How long to adjust to preschool? — The Bump
Pre-School

How long to adjust to preschool?

DD just started preschool this week.  Mon-Wed, she was fine, excited to go to school, told me about her day when I picked her up, etc.  Last night, she told me at dinner she didn't want to go to school and she wanted to stay home because she missed me.  She cried for a little bit, and I told her she couldn't stay home because mommy and daddy are going to work.  Prior to preschool, we had a nanny, so DD understands the concept of mommy and daddy leaving for a while to go to work, and then coming back home.  This morning, she cried on and off during breakfast, getting dressed, and in the car.  I felt so bad dropping her off when she's so sad, but I know it's something she has to get used to.  Is there any way we can make this easier for her?  How long does it take to get used to preschool?

Also, I think part of the reason for her crankiness is that she is not getting as long of a nap as she is used to.  At home, she will nap from 1-3, but at school, they wake her up at 2:15 because I pick her up at 2:30.  This schedule will change next week - I will be picking her up at 4, and she will be able to nap as long as she wants.

Re: How long to adjust to preschool?

  • It took my girls 1 month to get used to their new preschool when they started in june (they had been with a nanny or dc since 16 weeks old)....every new transition just takes time...she will get there...and I am sure getting in a full nap will be heplful too...

    to "help" we really talked up all the fun things they get to do at preschool...tried to pack one of their favorite foods with their lunch...and of course brought their luvys for naptime.  GL!

  • It took the better part of a month when he started in September. He's still adjusting to returning after the holidays but he's not quite as hysterical/tearful as he was in September so I'm hoping he'll be fine by next week.

    Good luck!

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  • Hi there -- lurker from school aged kids board.

    When my DD started preschool at age 3, there was no adjustment.  She just went with the flow.

    When my son started, he was upset/tearful for a few weeks.

    But, know that although both of my kids liked preschool and have continued to like elementary and middle school, they both said and continue to say "I don't wanna go to school today" every.single.day.   Don't take mere verbal griping as a sign that there's a problem.

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • My DD began preschool at 3 after being at an inhome daycare since 9 wks. The 1st wk was fine and she was very excited to be at the big girl school. The 2nd wk was another thing...one morning the teacher had to pull her off of me as she screamed. I left in tearsanother parent leaving at the same time told me that her son did the same thing and she made her DH drop him off until he adjustedshe told me it worked within 2 wksshe thought it had something to do with it being Daddy and not the nurturing Mommy leaving him. So, that is what we tried, and it worked within a wk. She never even cried or clinger to DHshe just calmly hugged him and went to breakfast! When I began dropping her off a week later, I told her if she cried or screamed, Daddy would drop her offand she hasn't cried with me since. Don't know if this would work for your LO, but it began with my DD saying she didn't want to go to school either. Hope this helps!
  • Hi! I work with preschool kids (currently in a three year old room).  It is completely normal for kids to take several weeks to adjust to school.  Some cry from the very first day, and some are fine for a day or two and then begin to cry.  It is a major transition for them, and crying is totally normal.  Plus, different nap times or less nap time can also have an effect.  It will take a little while for your child to adjust, but she will be fine.  I have been doing this for 6 years, and by the end of the year you would never know who the initial criers were.
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