Toddler- Tears Before Nursery – Sanity Nanny

Toddler- Tears Before Nursery


When you’ve got a child that goes to nursery happily and then suddenly they don’t want to go or there are always tears before you leave the house for nursery, it’s hard to know the reason why. I have had a few mums recently that are worried about their child and questioning whether they are overreacting or it’s part of the normal toddler behaviour and parent-child separation anxiety.

I would expect a child who has not left a parent for a long period of time or used to being with other children adults who are not family members to be initially clingy or upset. This is why most nurseries insist on ‘bedding in’ days where a mother or carer stays with the child until they are settled.

During this time you can see how the nursery operates and which members of staff relate well to your child. Over a couple of weeks or so your child should be starting to become familiar and be happy to be left, if tears continue and your child is extremely difficult to leave this could be due to lack of confidence or because of some incident at nursery that has upset them or simply that your child does not like being in a noisy or busy environment, here are some tips if you are waking and dreading the nursery drop off with your toddler.

1. Prepare your child in advance

2. Let them take a favourite toy (not a precious one that could break though!)

3. Make sure you’re child knows who is going to pick them up and have something exciting planned after i.e. a play date, lunch out

4. Ask you’re child what they don’t like and listen to the answer.

5. Speak to a member of staff and see what measures can be taken to improve things.

If this does not alter things and your toddler is still shedding tears before nursery it could be a sign that this nursery is not right for YOUR child, in which case I would consider other options rather than ignore the matter over several months.

Let me know what your experiences were with your child, if you need any further assistance please email