It is natural for a child to feel anxious when they are left in a new environment without mummy or daddy. After all, starting crèche is a big step for a child particularly if the child has not been out of the home very often or spent time with a relative. They often don’t want to say goodbye and they will cry. Clinginess, crying or tantrums are considered healthy reactions to separation in the early years. They may stop and then start again up until the child is 5 years old.
This is not abnormal, but just a stage in a child’s development which can indicate a healthy attachment with their parents. It means that a strong, loving bond exists between you and your child. Most children stop crying 3-4 minutes after the parent leaves. As a parent it can be a little heart wrenching, but fortunately most children outgrow this reaction quickly once they adapt to the crèche.
The separation anxiety can vary greatly from one child to another. Some children are more clingy and irritable than others, and they may have a more difficult time adapting to a change in their daily routine. This doesn't mean the child will have problems later in life. It just requires a little more effort on the part of the parent. Staying patient and being consistent by gently setting firm limits is important.
There are several things you can do to ease the transition for your child from home to crèche.