GPP: Soothing Your Child

If You Are Not There, Who Is Soothing Your Child When He Needs It? Rest assured that child care professionals know how to calm upset infants and children. However, you would not be the first to wonder how long your child cried after you left, who wiped his tears or gave him a hug to soothe him.

The simplest answer is to ask your child care provider how they handle a child that needs a little extra attention due to separation anxiety or a rough day. Most likely the program will have several methods they employ to help children through these stages, as well as suggestions on how you can help.

Common Methods

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  • Picture Time - Create a picture collage of important people in your child’s lives; let him help you pick the photos!
  • Lovey Items - Make sure your child has a special “lovey,” such as a blanket, items of your clothes or stuffed animal that provides comfort and makes him feel safe.
  • Go Slow - Plan to spend 10 – 15 minutes easing your child into the morning once you arrive at child care. Perhaps you can read a quick book while snuggling or do some drawing together.
  • Have a Plan - Work with your care giver to set up a morning routine or to help distract your child with play during drop off each day. However, don’t sneak away – always say good-bye and assure them that you will be back.


Together you and your child care professional can create a plan that makes you and your child child both feel at ease, and even soothes your fears while you are away!

Birth to 1 1 to 2 2 to 3 3 to 4 4 to 5
Most babies are upset when first separated from mom/dad. Your baby's teacher will have suggestions, such as taking in a favorite toy. It's normal for your child to miss you while away. Try giving them a piece of your clothing with your scent to keep in their cubby. How does your child care program soothe kids who are upset? A comfort item or laminated photo to keep during the day works well. Even at 3 years old, saying goodbye can be hard. Does your child's teacher help by giving special 1-on-1 time during your departure? When your child becomes upset at child care, how does your teacher handle it? Distraction, cuddling or reading are all good ideas.

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