Help, My Toddler Cries When I Pick Her Up From Nursery! What Can I Do?

Has this ever happened to you? You pick up your toddler from the nursery, and they start to cry as soon as they see you.

What could be causing this reaction?

In many cases, it’s separation anxiety that is causing the tears.

Most toddlers feel anxious and uncertain when they’re away from their parents. And, when they see you again after a period of separation, that anxiety can manifest as tears.

There’s not much you can do to prevent this from happening. It’s just part of the toddler separation anxiety process.

But, you can do a few things to help ease your toddler’s anxiety.

Let’s take a look.

What could be causing the toddler to cry when you pick them up from nursery?

toddler crying (3)

In most cases, it is separation anxiety that is causing the toddler to cry. Separation anxiety is a fear of being away from a caregiver. This can be caused by several factors, such as changes in routine or not being able to see the caregiver.

There are a few things that you can do to help your child cope with separation anxiety:

  • Talk to your child about what they are feeling. This can help them to understand and express their feelings.
  • Stay calm and reassuring when you are leaving and coming back. This will help your child to feel secure.
  • Make sure that you have a good goodbye routine. This can help your child to feel more confident when you leave.
  • Make sure that your child has plenty of positive experiences away from you. This will help them to feel more confident when you are not around.

How to soothe the child and make them feel better

soothe toddler

When you pick up your toddler from the nursery, she cries and screams. You want to know how to help her, so she feels better.

  • When you pick your toddler up, try comforting her.
  • Put her on your lap or hold her close to you if possible
  • Try singing or talking to them while they’re on your
  • Try to distract them with a toy or their favorite book
  • Try not to get upset yourself. This will only make the situation worse.

If you’re struggling to calm your toddler down, ask for help from the nursery staff. They may be able to give you some tips on how to soothe your child.

Possible reasons why your child might be crying when you pick them up

Some kids cry when their parents pick them up. They are happy in the nursery, and then they see their parents, and they start crying for some reason.

There might be many reasons why your toddler cries when you pick them up from the nursery. Maybe they are tired, hungry, need to go to the bathroom, or feel overwhelmed after a busy day of playing and learning.

It could also be that your toddler is unsure about leaving the safety and security of the nursery and doesn’t want to leave their friends behind.

If your toddler is generally happy and content at the nursery but cries when you come to pick them up, it might be worth finding out why. Talk to your toddler’s caregiver and see if there are any clues as to what might be upsetting your child.

If you can’t figure it out, don’t worry too much – it could just be a phase that your toddler is going through and will soon pass. In the meantime, try to be understanding and patient with your little one.

Ways to prevent your toddler from crying when you pick them up from nursery

toddler at nursery

There are ways to prevent your toddler from getting upset when you pick them up from nursery.

One way is to make sure they know what is going to happen. Tell them in advance that you will be picking them up and what time. You can also try not to surprise them when you come in.

Be calm and gentle when you pick them up and avoid making loud noises or sudden movements. If your toddler does start to cry, try not to stress out. It’s important to stay calm and supportive.

The more upset you get, the more upset your toddler will be. So try to soothe them and give them some time to calm down.

Eventually, they will learn that you picking them up from nursery is nothing to worry about.


If your toddler cries when you pick them up from nursery, don’t worry – you’re not alone. This is a common occurrence for toddlers adjusting to the new environment and routine of the nursery.

You may be tempted to give up and leave them there! But, there are some things you can do to help make this transition smoother for both of you.

Give the tips on this page a try, and be patient – it may take a little while for your toddler to get used to going to nursery.

Also, be consistent with your approach, and eventually, your child will learn to associate going to nursery with positive experiences.

Good luck!

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