Daily Separation: at Child Care or at Home

Woman holding child, daily separation

Separating from your young child can be an emotional moment for you and them. Below are some tips and tricks for making this transition in your day a bit easier:  

Tips for separating from your infant at child care drop-off:

  • Don’t rush the separation. Your child will pick up on your stress and may become more agitated.
  • Sit with your baby for a while so they can take in the activities and people in the room
  • When your child seems comfortable, let your caregiver take them. It’s nice for them to be in a devoted caregiver’s arms when you leave.
  • Kiss and hug your baby goodbye and then leave. Don’t waver; that only becomes confusing to your infant.
  • If your infant is crying when you leave, or even if they are not, feel free to call your caregiver when you arrive at work to see how your baby is doing.

Tips for separating from your toddler or preschooler:  

  • Greet the caregiver and other children as you enter the room.
  • Let your caregiver know how your child is doing that morning and if there is any change in their schedule.
  • Try to create a departure ritual (perhaps a special high five or a kiss on each cheek) that you follow each day. Soon this ritual will become familiar, and your child will learn that this ritual signals your departure.
  • Let your child hold a picture of the family or something of yours as you leave. This may feel like a secure connection to you.
  • Do not sneak out or skip saying goodbye to your child. This creates confusion and more stress for your child when they later realize you have left.
  • Have the caregiver bring your child to the window or door to wave goodbye while you leave. 

 While separation from someone we love can be painful, we can ease the pain through a thoughtful partnership with caregivers and loving rituals.

Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
Woman holding child, daily separation