[Ed note: creche is the word used for daycare in some European countries.This letter has been condensed.]
I'm having a problem with my boy, Liam, who turned 2 on the 4th of August. He was home with me his first year and I then needed to start working so he had to go to creche. Of course this was harder for Mommy than him and surprisingly enough he was quite happy to go to school....
All of a sudden 3 months down the line (aged 1 and 3 months), he started changing. One night, I lifted my hand as to tap him on his butt -- I wasn't going to -- as he was doing something he wasn't allowed after asking him to stop. Now I've never tapped nor smacked my child before nor has his father and I don't leave him anywhere else, he then grabbed his head, his eyes went big, he was petrified, started shaking and went and sat in the corner and blocked himself from me. I then turned to my husband and started crying and said to him, what in the world just happened! Following that, he all of a sudden didn't want to go to creche again. When I'd drop him off, he'd go stand with his face in the corner, ...and run away from them. This reaction upset me terribly. I knew something had happened and ...I needed to protect him and decided to take him out. I then kept him home for two weeks.
My boy stopped sleeping through the night from 6 months old and his sleeping has just gotten worse.... I cannot blame this on the creche incident as he only started creche 6 months after. [But] after having him home for two weeks, he went three days in a row without sleep.
[Then] I found a creche three houses from me and started with baby steps, first, every second day for an hour, then just a little while in mornings, then he went full day... [He continues to not] sleep at night ...[In the mornings,} when we turn in the direction of the creche, he screams and turns around, I literally have to drag him there. Once we get there, he's crying terribly, they say I must put him down and turn around but this kills me....The lady says once I'm gone, he stops.
I can't deal with doing this to him every morning, it's been going on for 7 months. Now I don't work, I am home so I've made the decision to take him out and keep him by me. Is this best for him? I try make all the right decisions but feel as a mother, I'm failing at everything at the moment.
From: Debbie, George (UK? France? Debbie doesn't say)