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Can anyone reassure me about nursery?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by goonergirl2009, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. goonergirl2009

    goonergirl2009 New commenter

    Hi ladies. Today I left Charlotte at nursery for three hours and it didn't go brilliantly. She has been once before for the same amount of time and was ok but today she cried when I left, cried at intervals through the morning,would not eat and would not sleep. She cried when I picked her up and has cried all day if I have left her sight- even when her daddy came home.
    I am feeling terribly guilty that I did not stay with her and I am now worried that I have traumatised her and all the months we have spent building up her confidence have been ruined. We have spent months working on her confidence as she used to scream hysterically whenever she was left without me or my husband and she is now fine with grandparents, but I worry I have undone everything today. I have been so upset as I don't think I should have I left her. I have never left her to be upset or cry before: I didn't know what to do for the best and think I made the wrong decision. Once she had gone to her key worker, I thought if I took her back it might confuse her more and I hoped that she would settle one I had left.
    I am going in for an extra session on Monday and staying with her but I was hoping for some reassurance/ advice from other mums who have experienced leaving their LOs in nursery! I am concerned that she won't eat or sleep- did anyone's LO begin like this and then slip into a routine? Charlotte is 10 and a half months old and will be going to nursery for two days a week when I returm to work (part time) in September.

    Thank you in advance.
    x

     
  2. goonergirl2009

    goonergirl2009 New commenter

    Hi ladies. Today I left Charlotte at nursery for three hours and it didn't go brilliantly. She has been once before for the same amount of time and was ok but today she cried when I left, cried at intervals through the morning,would not eat and would not sleep. She cried when I picked her up and has cried all day if I have left her sight- even when her daddy came home.
    I am feeling terribly guilty that I did not stay with her and I am now worried that I have traumatised her and all the months we have spent building up her confidence have been ruined. We have spent months working on her confidence as she used to scream hysterically whenever she was left without me or my husband and she is now fine with grandparents, but I worry I have undone everything today. I have been so upset as I don't think I should have I left her. I have never left her to be upset or cry before: I didn't know what to do for the best and think I made the wrong decision. Once she had gone to her key worker, I thought if I took her back it might confuse her more and I hoped that she would settle one I had left.
    I am going in for an extra session on Monday and staying with her but I was hoping for some reassurance/ advice from other mums who have experienced leaving their LOs in nursery! I am concerned that she won't eat or sleep- did anyone's LO begin like this and then slip into a routine? Charlotte is 10 and a half months old and will be going to nursery for two days a week when I returm to work (part time) in September.

    Thank you in advance.
    x

     
  3. We don't have much personal experience yet. Zoe went for her first taster session yesterday and wobbled a little but was OK for the hour and a half. She is going next Wednesday for three hours. We took her comforter cloth with her and she has been permanently attached to it ever since- crawling with it in her hand! I am told this is healthy as she is using it as a 'transitional object'- a favourite teddy might be worth a try? I am glad this helped Zoe as she is also a very clingy little person, especially with me.
    As for eating and sleeping- my sister's LO wavered for about two weeks when she started at 9 months but then settled down.
    I think we know rationally that one experience will not traumatise them- but it is hard to be rational when they are so upset. It may be difficult but my feeling is you should go through the pain before you return to work. She will get used to it! You could not know she would not stop crying- we all know children who are fine once their mum was gone!
    Sending hugs, I know how hard this is x
     
  4. To be honest I think they all cry a bit to start with. The other weird thing is that they cry when you pick them up. My daughter has never slept particularly well there she's now 2 and I think they have given up trying. She loves nursery as do most toddlers.
     
  5. My lo went to a childminder when she was 6 months and goes full time during term time. She took a couple of weeks to settle in properly. She refused all bottles for the childminder - I had spent 6 weeks getting her used to a bottle as I am breastfeeding but she wouldn't drink it from the childminder. She refused to nap for the childminder and cried hysterically every time anyone left a room. It broke my heart every morning to leave her, although she didn't cry too much being passed to the childminder.
    After a couple of weeks she smiled when passed to our CM. She started to have a nap (still doesn't sleep well but at least she does sleep), and she started to eat her lunch. She still wouldn't take a bottle so we gave up on that and just let her have a cup of water through the day and I feed her morning and night.
    So, she really will be fine. Mine is 17 months now and adores the childminder and talks about the other children there. She still loves her mum though and doesn't like grandma.
     
