Posted in Child Care, Toddlers

Adjusting to gym daycare

Attempting, once again, to start my son at our gym daycare. At 21 months I think more socialization and stimulation may be good for him. After two drop offs I just dread taking him back. It's heartbreaking how he cries at drop off and pick up. It's been a rough week. How long did it take your toddler to adjust to a similar setting? Any encouragement appreciated.

  • Anonymous
    Jan 24

    So first of all, I'm a SAHM. Something I never thought I would be, I was in daycare my whole child hood and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way, so when I found a gym that would watch my kid for 2 hours a day I jumped at the chance! I now work in the gym nursery so hopefully I can give you a few things to try. How long do you leave him? Does he cry the whole time? Will they come and get you if he cries for a certain amount of time? Like 10 or 15 minutes?

  • Lindsay
    Jan 24

    Yes, it's a great place. He's just so used to being with me. This last time I had to leave him longer than I'd like bc I had to call into a work meeting. It was nearly two hours but I try to do just an hour at a time. He cried off and on the whole time. Often the problem is he cries so much they put him in the bouncer and he falls asleep. Which really messes him up for the rest of the day. I know they just do their best though. I just hate that how he screams when I leave. Ugh, so hard to think about taking him back on Saturday but also don't want to start this process all over again either.

  • Anonymous
    Jan 25

    So have a lot of kids and parents who have this problem, it's normal, and very few have not gotten over it. There are a few things you could do. I would recommend going every day if you can. Start with 20 to 30 minutes, that's long enough to let him cry but short enough to show him 'mommy always comes back'. Then as time goes on you should be able to increase the time, and he will cry less and less. When you leave him make it short and sweet. 'mommy is going to work out, I love you and I will be right back' then leave, get out of sight. If you linger, or try to calm him down you are just making it worse for everyone. If he is truly hysterical tell them to come get you after 10 to 15, and try again the next day. Consistency is key already until he gets used to it. And on their part it's important to distract him so if he really loves something maybe you can ask to bring that with him, or for them to get out the kind of toy he loves that may help him get comfortable. I'm surprised they are putting him in a bouncer, that's not an appropriate toy for an almost 2 year old, I would cry too! Hope this all helps!

  • Lindsay
    Jan 25

    That does help. We're down to one car so every day is not possible. I am shooting for every other day and may need to just shorten the time. Thank you for the encouragement. Interesting about the bouncer. I always think it's odd seeing him in with the tiny tiny babies...

  • Lindsay
    Jan 26

    Just dropped him off. Another bad one. How long does it usually take for them to adjust?

  • Anonymous
    Jan 26

    It could take a week or 2. Just depends on how consistently you go. Maybe try telling him where you are going and what you are doing when you leave the house, then again when you get there so there are no surprises. Sounds weird but this really helped my son during potty training, if I told him when we were going to go he wouldn't fight as much as if I just surprised him with a trip the the bathroom.

  • Lindsay
    Jan 26

    I do tell him and he nods. He nods to everything though. I don't think he gets it. Today he really fought going and cried screaming "no no no" both at beginning and end. They kept him in the toddler room this time and I saw on the tv screen that he was actually walking around. I thought this was progress. Then I went to pick him up and they said he had a really hard time. Ugh.... Will try him again tomorrow. I do not like this phase!

  • Dani
    Jan 26

    I hope he adjusts for you! When my son was 1 we tried daycare and he went on a hunger string for the whole 3 months he was there and we ended up pulling him out because he started dropping weight. He never played with any of the other kids or napped. Now he’s 3 and tells me he wants to go to school all the time 🙄 it is a phase and I hope your little one adjusts quickly!

  • Lindsay
    Jan 26

    Thanks, Dani. It's an hour (maybe 2) a day. Its been hard though. Definitely dealing with a sleep regression which doesn't help. Really hoping to see some progress this week. There are lots of kids there that enjoy it. I'd like that for Clark too but we'll see. I think starting and stopping is just making his anxiety about it worse. We'll just need to push through and see if he turns a corner.