View Full Version : How long do you give for child to "adjust"

04-02-2014, 09:03 AM
I have a new little boy in my daycare, he's just turned one and has never had anyone watch him but his mom/dad, grandparents and a neighbour once in a while. He's been here for 2 days and he just screams for the entire time he is here.
I've held him, rocked him, fed him, played with him, tried just about everything to get him to stop crying and nothing is working.
BTW he's never been in a playpen and that's something I do use in my dc for when I have to leave the room for bathroom breaks, making lunch, snacks etc. He also cannot sleep without being put into this zipped up hammock thingy. It's been a rough couple of days and the other kids are holding their ears he is screaming so loud. Any advice what I can do to help him transition into my daycare and how long do you keep trying before you think, hey this is never going to change :( This is why with my current daycare parents, once they have a baby, I always request they start bringing them to me at least 3 or 4 months before they go back to work. Start with 1/2 day and work up from there and they have all adapted wonderfully.
This one is pushing my stress level and he's sooo loud, lol.

04-02-2014, 09:43 AM
Is he eating or sleeping in your care? If yes, I would consider that a sign that things may get better fairly soon. Does the child sleep in the hammock thing with you? I personally wouldn't use a weird contraption in my daycare. I have many attachment parenting children in my care, some had never slept in a crib before and they sleep perfectly fine in a crib in my daycare. Kids are adaptable and will quickly learn new ways in new places so I would start a new child off in the manner I want them to be sleeping in long term.

Anyways...it can take a good 1-2weeks before the crying subsides, sometimes longer. Different children cope in different ways. It sucks, it is brutal on us, hard on the other children but it CAN be perfectly normal. That said...some children just can't cope and adapt and it is on you to figure out if you think this child will or not. Pull the plug when you see fit. There is nothing wrong with telling a family this just isn't going to work.

Hopefully the child eases into care in the next few days and it gets easier for you all. Just find ways to cope. I had a child start and he did best if I completely ignored him when he was completely melting down at the gate. If I even looked that way or spoke to the child he would get worse and go longer. If I sat nearby playing with other children with my back to him, he'd stop and come over to join us for a bit (tear free). It sounds mean, goes against what we as caregivers want to do but for some children it is the best thing to do. I also found that sometimes a firm "stop" would break the crying cycle and reset their mood for a bit.

I also keep the first few weeks as transition free as possible to help the child. We don't go outside as that is just another set of transitions and a new place to adapt to when already overwhelmed. I do extra snacks as they often don't eat a full amount in one sitting and they are just much calmer with some food in their bellies.

I did luck out that I never had a child cry/scream all day. They all ate and slept (though short naps) from the start which helps wonders. It is utterly exhausting to listen to crying/screaming. BUT...my child that took the longest and was the hardest to adapt is an amazing child that knows all routines and is thriving now. It is amazing how well the child has adapted in just 3 months with us.

Hang in there.

04-02-2014, 09:47 AM
Thanks for the advise, the mom does seem to be willing to work with me, I think personally that they waited to long to get him into daycare, she returns to work full time next Monday. As long as I am where he can touch me, he is not to bad, but when I have to leave the group to answer the door, make lunch, OMG the screams that comes out of this little guy. You wouldn't think they would have a set of lungs like some of them do, lol. I'm hoping that with the parents help, he will transition ok, he is definitely held a LOT at home, you can just tell the ones that are so I have asked them for the next few days to try walking away from him a bit and to get a playpen to get him used to being in it, hopefully that will help. My other kids are used to hearing almost no crying here and this is leaving them wondering wth ;) Ahhhhh, to win the lottery right now, haha

Crayola kiddies
04-02-2014, 11:18 AM
It's a little late for this piece of advise but I always give my parents coming off mat leave a printout of how to prepare their child for group care .... Such as not holding them all the time, not rocking to sleep , put them in playpens to have naps and in different rooms in the house , self feeding self soothing warning off bottles ..... Blah blah blah .....hopefully that's something you can do in the future .... For this one you'll have to tell mom that she needs to start putting him in a playpen at home for a nap not a hammock .... Put him on the floor to play and not to engage him let him do it himself .... Teach him delayed gratification by not running to his every whimper ...put him in bed sleepy but not asleep so he can learn to self soothe ...self feed ... Ect.... If she is willing to help and do the things you suggest then might only take a couple of weeks


04-02-2014, 11:33 AM
Yes, that's what I always do when people call me for daycare and their little ones are around 8 or 9 months of age, but this one called one week before her return to work so it's been really tough on the little guy. I did tell her she had to get a play pen and start putting him in it as well as to stop holding him all the time and also that she had to leave the room for a few minutes, come back in and repeat so he gets to know that mom or I will leave from time to time, but we come back. He has never napped here before, only done a couple 1/2 days but today is his first full day so I'm hoping he goes down and sleeps for a while, LOL. wish me luck ;)

5 Little Monkeys
04-02-2014, 12:40 PM
I typically expect a transition period to last up to 2 weeks. Most of my hdc children have adjusted much quicker than this but there are some children who need longer. As long as I see improvement, I can bear with it and keep hoping that the next day will be even better. If there were no signs of improvement though, I would consider telling the parents within the first 2 weeks that if there was no sign of transitioning within the first month that they would have to find alternate care. Just like adults don't always mesh well with others, kids are the same. It doesn't mean that we failed, it just means our daycare and the kids personality don't get along.

Good luck!!!