  6. goonergirl2009

    goonergirl2009 New commenter

    Thank you all for your kind words and reassurance. It is the clingyness that is concerning me the most- she is still getting very upset when left with my husband if I go out of the room (he just takes it all in his stride). She adores her daddy and usually gets really giddy when he comes home so this is a real change and one I am finding upsetting. I will put my faith in it being a phase and stay positive! Thanks again!
    x
     
  7. She will find it easier when it is part of the weekly routine, as will you. I have a little boy of 3.5 and he started at 9 months old. Nurseries have less of a routine during the summer as well and once September hits, they will also settle down.
    I am hoping that it is smooth for you as well and that this helps! The clinginess is probably part of coping with the changes in routine.
    I found it harder than him and cried the first few mornings (I was doing 5 mornings) all the way in and arrived in a mess, but this job was the best thing for making me feel 'normal' again and the days flew by. I now do 2.5 days and I feel he has the best of both worlds - Mummy Days and Nursery Days, when he loves being able to meet me with his latest creation!
    K
     
  8. katycustard

    katycustard New commenter

    The younger a baby is the easier they find the transition from home to nursery/child minder. The older they are (unless over 2 when they usually enjoy nursery enough not to mind the transition) the harder they find it initially.
    For years, I was an early years advisor and Ofsted Inspector and have visited hundreds of nurseries in the UK and abroad. I hardly ever saw crying babies and if I did they were usually hungry or tired and almost always they were being comforted by a member of staff.
    I was always more worried when I saw toddler and older children crying, after all babies cry at home at times too, again usually if hungry or tired.
    In over 25 yrs of working in early years, I have only come across one child who really did struggle to cope at nursery. He was one and went from being at home full time to nursery full time and found it very hard to cope with. Most babies get used to things very quickly and while they may cry when you leave them and pick them up, it is unusual for them to cry on and off all day.
    Please don't worry too much, although you're bound to be upset, try and leave her with a big smile and something of yours to hold. Expect her to cry when you collect her, possibly for a couple of weeks, but hopefully that will pass. Most day nurseries/child minders are honest and will let you know how your little one is settling in.
    When my son started nursery at one, I told the manager I was never going to phone during the day and didn't want them to think badly of me. I said that if my son was crying when I phoned, even if he'd only just started I would find that too hard to cope with. She was very understanding and said some parents never phoned and others phoned 7 times a day! You have to do what you feel you can cope with.
    Good luck with it all, and please don't agonise too much, mothers have been leaving babies for years and they grow up alright! In years gone by, babies were tied to factory gates on long strings so they could crawl round. Apparently they were okay until it rained! Thank goodness times have changed.
     
  9. goonergirl2009

    goonergirl2009 New commenter

    Thank you all again for your replies- I really do appreciate them and I am feeling a lot more positive now! I am taking Charlotte in for an extra session tomorrow so fingers crossed!
    x
     
  10. Thanks for such a reassuring post Katy!

    Gooner, how old is your daughter? Mine is 8 months and we start settling in at nursery tomorrow - dreading having to walk away from her, even though it's only for an hour at first! Maybe this can be a hand-holding thread for us both? :)
     
  11. goonergirl2009

    goonergirl2009 New commenter

    Hi bunique- that would be lovely! Charlotte is ten and a half months. I will be thinking of you tomorrow. I will let you know how our visit tomorrow goes! x
     
  12. goonergirl2009

    goonergirl2009 New commenter

    Hi bunique- hope your trip to nursery went better than ours! Charlotte howled as soon as.we went it and then sobbed when I left her to go to the loo! The rest of the time she enjoyed herself but only if I stayed with her. Oh dear! On the plus side, she did enjoy the toys and played with the other children and nursery workers. We are going back on Weds so we will have to see of today has helped her confidence... X
     
  13. We were only there for an hour this morning so early days - I think we're v fortunate to be doing our settling in before separation anxiety kicks in. She was fine though - I handed her straight to the keyworker and walked out before I had too much time to think about it! She was knackered as hadn't napped this morning but played away. Nursery gave me 5 photos they'd taken of her this morning too when we left, which was very sweet! Two hours on Wednesday and at some point they're going to have to try and get her to nap (currently only sleeps in the sling during the day...) so that'll be interesting!
    Are nursery allowing you a long settling in period? I've been told to come in as often as I like, so we're buiding up quite gradually. Maybe a few more sessions like you've had today where you leave the room for extended periods might help. Will they allow her to bring a favourite toy as a transitional object?
     
