months. Now 25, she still remembers how sad she was, how deserted she felt and crying for me to come to get her. She became an anxious child and suffers from anxiety to this day.

When my son, who is 6 1/2 years older than my daughter, was 3 1/2 he had entered day care which he loved. He called it going to "cool", being unable to successfully pronounce school. The difference was personality and age.

For 15 years I have been a professional nanny, for the past 10 1/2 for the same family. The children, 10 1/2, nearly 8 and nearly 5, were given the option of entering the best daycare facility in our area for the summer. They all said no way, stating they prefer to be at home where they can play with their own toys, ride their bikes, have play dates with friends, go to the neighborhood pool and even stated they like the freedom to be able to read and/or relax when they want in the comfort of their own home.

Every child I have been nanny to has adjusted well after a few weeks at the most. Being in their own home seems to be the key. If you can afford it, then you may want to try having a nanny in your home again.

My suggestion is to not continue to put your child through the trauma he is going through at day care. And, as a parent who regrets putting her own child through it, don't work at all unless you have to.


Thanks for the suggestion. Sometimes I feel there is lot a child can learn in a day care which I can't provide him at home. I see so many other kids of his age going to day care, adjusted well & are quite happy. On the other hand my son is happy at home but will make the house mess, will tear his books, the moment I miss he will fall etc etc.... The point is he is happy at home but on learning front not much is happening. Also he is little aggressive compared to his age. He has started shouting, beats me & other children (& nothing is working here)...

When he sees his age group most of the times he will simply hit them or will snatch their toys etc .. thinking this I thought its time to put in a day care. I thought when he will b around so many kids of his age he will be better, but nothing happened...... I am really worried what would work for him?

He needs to calm down, he needs to b +ve....

Will sending him to the Preschool help? The same day care center has a Preschool or sending him to a different Preschool... Or trying with a small center with limited kids....

Can u or someone give me ur valuable suggestion or experience...


He just might need time to build a more focused relationship with you and his daddy. My daughter seems to be carrying her 16 month on her hip every hour of the day. It's normal. I remember that each of my kids needed all of my attention from the time they got mobile until they were about three. Of course, there were times when I had to do something else, and then I'd come back in the room to find a huge mess. It's normal.
Rearing a child is a full time job. There's this romantic notion that the baby will play quietly at your feet. That has not been my experience.

According to Bruce Perry, M.D. the tasks that allow children to develop a sound personality are attachment, self-regulation, affiliation, awareness, tolerance, and respect. I wonder if you are jumping ahead to the affiliation and awareness parts before the attachment and self-regulation tasks are done.




Have him something to look forward to after daycare. Like a game,movie,or,even a fun time with you!


Hi !!
Thanks for the ur suggestion. I am not sending him to daycare from past 2 days and observing that his screaming, beating etc is reduced (Though not gone fully). Some of my friends say I am too much caring & worrying for him whereas my hubby & my parents say just focus on him.... They say no matter will take him to school when he is 3....

Lets see how does it goes....

Will surely seek u guys wonderful suggestion.

Thanks a lot !!


Ya once he sees me in the center comes to me & becomes KING.... Then he wants to do everything in the world. He would go to desk, pull drawers, pull toys from the shelf (which are kept for decoration)....

While coming home we sing Rhymes together or I talk to him.... Once we enter to apartment he is too happy to play around (probably he feels it a known place or may b he is with Mommy) ...even back at home goes to sleep nicely.... Then life is fine I mean manageable.... But the only problem is inside the day care when he keeps crying, shouting for us, no food etc.. He is badly on strike inside the day care....

Dont know what will do next... But will surely talk to the center head. In fact we are meeting next week to discuss abt him... Even center says He is the first child of his kind... Lets see whats gonna happen...

But thanks for ur suggestion...

Will surely let u guys know what worked out :-)


If it is possible return to your at-home status, or work out shift-work so your son can be cared for by your spouse. After 6 months or so, if you must, start at a new daycare. Pay for a day before you start working so that you can spend a couple of hours at the facility with your son. Then, leave him there, drive away, and come back in ~5 min. and take him home.


Your son is suffering from depression and from "learned helplessness." You can learn a lot about it online.


Obviously the transition to day care was not handled very well by the facility you use. Perhaps you should look for one which is more holistic and takes settling-in more seriously. A month is not a long time for settling in and it should have been done very gradually.
At our nursery, we settle children over a period of time which is flexible to suit the child. We do a home visit first so that the child can meet his Key Practitioner on his or her own home ground. The child then visits the nursery with parents or carer where they will be supported by this Key Practitioner.


The first visit is very short and the parent stays with the child to support them. More visits like this are arranged, the child staying longer each time. Only when we feel the child is confident enough with staff will we let the parent go off. This again will only be for probably less than half an hour. The unsupported visits continue with the parent leaving and the time getting longer as long as the child is happy. Only when the child is happy to be with us and let their parent/carer go will we think about having the child start with us.


I can't think of a child which we have failed to settle and we are an award winning nursery with international status. We receive visitors from all corners of the globe to see how we work. Our waiting list is currently at around 500 and you virtually have to apply for a place as soon as you conceive. Our ethos is Froebelian.