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What are some effective ways to manage my toddler's separation anxiety during drop-offs at daycare or preschool?

Hi everyone,

I am a new mom and recently started sending my 2-year-old daughter to daycare. However, she seems to be experiencing separation anxiety during drop-offs, and it breaks my heart to leave her crying. I have tried talking to her teachers and they have suggested a few things, such as staying with her for a few minutes, bringing a comfort item from home or creating a goodbye routine. But I was wondering if any parents have experienced the same thing and have some other tips to share? I want to make this transition easier for both my daughter and myself.

Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer!

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Hey there,

I can relate to what you're going through. My son had severe separation anxiety when he first started preschool. Every morning was a struggle; he would scream and cry when I left him there. It was heart-wrenching to see him so upset.

One thing that helped us was to gradually extend the amount of time we spent apart. For example, at first, I would stay with him for 10-15 minutes before leaving. Then the next day, I would stay for 5 minutes, and so on. Eventually, he became more comfortable with longer and longer periods of separation.

I also found that it helped to focus on the positive aspects of preschool. For example, I would talk to him about all the fun activities he would do and the new friends he would make. This helped him feel excited about going to school, rather than dreading it.

Finally, I made sure to praise my son for his bravery and courage in dealing with his anxiety. I would tell him how proud I was of him and how much I loved him, which seemed to boost his confidence and self-esteem.

Hang in there, and stay positive! It's tough, but with patience and perseverance, your child will adjust to the new routine.


Hey there,

I can certainly relate to your struggle. When my son started daycare at the age of two, he used to cry and cling onto me every time I left him. It was a tough transition for both of us.

One tip that helped us was to involve our son in the drop-off routine. For example, we would let him carry his backpack or help him hang it up on his hook. This gave him a sense of independence, and he felt more in control of the situation.

Another thing that worked well was to keep the goodbye short and sweet. I found that the longer I lingered, the harder it was for my son to let me go. So, I kept the goodbye brief and cheerful, and then left. His teacher was always on hand to distract him with an activity as soon as I was out of sight.

One technique that was suggested to us was to use a transitional object. I brought in a small photo album with a few pictures of our family and some of our favorite activities. My son could hold that photo album whenever he needed comfort, and it reminded him of our love for him.

Finally, I would recommend talking to your daycare provider and teachers about any concerns you have. They are trained to handle these situations and could give you more specific tips for your child.

Remember though, consistency is essential. Sticking to a consistent routine and following the same approach every time will help to ease your child's anxiety and make it easier for you both in the long run.



I'm a first-time mom, and my son started daycare when he was six months old. He had a difficult time adjusting to the new routine, and I had to cope with his separation anxiety each morning. I tried a few things, and I want to share what worked for us.

Firstly, I made sure to be prepared and organized before dropping off my son at daycare. I would pack everything we needed the night before, so I wouldn't have to rush around in the morning. This approach helped us to be less anxious and stress-free.

Secondly, I found it helpful to establish a goodbye ritual or habit. I would give my son a big hug and kiss, tell him that I loved him, and say that I would come back soon. It gave him a sense of stability and assurance.

Thirdly, I would recommend finding a good daycare with a caring and friendly staff. The daycare staff would often hold and comfort my son when he was upset or crying, which helped to calm him down.

I found it extremely helpful to talk to other parents and daycare providers as they had useful tips and could sympathize with my situation. One of the other parents suggested that I didn’t sneak out and that it would cause more panic. Instead, I should try to make coming to daycare something to look forward to - a place for growth, fun, and developing social skills.

It took some time, but eventually, with consistent efforts, my son began to enjoy coming to daycare, and his separation anxiety became less apparent.


Hi there!

I totally understand what you're going through. When my daughter started preschool last year, she had severe separation anxiety and would cry every time I dropped her off. It was difficult for me too, as I felt guilty leaving her even though I knew she was in good hands.

One thing that really helped me was to establish a goodbye routine. For example, we would wave goodbye at the window, blow kisses or give hugs before I left. This gave her a sense of consistency, and she knew what to expect every time I left.

Another thing that worked well for us was bringing a comfort item from home. My daughter has a favorite teddy bear, and she would cuddle with it whenever she felt anxious. It seemed to give her a sense of security and comfort when I wasn't around.

Finally, I also made sure to talk to her teachers and let them know about her anxiety. They were very understanding and would often take her under their wing and distract her with an activity or game.

It took a few weeks, but eventually, my daughter started feeling more comfortable and secure at preschool. She made friends and looked forward to going to school every day. Hang in there, it does get easier!


Hi there,

I can understand how hard it can be to leave your child at daycare when they experience separation anxiety. My daughter had a tough time adjusting to preschool too. I tried to develop a good rapport with her teacher so that she could get comfortable with her surroundings.

One thing that helped us was to schedule some playdates with other kids from her preschool. This helped my daughter get to know her classmates and form new friendships which made her excited to go to school every day.

Another strategy that worked for us was to keep the goodbye routine cheerful but brief. I would give my daughter a quick hug and kiss and say "I love you, and I'll see you soon!" and then leave. Even if she was crying when I left, her teacher would assure me that she would calm down within 5-10 minutes.

One of the things that helped my daughter the most was showing her what to expect. I would take her to the school a few times a week so that she became more comfortable with the environment there. Soon her nervousness and anxiety faded away, and she started to eagerly go to school every day.

Remember, every child is different, and everyone's situation is unique, but with right support and encouragement, your child too can overcome their separation anxiety. All the best!



I understand how hard it can be to leave a child at daycare, especially when they experience separation anxiety. When my daughter started preschool, she had the same issue, and it was tough for both of us.

One thing that worked well for us was letting her bring something special from home that she could keep with her all day. It could be a favorite toy, book, or even a picture of us. This helped her feel more secure and helped to ease her anxiety.

Another technique that worked was to develop a goodbye routine that she felt comfortable with. We would usually spend a little time playing or reading a book before saying goodbye. She knew what to expect, and it made drop-offs easier for me too.

I also found that talking to her teacher and asking for advice was something helpful. Her teacher had dealt with children with separation anxiety many times before and had some excellent strategies to try. They also knew how to distract her with fun activities or games to help her settle in and feel more comfortable.

Finally, I learned that staying positive was crucial. Children are attuned to our emotions, and if we are anxious or stressed, they pick up on it. So, I made sure to stay calm and cheerful, which helped my daughter feel more secure.

With patience, consistency, and support from teachers and caregivers, your child can make the transition to daycare or preschool. It takes time, but it's worth it.

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