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Baby hates child care

(16 Posts)
zaffa Sun 27-Sep-20 10:11:58


My DD is only nine months and I've been trying to settle her in at the child minder and GP for when I go back to work and she just sobs when I pick her up. Like she thought I would never come back so she accepted the situation and quietened down when I was gone and then she saw me and remembered she had a mummy and can't let go of me in case she loses me again.
I only leave her for an hour or so at a time (childminder was just 15 mins) and if she sees me go she will sob the whole time I'm gone almost but if I hand her over to GP she will be ok for a bit until she realises she can't see me and I'm not there apparently. She will eventually settle but when I fetch her she will throw herself into my arms and just sob and cling on to me.
I hate it but I have to go back to work soon and I just don't know what to do. Is it damaging to her to think I've abandoned her? How can I calm her? She also doesn't nap well if I'm not there and so she's tired and that must make it worse. She doesn't nap well even if I am there actually as I have spent a few whole days with GP to get her used to the house and she will do a 40 min nap (usually at least 1.5 hours at home).
Is anyone else suffering with this?

OP’s posts: |
FizzingWhizzbee123 Sun 27-Sep-20 20:50:04

It’s a hard age, there’s a separation anxiety phase around that age which is probably impacting. The phase will pass.

WINDOLENE Sun 27-Sep-20 20:55:22

Wait until she is having fun with a toy and then just go quickly. Sounds horrible to leave without saying bye but the staff will have strategies on place to deal with her being upset. And before you know it she'll be too busy having fun to even notice you've gone. Trust the staff.

StellaGib Sun 27-Sep-20 20:55:50

Are you saying a proper good bye to her when you leave, or are your sneaking out?

If you sneak out you will make her clingy and anxious, as she will be terrified you could disappear at any moment! She needs to know you are leaving, and come to trust you will return.

zaffa Mon 28-Sep-20 20:12:19

Thanks everyone sorry it's taken me so long to reply! I've tried both handing her over and leaving without fuss and settling her in the house and saying a proper goodbye and I've tried working from theirs so literally being somewhere else in the house but not visible. I think actually being there but not with her is the worst as she gets really upset. And the day I settled her in the house (this is all at my DPiL) and then left she apparently sobbed the whole time I was gone and they had to keep walking her round the house to see I wasn't there.
I've suggested to the child minder we do similar but I'm just worried she will sob the whole time I am away and that can't be good for her psychologically can it? She must think I've abandoned her and she won't see me again and I hate the idea of her being so distressed. I know people say she will be fine but it doesn't sound like she is fine once I'm gone, it sounds like she's distraught. And then when I come back she clings onto me, as soon as she sees me she starts crying and leaps at me and holds on so tight like she's scared she will lose me again 😔

OP’s posts: |
zaffa Mon 28-Sep-20 20:14:59


It’s a hard age, there’s a separation anxiety phase around that age which is probably impacting. The phase will pass.

Do you know how long it takes to pass? Covid doesn't help loads as she is seldom away from me - I'm trying to leave her with GP to get her used to it more but she's so distressed that I hate doing it. How long does it take for them to accept that it's ok to be away from their mummies?

OP’s posts: |
JoJoSM2 Mon 28-Sep-20 20:18:54

Just say a clear bye bye so she knows you’re leaving. She’ll learn that you do come back. When she’s in a routine, eg getting left with a childminder every day after breakfast, she’ll get used to it.

It probably is a bad idea to take her round the house to show you aren’t there. I’d go with trying to take her mind off it and playing or making silly faces and sounds.

Gigglr Mon 28-Sep-20 20:21:33

Can it either be the grandparents or the childminder not both at first? She needs to bond strongly and trust one other person not be bounced around between 3 people. She's telling you it isn't working and you're right to listen.

Wheresmycider Mon 28-Sep-20 20:23:19

My eldest went to the same nursery from nine months till starting school.
He loved it, always into things, i used to get lots of pictures of him happy and smiling.
But for the better part of 3 years he would howl at drop off and make me feel evil for abandoning him. A cuddle with his keyworker and he was fine again.

