motherhood

What happens when a toddler starts daycare

So yesterday was THE DAY for our family. My toddler starts daycare and this is the first time that he is away from me more than the 1.5 hrs I leave him at the toddler room during church hours. I feel so proud of him because he stood strong the 6 hours that the program comprehends and although in his report the teacher tells me he was angry and frustrated, he stood there for those good 6 hours.

I have to accept I was anxious. See, I enrolled him in this program because I need time to be more productive in my side hustle, my cooking, my new enterprise and to have a little time for myself. When I left him he was crying out loud like there’s no tomorrow. It broke my heart but I shed no tears and was trying to comfort him before I left. I remembered to tell him that I was going to be back and that I loved him very much. The cordinator told me to call in two hours to see how he was doing. 

At 10:30 am I called to check on him and they told me that since there was one teacher that takes care of him when we go to church, she gave them so queues of how to treat him. In the report, they stated that he was angry and sad, but apparently that was a normal first day in daycare, so I it calmed down my anxiety and I was hopeful that next wednesday he would do better.

But then the storm came. He didn’t nap at all at daycare, so after eating dinner, at 6 he was more than ready to sleep, so while I was holding him I sang to him and he went to sleep…for an hour… and he woke up crying…I had no clue of what was happening. See, I’m a first timer , he is my first and only child, so I thought that he was going to sleep until the next day, because in past ocassions it has happened like that. But when he woke up crying and crying, I was scared that he could have eaten something at the daycare, then checked his bum cause I thought it could be the diaper rash he was starting to get in his bum the day before, I though he had a belly ache, I mean, I tried everything and he cried and cried, non stop. Nothing was calming him. Finally I sat in the floor hugging him and trying to be playful but all he wanted was to be wrapped around me. That’s when I realized that he thought I was leaving him at the daycare forever. I felt sad too, and talked to him, letting him know that I will always be coming back for him. I hugged him for good 30 minutes and slowly he calmed down. So in the middle of him feeling tired of so much crying, my husband took him in his arms and fed his milk while I was laying down in the middle of the living room. What we do to try to avoid distrations is that the parent that’s not with him is to be seated in the dark (usually playing with the cellphone) until the parent taking care of our baby is concentrated in feeding him and putting him to sleep. So since I was laying in the living room, I dragged myself around the couch until I stood up in the dinning area and went to sit down while Allen was putting him to sleep in his room.

Tough day, but let me tell you this is how children builds resilience. My child is an only son, so you can imagine he has been pampered and has our whole attention, but it’s in this spans of time while at the daycare that he learns that even if i drop him off and he cries like there’s no tomorrow, we will start to realize I will always come back for him. I have faith that he is growing stronger character and that he will learn how to play with children his age, share toys, pay attention to the teacher and be more communicative.

I cannot tell you how grateful I am with the two teachers and the cordinator of the Parents Day Out Program from my church. They are wrapped in blessing and they are in my prayers. 

How did you manage the first day of school with your toddler? Have you got any ideas that I can apply to make this transition easier? Would you share them with this newbie mom? I hope to read your comments and if you find this story useful, share it with your friends. 

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