Calling All Working Moms

I had another post all ready for today, but I need help, ladies. O transitioned to a new daycare room last week when we got back from vacation. (Transition probably isn’t the right word–it was more like dumped into a new room with not much notice, at least that’s how I felt about it all–but that’s a whole other story for another day.)

The two days we went to daycare last week, things went swimmingly. No tears when I dropped him off; things were A-OK with O-bo. Just another day at daycare. Although they did say he had periods of fussiness during the day, (I attributed it to getting over a cold/ear infection) overall he coped just fine.

This week?

It’s not going so well. He’s balling the minute we get into the room, clinging to me as I make him his breakfast and try to leave. I feel bad. Horrible, in fact. (Not guilty–because I know I’m doing what’s best for our family, he needs to go to daycare, he’ll be fine and he’ll have fun.) But just plain sad. I was thinking there has to be something I could do to lessen the pain. A friend of mine who went to daycare as a child said her mom always wore dark lipstick, and when she dropped her off at school or daycare she would kiss her hand, leave a kiss/lip imprint, and say something such as “I’ll be back soon, if you get lonely just give me a kiss through your hand.” Or something like that. It was a much sweeter sentiment.

Thing is, I think O is too young to appreciate something like that–and probably wouldn’t want my lipstick all over him. Heck, most days I don’t have it together enough to apply lipstick.

But that’s beside the point. O doesn’t really have any “transitional” object. Never was much on blankets, never took a binkie. He absolutely LOVES “Melmo,” so I was thinking of getting him a little Elmo doll, but I’m not sure how keen the teachers would be about bringing a toy from home (The other kids might want it? It might cause disruptions?)

So this is where I need some WMAG help. Any ideas to help ease the transition for my boy? Things I could to do so he feels safe, happy, and OK? It’s breaking my heart, yo.

16 thoughts on “Calling All Working Moms

  1. Man, I totally feel your pain. Hence why my husband drops off.

    And yes, a transitional object helps. Our daycare encourages an object. It just must be small enough to fit in their cubbie. They also snuggle with it at nap time.

  2. He has a blanket that they give him at naptime, but I really think he could take it or leave it.

    Although I have started noticing he associates blankets with nighttime, he’ll often grab a blanket (any will do) and say “night night” when he wants a nap or to go down for the night.

  3. Anonymous says:

    When my son transitioned at 11 months, the day care suggested bringing a photo of us (mommy and daddy) to tape inside his naptime crib. We also let him bring something from home on the bad days (his blanket) but he has to leave it in his crib.

    The other thing I wanted to mention is that for some kids, it can take three weeks to settle in and even then, there will be weeks where they are upset and clingy. My son is now 2yrs3months and he is in his third day care (we moved), this one for a year today. He LOVES it. Loves it. However, throughout the entire year, there have been days where he cries and clings to me and is crying when I leave. It comes and goes… two weeks of happy faces and three days of terrible sadness. There’s no real explanation that we can ever find (although once or twice, he’s been coming down with something during these episodes).
    If you’re sure he’s well-cared for and loved at the day care, you might just have to ride it out–and be prepared for the chance that he’ll go through these clingy stages again. Ours were worst at 13/14 months 17/18 months and 24/25 months.

  4. My boys are older now, 9 and 6…I barely get a hug from them anymore. My 9 year old had transition issues with EVERYTHING until he went to Kindergarten. One teacher suggested putting a family picture in his pocket, and he could look at it whenever he wanted during the day. Of course, you may have a print out a new one each week because boy’s pockets get dirty.
    My best advice is stick to a routine in the morning and at drop off time. It still may take a few days to get comfortable…think about how long it takes us as adults to feel comfortable in a new job, new commute route, new boss, etc.
    Also, remember that the past few weeks has likely been a crazy time (hoildays,etc) so he may just be getting back into a routine.

  5. just4ofus says:

    I am sure it is the “newness” of the situation. It does break your heart when they cry like that.. and it makes you feel guilty. There is no avoiding that, but hopefully he will find that he plays more and has more fun in this, I assume, older room?
    Trust your instincts and if he continues after “transition” time to be this way, look for something different.

  6. Erin - ExpectingExecutive says:

    This will get better. If you are uncomfortable, your child will probably pick up on your discomfort, so I would suggest keeping things as light and happy when dropping him off in the morning as possible. I also agree with the other comments about a blanket, stuffed animal or other comfort object…there should be some pretty good post-holiday discounts on a cuddly Elmo! Best wishes- EE

  7. Southern Mom says:

    We are experiencing the same thing. The past 2 weeks my Little Man bawls at drop off time. The teacher assures me is fine within 20-30 minutes. I think it is just his age.

  8. The only time you had any seperation anxiety was after Christmas break in kindergarten. For some reason you thought the year was over at Christmas break and DID NOT want to go back to school. I envision you clinging to the door frame as I am encouraging you to go out the door. IF that long break had anything to do with your anxiety, perhaps the same thing can be said of O-bo. BUT he has never really had a time when he was anxious about leaving you, so maybe he is due. This too shall pass. He was showing a little bit of that on occasion when you visited us,so it could be just a stage he is going through.

  9. Anonymous says:

    My son’s daycare prepares for transitions weeks in advance by having cross-over time at the beginning and end of each day when the neighboring age groups are together in both rooms. It would be ideal if your son’s place could begin to do that, though I know that’s in the future and your concern is today. I agree with the prior comments re: a blanket or something of yours he could hold on to with your scent (hankie or scarf)?

  10. Thanks everyone for your comments and ideas. I’ve been calling daycare a lot to check up on him. From what they tell me, he calms down fairly soon after I leave.

    I might just try to get him something little to give him as a transitional object. Something he can fit into his pocket. It’s gonna have to be really little–but I can think of something!

  11. gorillabuns says:

    my husband used to drop off our daughter with her beloved frog. the key words here: husband and frog.

    not me.

  12. Okay, as a working mom I just had time to skim the comments 🙂 so I’m probably repeating some things, but one of my sons definately has transition issues. It takes him about three weeks – preschool and kindergarten were the same. And I went through the whole gamut of guilt, sadness, everything.

    Our preschools were fine with bringing toys, and my kids don’t really have one thing, so picking a new toy was something they did each morning. My friend at kindergarten pinned a laminated photo to his shirt for him to look at, it was really cute. And of course my son too didn’t cry as much with my husband, why the heck is that?

  13. I’m not sure if your son is too young, but my daycare started something interesting. The children push Mommy out the door. The kids get such a kick out of giving Mommy a good hard shove that they forget they didn’t want her to leave

  14. HippieLunatic says:

    I’ve found that something as simple as a high-five routine works wonders for my boys.

    As I’m leaving their rooms, we do a “High-five for an awesome day!”

    My three year-old loves it, and he will often initiate it these days.

  15. Wow. Even more great ideas. O loves “high fives” so I’ll definitely have to give that a try. Heck, I’m willing to give everything a try–at least once!

    Two days I was able to leave w/out crying, but then it started back up again. He also got a cold, too, so that might have had something to do with it, like one mom mentioned.

  16. I just found this website, very cool. I don’t know if this is possible and he may be too young for this but my DD’s daycare has a window that faces out to the parking lot. Like many of you, DH does the drop off and they have a routine of saying bye at the window. So after she gets her stuff dropped off he asks her if she wants to wave to him at the window, she goes to the window and DH heads out to the car and they wave their goodbye’s. After that one of the teacher’s takes her to her room. Hope its getting better!

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