Preschoolers 3-4 Years

Starting nursery and/or managing separation anxiety with toddlers

March 07 , 2016
Sirsa Qursha
Sirsa A. Qursha’s background is in Child Development & Parent Education....More

Starting a new routine is hard on mom and tot!  Give your little one time to adjust to her new normal.  Remember, she’s spent every day of the past 18-24 months of her life alongside you.  You are her normal—her security.  She’s probably not going to give you up too easily!  You can’t expect her to shift her trust and security to a new person in only a few days.  Whether you’re transitioning to a nursery, daycare, or a nanny, expect your toddler to slowly-but-gradually adjust to the new arrangement.  She will get more used to being without you in due time.  But in the beginning, it’s hard for her to grasp the concept of you returning.  All she sees is mama leaving.  She needs time to form new patterns and learn that you come back for her. Here are some go-to tips for managing your toddler’s separation anxiety:

  • Set a goodbye routine with her each time you leave.
  • Say a real goodbye and don’t sneak out. Unexpected disappearances just cause toddlers added anxiety and confusion.
  • Tell her you will see her in X amount of hours.
  • Before you leave, spend a few minutes playing with her and her nanny/teacher to transition her.
  • Upon returning, tell her you came back just like you said you would. This teaches her what to expect day-in and day-out.