Advice needed for toddler with separation anxiety — The Bump
Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

Advice needed for toddler with separation anxiety

I am a SAHM to my 20 month old son.  About 2 months ago I joined a gym (yay!) but rarely go b/c of the crying that occurs when I try to drop my son off in the daycare room.  Usually he only cries until I leave the room then immediately stops (I listen outside the door).  The last time, however, he started crying in the parking lot.  The crying was so extreme I didn't even bother trying to drop him off so we left.  I have yet to go back bc Im afraid the same thing will happen.  He has been babysit on occasion by my parents, my cousin, and a neighbor, and has always been fine.  Maybe b/c it's in the comfort of his home?  I feel so guilty bc I don't HAVE to workout but it's the only thing I do for myself.  It just seems silly to force him in the daycare room in a state of hysteria so I can go on a elliptical for a half an hour.  Additionally, I need to sign him him and discuss his food allergies with the staff that day so I can't exactly make it a quick drop off.  He clings to my leg screaming.  Do I wait a few months and try again?  I felt like all eyes were judging me the last time....people watching me to see "is this woman really going to put a screaming kid in there so she can work out?!"  He is my first child so Im trying not to screw him up lol.  I know if this was school or I had to go back to work he would have no choice but b/c it is just exercise for me I feel terrible.  Advice?

Re: Advice needed for toddler with separation anxiety

  • My son is the same way when I drop him off at the sitters to go tog work. he's never there more than 2 hours but acts like it's the worst place. it took some time getting used to but I finally had to put on my mom face and just walk away when he screams. I give him a mooch and a hug and out the door I go. usually she gives him food immediately so he's happy. and mines been with a sitter since he was a month old. I think that my working 2nd shift and being home all day is getting to him when I have to leave suddenly. it's hard :(

  • We just transitioned to a daycare.  My DS is 15 months and until a week ago he stayed with his aunt who has a 3 yr old.  She no longer could keep him so we put him in daycare.  The first two days he did great.  By 3rd day reality must have set it and he cries when my DH drops him off.  He settles shortly after but it breaks my heart that he is not happy.  I'm hoping he adjusts.  When I pick him up he is usually just walking around looking bored.   I pick him up around 5 so I took that as it's the end of the day and they have started to clean up.  However on Friday I picked him up at 1 and it was same thing.  He's an active kid so if there is nothing for him to do during the day I don't see it getting  better.   Luckily he will move to toddler room in two and half months and there is a lot to do in there.  
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  • My kid has had some separation anxiety recently, especially on Mondays after he's had a nice long weekend with mama & dada. I have to go to work so there's no other option. It can be upsetting. But, if I were you I'd keep trying. With my LO sometimes when he's really upset I will stay an extra 5 minutes and just sit on the floor with him til he calms down and then he's fine. Once in awhile though that completely backfires, he gets more upset when I try to leave and then I just have to let a teacher hold him while I leave. Try some different things but don't give up. I had terrible anxiety as a kid and I think part of it was because my mom was SAHM and I never was anywhere without her until I was in school at 4 yo. I know she tried to put me in preschool but I threw such a fit she gave up.  I wish she had made me go because by the time I was in 2nd grade my anxiety about her leaving me and not coming back was bad enough I had to see therapists.

    Don't feel guilty it's "just exercise" do stuff all day for your kid (and partner?) so you deserve "me" time too. And I guarantee no one with kids is judging you...they're probably all relieved it's not their kid screaming and crying this time. Some days I leave and it's my kid crying, some days I Ieave the daycare and its some other poor mom trying to get her hysterical toddler to calm down. We've all been there. 
  • Thank you all so much!  I appreciate the feedback.  Since I posted it has gotten much, much better, dare I say he even went in smiling today?  Now a new husband's office party is this week.  My son has never had anyone besides me or my husband or my mom do his bedtime routine.  We have the neighbor doing it and Im borderline terrified.  He will either be fine or a total disaster and will be awake crying when we get in at like 11. Any suggestions there?  She is coming over earlier in the week to see what I do at night but like I said, any times we have gone out it's been my mom or we have put him to bed and went out after.  Don't think we can do it this time b/c the party starts at 6.  Yikes. 
  • I think having the neighbor come over so you can walk her through what you do is a great idea. I always am the one to put my daughter to bed, but recently went out with DH and my MIL put her to bed. I was so nervous, but she followed everything I do for bedtime and it went very smoothly. Try not to stress and enjoy yourself! Even if he ends up not going to bed until you get home it's just one night and in the grand scheme of things isn't a big deal. 
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