How long to settle at daycare

posted 3 months ago in Parenting
Post # 2
2696 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Going back to work sucks. I had 14 months off with my first and he started nursery when he was 13 months old. It took him a good month or so to really settle (he goes 3 days a week) he had comfort items at nursery and the teachers let him have them whenever he needed. He still has moments now when being dropped off (he’s 2 now) but he loves it.


try not to pick her up early on days (for one they don’t give you your money back for any hours you don’t use) but also it will help her settle into their routine. Soton85 :  

Post # 3
861 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

My daughter has been going to daycare since she was around 4 months old, it’s helped that she started so young but now at 10 months she has started to cry during drop off. It’s difficult leaving them but socializing is very good for them, give her about 2 weeks to really transition since it’s such a new environment. I would also recommend keeping the schedule the way it will be, no early pickups or pop on visits-this only makes it harder for them. Routine is key to any new event 

Post # 4
9327 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I would give it at least a month, and try to stick to a schedule. My kiddo has been going to daycare since she was 10 weeks old and still would cry at drop off for a long while. She got over it though.

Post # 5
7447 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Soton85 :  it can take some time for her to get used to the change but she’ll get there. And then even once she loves it she’ll have off days (see: my almost 2 year old screaming her head off this morning as I left even though on the way she was talking about how she couldn’t wait to go to school and see her friends). I would let her go the full day so she can get into the routine. 

Post # 6
318 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2020 - City, State

I operated my own in-home daycare for over 10 years, and worth noting is the absolute importance of not lingering during drop-off. Not saying you do this, but when a youngster was struggling with the transition to coming to my home, vs. whatever the previous situation was, we were most successful with quick drop-offs. It can take some time, but absolutely every child that struggled did not do so for long, as they aclimated to the routine. The children that took the longest to adjust were always the ones who had parents who lingered at drop-off. 

Post # 7
2552 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

Routine is key. I feel like it’s harder the longer they’re home with you as far as seperation anxiety/change in routine. My son went to daycare pretty early on, so we never had the issue initially, but there were definitely phases he went through where he didn’t want to be left at daycare/wanted to stay with me etc….espeically around that year mark which is where you’re at now. 

My best advice is to keep drop off short and concise. Give a hug and kiss, say your goodbyes and leave. The more you hang around the worse it gets (in my experience). 

Post # 8
9541 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

I worked at a day care and honestly having your parents pick her up early is going to have the opposite effect. Consistency in her routine will help her settle. And keep drop off short.

Post # 9
672 posts
Busy bee

I’m going to go against the the grain and say you need to plan and pay for a longer transition period. Apparently new research points debunks the cold turkey approach and points to longer, slow transition periods. For kindergarten, a teacher friend of mine says the transition is a full month in her district so she asked me why I wouldn’t consider the same for my 12-month baby. We transition DS into daycare at 13-months over three months and the difference between him and the other children in terms of adjustment and attachment is astounding. Our plan kind of looked like this: the first week I stayed with him for 1.5-2 hours 3x, the second week, I stayed with him 2 hours for two days and my mom stayed with him 2 hours for two days. The third and fourth week, my mom stayed with him through nap time. The fifth through eighth week, we had him picked up after nap ended but only 3 days a week. For the ninth to twelfth week, we had him picked up after nap time but 5 days a week. Then after twelfth we started picking him after nap time later and later and then did full-time. The first week he fussed and the second week he smiled, waved and walked away to play with his friends. While ours was long drawn out (we were also dealing with what we know now as an undiagnosed cows milk allergy so he kept getting sick and had on and off ear infections) doing something even over a month (vs two or three days) could make a huge difference to your child’s stress and attachment. I highly urge you to look up some of the new advise and studies on the matter. We also have a set goodbye routine that also helped. I tell him what the plan is for the day on our car ride over, then when I drop him off I give him a kiss, re-tell the plan quickly and say mommy will be back in xx hours because mommy always comes back. Then I leave. I also heard when you pick up your child it’s always good to talk to the caretaker so your child sees that you trust the person. 

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