  14. goonergirl2009

    goonergirl2009 New commenter

    Glad it went well for you! Nursery have said we can go in as often as we like, whenever we want to so will try three sessions at least this week - maybe four. She has her blanket with her and I can leave as many things as I want with her. They are very flexible and supportive! I didn't realise until today that they will not charge us for any of them either! X
     
  15. Hi,
    My 1 year old little boy started at nursery in June 3 days a week and although he's had the odd day where he felt unwell, he generally gets on fine. It's actually really nice collecting him and seeing him playing away happily before he's noticed I'm there. One time he was doing a tune on the xylophone!
    For us it was actually the second week where he realised that we were leaving him and I found it better to let him go into nursery with my husband rather than me while he was adjusting. He loves his daddy to bits but is less clingy with him. Also he's good at not getting drawn into conversation in the morning and leaving quickly, whereas I'm prone to chatting! I don't know if it's even possible for you but just a thought as I've seen kids at school with problems separating who are more relaxed coming in with their dads.
    I like the idea of the transitional object. I might give that a try when DS starts back at nursery in September. And as another poster said, it does get easier once it becomes part of their normal routine. I've been really pleased with our nursery for how caring they are with him when he needs a cuddle so hopefully that's just the norm. Hope the sessions get easier for you both. x
     
  16. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    This thread has been really useful to read. My LO starts nursery in September 2 days a week when she'll be nearly 9 months. We had our first settling visit today and it went really well, we stayed for a n hour, chatted to the nursery workers, had a snack with the other children, played, changed a nappy in their changing area etc.But I asked LO's key worker to hold her while I put my coat on at the end and her little face crumpled and she cried until handed back to me. I think we will have tears to start with but the settling visits will help hopefully. I also asked loads of questions and they let me look at their planning haha!
     
  17. I really thought we were going to have trouble but LO has been fine on her two visits so far- one for an hour and a half and one for three hours. On the second, she even had a nap! She has her comfort blanket with her and I just hand her over and go. She actually cried when I came back but had obviously had a lovely time and had a 2.5 hour nap in the afternoon which is always a bonus! I think they are much more likely to cry when we are there or if we linger etc. Good luck all, it's like leaving a tiny piece of your heart behind, isn't it?! (That sounds very trite, but you know what I mean!!!)
     
  18. Reading with interest - LO starting in December, she will be one and full time. The nursery say I can do as much settling in as I want, for free. And I can be there or not. What do you think is best - to stay with them for a couple of hours each day or just go cold turkey and leave? I am curious about napping and how they achieve all that so must admit I'd like to stay just for that..
     
  19. katycustard

    katycustard New commenter

    If you are able to, I would set aside about 2 weeks for settling in. I would call in every day and stay with your baby for about an hour. Chose a time that she is awake and happy and will play happily on the floor next to you. Don't spend the time chatting to the staff but being with your baby, so that she gets used to the setting, a bit like visiting a toddler group. After 3 visits, see if you can withdraw from playing with her and a member of staff can take over, is there another room you can go to for 10-15 minutes. If she cries and you only go for 5 minutes, you're not giving staff the time to calm her down, but 10 -15 mins should be enough. In the second week you should be able to leave her for an hour at least, but try and stay for lunch and nap time. See if you can get her to sleep in the nursery, but don't worry if you can't. Staff are usually very good at settling babies, especially if they know what helps.
    My son liked being sung to, usually 10 green bottles or something similar. I remember the day his key worker told me she had to sing 100 green bottles, but he went to sleep in the end!
    By the end of the second week, see if you can leave her long enough for her to have a sleep and wake up while you are not there, either out of the building or in another room.
    Even if you can't do 2 full weeks, a week is better than nothing. I know it's a lot, but not really in the long run if it helps your little one settle easily once you have to leave her.

     
  20. Thanks Katy - sounds good xx
     

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