Now he heads into school without a backwards glance.

If your little one can be calmed down from her initial upset and will engage with whatever carer she is with then try not to worry. She doesn't yet understand that you will always come back, it takes time.

RedRumTheHorse Mon 28-Sep-20 21:18:14

As Gigglr said it needs to be grandparents or childminder not both at the same time. In your case it needs to be CM so you can work without worrying.

Also when you say "Goodbye" it needs to be a brief one. So not lots of hugging and kissing. A quick kiss and a goodbye. Do it on the doorstep on drop-offs. You also need to control your emotions so you are happy and calm when you drop her off so she doesn't pick up on any anxiety.

On pickups never go into the house stay in the hall near the door if you have to go in to dress her as you aren't visiting. (Due to the Covid situation you shouldn't be going in at all.) You are trying to and need to get her to associate the CM as a safe, warm and fun place without mummy (and daddy).

Do this consistently every single time so it is a routine for you.

My DD apart from a 2 month period at 22-23 months, oddly after lockdown, has been fine with drop-offs and pickups. She started the CM at the same time as yours and did need lots of cuddles when she started around mid-morning but soon wanted to interact with the older children.

zaffa Tue 29-Sep-20 06:19:29

The reason we are doing both is that her care is split between PIL and CM while I'm at work. Two days with each, so she had to get used to both of them. The CM doesn't have four days available and PIL can't do four so I don't really have a choice on this one.
Thank you for the other advice - I will persevere and try to get her into more of a routine with it. I don't cry or get upset at hangovers but I walk away hating myself for her being so upset.

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LittleBearPad Tue 29-Sep-20 06:25:13

Your PIL don’t sound like they are helping.
Walking round the house looking for you isn’t going to settle her. They need to distract her, go out for a walk, feed the ducks etc. If they are going on about how much she misses you it’s not helpful to anyone.

zaffa Tue 29-Sep-20 06:31:17

They don't go on about it, I asked them how she was when I was gone. And maybe it wasn't a good thing to do but it wasn't malicious, they love her dearly and are desperate to settle her with them so they can do things like to for walks etc. They have a beautiful property with a pony and a wildlife pond and a farmers field that neighbours them with cows so there's plenty to see but she doesn't settle well so when they put her in the pram she got more upset and cried. She just wanted them to hold her apparently.
They didn't volunteer any of this but I wanted to know how she was once I had gone and so asked questions.
Before lockdown we used to visit at least twice a week, she used to stay there while I went out for lunch or to the shops and she was perfectly happy but of course she was too little to remember that now so I think it perhaps upsets them too that she gets so distressed.

OP’s posts: |
zaffa Tue 29-Sep-20 06:33:53

Also the walking round the house is something I started - they've recently extended so I walked her round the first few times we started this so she could get used to the house and where everything is. My reasoning being that in our house she knows all the rooms and the layout so it may make her feel more safe if she knew where everything was and what all the different rooms are. She's very communicative and uses a specific gesture when she wants to go somewhere so I think she was gesturing to them to take her through doors etc (a bit like pointing but more open handed)

OP’s posts: |
LittleBearPad Tue 29-Sep-20 07:51:14

Have you taken some of her toys to your PILs?

I would settle her there before you try to do so at the childminder if at all possible.

But your PILs are going to have to distract her.

zaffa Tue 29-Sep-20 07:56:38

I've taken her playmat and duplicated some toys - I did wonder if everything smells different and if I should leave some stuff from home there too. She hasn't yet attached to a blanket or a toy so I'm not sure if I could encourage that to help her too. They are trying to distract her, the last time I left her there (Friday) they played games and sang songs with her (they sent me a little video) but as soon as I got back she saw me and started crying and leapt af me and just wouldn't let me go. She had to come to the loo with me because she got so upset if I stepped out of sight!

OP’s posts: |

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