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8 Month old Baby Screams when Mom leaves Daycare

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Xander just turned 8 mos this week. But he also started day care this week too. Before that the only person who ever watched him was daddy when I went to class. Now I'm taking 11 credits and some days he's at the on campus center all day.

The screaming of the other infants who are acclimating sets me on edge anyway, and then in spite of getting there early enough to play with him and spend some time together in the environment the moment I hand him over to the workers he begins to scream and my heart lunges into my throat.

Yeah, I'm not that strong. The screaming sets me to tears and I guess I'm wondering how long I can expect him to cry like this before he gets used to his day care providers. They are very loving and there are two way mirrors in every class room so I can go check up on him w/o entering the class room at any given time.

I know he's been crying often when I walk in but today I noticed the teacher was holding him and feeding him some fruit I had left. He seemed content then as soon as I walked in, he screamed and lunged to jump out of her arms. Breaks my heart every time. Poor thing is so out of sorts he won't let me put him down when we get home. I'm telling myself it's just week one, to me and tell me it's just week one ok? lol

-- BF Guru



It is so heartbreaking to hand our babies over to someone else, even someone loving, and hear them wail.

You do have a blessing here: the one-way mirror. As you said, he seemed content when you got there. Of course he lost it when you walked in, because they save all their unhappiness up for us, because we're the ones they trust to make it all better. But the good thing is that after only a few days, he is already acclimating and looking content in your absence, with complete strangers -- and you have the blessing of being able to peek in and see it.

And that of course is why it does matter that it is only a week. Babies need time to attach to caregivers, to transform them from strangers to someone they trust with their lives. A week is not a long time for a little one to get used to someone new. (This is also why it is so hard on babies when daycare centers have personnel turnover.)

I won't lie to you that a full day is a long time for an eight month old to be in daycare, and you can expect him to be completely out of sorts when he gets home initially, and to be affected by being in daycare over time. I hope you'll be able to keep his hours down as you work on your degree. But babies can get used to being away from mom, and getting your degree will give you lots more flexibility in figuring out your work life in the future, so it's certainly a good cause (not that you can expect him to understand it!) Gradually, he will adapt, as will you. It really is only the first week!

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