Sunday, November 11, 2012

My 12 month old is screaming, Help Me!

Dear Kay,

I have tried taking my 12 month old to his daycare. Three out of the 4 days she has called me to pick him up because he hasn't stopped screaming. I went to daycare with him for the first week to ease him into it and his older brother goes there but Jackson is so stubborn...I drop him off and he screams non stop because he's mad.

She's tried walks, change of scenery, playing around him,leaving him have a fit on the floor, putting him in the crib thinking he'll eventually stop.  But he doesn't and after3 hours of continuous screaming I get a call
to pick him up. I go back to work next week and she's said if he doesn't stop she won't be able to take him.  It disrupts the others and I think it's stressing her out.  I don't know what to do..please help.  And this is a controlled...purposeful action, as soon as I arrive he stops.  I feel he's so bonded to me and won't let anyone else close.  Sometimes even his father.
Help me please!
Amanda



Dear Amanda:

Feel free to peruse through previously answered questions in case I forget something. This is a common question. First of all a 12 month old's sense of time is so much different than yours. For you 8 hours is just 8 hours. For them being separated from their primary caregiver for 5 minutes seems like a lifetime. At certain ages it is like you die everyday and then come back for them at pick up.

What I suggest is to make sure their daily routines are very CONSISTENT. They need this to build security. They need this because children have no sense of time/schedules. Routines cue them into what is coming next. Also, they need reminders of you when they are separated from you. I suggest a piece of clothing, blanket or other familiar item which has your smell on it to be sent daily. Another item is a picture of you pasted on something that he can look at throughout the day.Another suggestion is to pop in routinely to break up his long stay.

As for the daycare providers encourage them to not placate him too much. Reassure him, hold him and then when they put him down to put him right in the middle of all the activity so he can see what is going on with the other children. Sometimes this is the biggest dis tractor from all the crying.

If you don't currently practice daily massages begin to do so consistently. Massage lowers anxiety and increases "happy" hormones.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller