using a nursery for 5 month old

(129 Posts)
babydueinmarch Sun 13-Oct-13 16:17:51

Hi, my first baby is due in March. Unfortunately, due to redundancy and a big hit on our savings (but didn't want to wait to TTC due to my age) I'm not going to be able to afford a lot of time off for maternity leave and will be looking to go back to work in September when the baby will be 5 months.

I have looked around a lovely nursery (rated outstanding) and had more or less decided to put the baby there but have been open to criticism, some of it direct ("I couldn't do that!" with teeth-sucking) and some less explicit, just head-shaking and tut-tuts.

It's really upsetting and I wondered if anyone had any 'comebacks' as I know Mumsnet is good for these!

PeepingTomcat Sun 13-Oct-13 16:18:54

It's none of their business, baby will be fine. smile

eltsihT Sun 13-Oct-13 16:20:21

I went back to work at 4 months with ds1 I had pnd and work saved me.

You don't need comebacks you are just doing what's right for you and your family and everyone else can suck their teeth as much as they like

YDdraigGoch Sun 13-Oct-13 16:22:13

I went back to work when each DD was 4 months, out of necessity. I used a child minder, as I preferred the girls to be with a "mum". They've both turned out ok, and neither if them hates megrin

rachyconks Sun 13-Oct-13 16:22:32

Yes totally fine. My DD goes to a nursery with babies that age (she's 10mo) and they are a lot more settled and happy than she is at the moment! Just make sure you start the baby a couple of weeks before you return to work so help you both settle into the routine.

gordyslovesheep Sun 13-Oct-13 16:24:11

all 3 of mine where in nursery from 4,6 and 10 mths old - none have grown a new head as a result or turned semi feral

I chose nursery because it is more reliable - you don;t have to worry about holiday or sickness cover like you do with childminder

oliveoctagon Sun 13-Oct-13 16:27:20

Our first went to nursery at 4 months. It was that or being on benefits, and I wasnt the type to choose the second. DD is and was fine. Dont worry in the slightest.

Choos123 Sun 13-Oct-13 16:35:31

Ask them if they're offering an alternative that doesn't involve you not working....Dd went part time to nursery at 3 months, the only thing I would say is that it may be tough on you, will you have some flexibility in your job?

babydueinmarch Sun 13-Oct-13 16:37:45

Thanks. Choos, how do you mean with flexibility? No, it's full time, unfortunately - to be honest I haven't been all that worried as it was that or not having children and the latter option wasn't an option. It's more the attitudes of others winding me up!

uselessinformation Sun 13-Oct-13 16:37:51

My ds went to nursery at six months as that was the maximum leave at that time. Never had any problems and he's grown up fine. I choose a nursery due to the amount of staff as I can't take random days off (teacher).

mikkii Sun 13-Oct-13 16:37:57

I went back to work when DC3 was 3.5 months old. They nursery staff doted on her and loved having her there.

She is 3 today and still loves nursery.

moustachio Sun 13-Oct-13 16:39:16

I fucking hate preachy people. Your DC will be fine.

In fact its easier for them to settle at that age. D's went to nursery at 6mo, I got made redundant when he was 2. Now have a new job and trying to get him settled is 1000 times harder now he's more aware.

mikkii Sun 13-Oct-13 16:40:08

The flexibility with the nursery is that staff holidays or illness do not require you to make alternate arrangements. That is their responsibility.

moustachio Sun 13-Oct-13 16:40:37

The nursery workers love the littlest ones. At DS's nursery they argued about who got to have a five minute cuddle/break and give the baby its bottle!

LingDiLong Sun 13-Oct-13 16:42:16

Have you considered a childminder? A good childminder can work out really well for younger children.

I'm crap at comebacks though. I think I'd just make the person who said 'I couldn't do that' squirm by asking them 'why?' and getting them to explain themselves.

babydueinmarch Sun 13-Oct-13 16:44:04

No, we definitely don't want a childminder - thanks, though. Thanks for replies: very reassuring.

oliveoctagon Sun 13-Oct-13 16:44:08

I wouldnt go for a childminder personally. I prefer nursery a lot more for my own. If your happy stick with nursery.

valiumredhead Sun 13-Oct-13 16:46:10

You need to practise the phrase 'it works for us,' said with a patient smile, like thissmile

oliveoctagon Sun 13-Oct-13 16:50:36

I agree with moustachio the younger they are then the less they cry and much easier to settle. Past about 10 months it gets harder and harder.

LingDiLong Sun 13-Oct-13 16:50:55

The only reason I say a childminder (apart from the fact that I am one!) is that I used a nursery for my then 6 month old and the baby room was fantastic. The staff were amazing, bonded really well with her and were great at communicating with me. Then she moved rooms when she started walking and it all turned to shit. The staff I'd seen when I'd been there 9 or 10 months previously to view the nursery had been moved or left and the ones left couldn't have contrasted more strongly with the baby room staff.

That is one of the problems with using a nursery for a young baby, they are going to end up moving up through the different age rooms and it's almost like starting again each time - different staff members to deal with. Find a good childminder and you're more likely to be sorted in the long run.

Anyway, wherever you choose a 5 month old will probably settle more happily and easily than an older child and baby!

oliveoctagon Sun 13-Oct-13 16:52:08

LingdiLong - A large proportion of nurseries I know they have all the age ranges in one room. It depends on your location.

Meglet Sun 13-Oct-13 16:53:00

Remember, if they go to nursery you never have to do messy play at home grin.

She'll be fine. Ignore anyone who snips at you about it.

HSMMaCM Sun 13-Oct-13 16:55:00

As others have said a 5 month old will settle really quickly. Find somewhere (nursery, childminder or whatever) you are happy with and it will be fine.

LingDiLong Sun 13-Oct-13 16:55:29

Olive, it must do. There were no nurseries like that where we used to live and there are none like that round here either.

Choos123 Sun 13-Oct-13 16:56:53

I mean when you or they get sick, if you can wfh some hours in the evenings it'll help you have a bit more flexibility, or can you arrange to go home at 3pm some Fridays or take the odd half day? Things like that can make you feel a bit happier, I worked ft from 10 months and it did get to me a bit that my dd was always one if the first in and last out. I don't think it affected her though, she loves her nursery. Hope you have a cleaner, hard to fit it all in...don't listen to the 'couldn't do that' people though, unless they are offering help they should keep quiet!

missmapp Sun 13-Oct-13 16:59:55

Both mine were in nursery from a similar age ( 6mths and 9mths) I trusted the nursery and the staff were brilliant. Yes, you get comments and you need to grow a tough skin BUT if you trust the nursery, the tough skin is much easier to grow.

Oh and my dcs are now 6 and 8yrs and seem to have suffered no ill effects

Pinupgirl Sun 13-Oct-13 17:01:45

I wouldn't do it personally but if you feel you have no other choice then of course you must.

babydueinmarch Sun 13-Oct-13 17:02:25

Thanks. The nursery seems absolutely lovely so no qualms on that side of things. Will review as and when appropriate but wasn't impressed by the childminders we visited much. A friend also had a really awful experience with one, which does put me off rather so I was inclined towards nursery even before visiting childminders.

babydueinmarch Sun 13-Oct-13 17:03:01

Pinupgirl - we don't "feel" we have no other choice. It's things like that people say that are extremely upsetting to be honest.

oliveoctagon Sun 13-Oct-13 17:04:20

Im the same as you babyinmarch. I have never met a childminder I would want to have sole care of either of mine. I feel much more comfortable with nurseries.

CPtart Sun 13-Oct-13 17:05:17

Both DS went to nursery, from four and five months respectively. No problems at all. I too had a friend who said it "wouldn't be for her". What she neglected to add was that she had a mother who lived ten minutes away and loved nothing more than provide free childcare at the drop of a hat!

oliveoctagon Sun 13-Oct-13 17:10:29

Dont worry about the negative comments you will be the one who is a good role model to your baby, have your own money and career, and in most cases as you keep working will have a husband or partner that is just as capable as you at the childcare/house side of things. It would be silly for you to give all that up and struggle, I doubt your baby would thank you for it. Good luck

Choos123 Sun 13-Oct-13 17:12:51

Yes I couldn't use a child minder as less regulated and live in a city and i'd have to have a personal recommendation. nursery is a good choice for your baby, if it has an outstanding rating it should be a lovely experience.

slightlysoupstained Sun 13-Oct-13 17:15:45

I can come up with some very sarcastic/aggressive answers, but I know I wouldn't use them.

DP was out of work for most of my pregnancy, so at one point it looked like it would be 5 months max for me - in the end I went back at 9 months, I didn't get much negative comment but anything that seemed to be heading that way I just brought up "aren't we lucky not to be in the US, they have zero statutory paid leave there". And then point out Sweden etc at the other end of the scale, which seemed to divert people along a less judgy path...

Jinty64 Sun 13-Oct-13 17:27:26

Ds1 and ds2 were 14 weeks when I went back to work. Luckily I was able to work nights so that I was there for them during the day but others had to go back to full time days. That was all the paid leave you got.

Madratlady Sun 13-Oct-13 17:37:54

I haven't had my dc yet so even though I'm looking into child care I don't have any experience with nurseries etc.

My friend has a beautiful DD who has been in nursery since 3mo and she's the most sunny and sociable baby I've ever met so I'm inclined to think it can be fine.

LimitedEditionLady Sun 13-Oct-13 17:52:13

Mine went at seven month as i went back to work.I dont understand the problem people seem to have.Is it harmful for a child to go and spend time with qualified nursery staff who care for them as a job and give them activities to do as some people need to go to work?i think not.Ours is in age group rooms and two babies per staff member and hes never been unsettled other than being tired or ill or not enjoyed it.Hes been going there two years now and loves the staff and im happy hes going as he spends time with other people than just me.Its helped him if anything,for each room hes moved up to hes cone on leaps and bounds.Tell people to butt out and offer them a parent of the year badge.nursery is not a horrid place,its lovely.

valiumredhead Sun 13-Oct-13 17:56:14

Is it normal not to have bedding when the children nap?

RevoltingPeasant Sun 13-Oct-13 17:58:18

OP I don't have DC yet but a colleague who is also a friend did exactly what you are talking about.

She said it was v hard at first, as it is quite young to leave them, but then her DD settled well. Now, her key worker also babysits for the, on odd occasions. I've seen them together and the little girl clearly loves her, always crowing and trying to stick her fingers up her nose which is apparently a sign of affection

From watching her, it did seem like her DD got sick quite a lot, which I understand is quite normal when they first go to nursery as their immune systems get hit with everyone else's germs. That passed after a few months, but have you thought about how to manage sudden bugs or similar in terms of leave?

I am ttc now and will do the same if I have a baby. I think it will be fine and your baby will turn out really sociable.

LimitedEditionLady Sun 13-Oct-13 18:03:59

In answer to bedding our nursery provided a sheet for the babies when they napped and we took a blanket from home to keep there.They just wash the blankets and keep it in the kids basket for their own son caught bugs at first for a few weeks but now rarely even has sniffles so i think i missed about four days work in two years which isnt bad really tbh

LimitedEditionLady Sun 13-Oct-13 18:06:02

Do childminders do the teaching bit too?i always wondered this although i have never visited one to find out.Nurseries follow the eyfs so i like that.

valiumredhead Sun 13-Oct-13 18:07:26

Oh right,I did wonder as I can't sleep without a blanket as I get chilly!

oliveoctagon Sun 13-Oct-13 18:08:52

Most nurseries have bedding already there. They wouldnt put a baby or child down without blankets/sheets etc

valiumredhead Sun 13-Oct-13 18:13:57

I'm so sorry about my random bedding question, I'm on two nursery threads and got confused, ignore meblush

babydueinmarch Sun 13-Oct-13 18:17:00

Haha I did wonder! But thanks for the clarification! grin

I'm not too concerned about the teaching aspect but the childminders I have visited restrict the children to one area of the house, spend chunks of the day on school runs and to be honest didn't seem particularly inclined to make a great impression which was off-putting. I think DC will be happy at the nursery.

PinkPepper Sun 13-Oct-13 18:19:16

Can't see who asked but my childminder follows the eyfs things. It is quite regulated too
(I think experiences you have / feelings go for a lot, I had crappy experience doing w/e in a nursery and dislike the one near me as staff smoke right outside the doorway and won't move out way for my pushchair (at least hide or change clothes!)

hettienne Sun 13-Oct-13 18:21:19

I work in early years and have been in many nurseries, state and private.

If I'm honest, I have seen very few that are able to adequately meet the needs of a very young baby, especially if the hours are long.

If you do choose a nursery, try to find one with a small baby room - smaller the better, 6 babies if possible, definitely no more than 9. You are unlikely to get better than a 1:3 staff to baby ratio in a private nursery. Children's Centre nurseries usually have better ratios and better qualified and more experienced staff (and higher standards all round), so if you have the choice go for one of them.

Ask a lot of questions about staff qualifications (if they use lots of "trainees" avoid.), staff turnover, how babies are put to sleep, if they follow baby's own routines, how often they take babies outside (be especially sceptical about this one - ime many nurseries avoid taking babies outside very often as it is difficult on their ratios), how they prepare milk feeds, and if they are prepared to hold babies that need it.

Finola1step Sun 13-Oct-13 18:21:31

Both mine went to nurseries from 9 and 7 months. I preferred a nursery over a child minder as well. You will get all sorts of comments and looks over all sorts if things as a new mum. There are some peol

oliveoctagon Sun 13-Oct-13 18:25:24

Im the same as hettie and have a long background in lots of different early years roles, including management. I love nurseries, and would always choose them over childminders.

Finola1step Sun 13-Oct-13 18:26:28

Oops posted too soon.

There are some people who seem to think that a woman having a baby entitles all others to comment and judge on every aspect of her parenting. It's crap. I learnt to give the death stare, the "I have no clue what you're talking about ?" look and my personal fave, the "Try it, just effing try it and see what you get" look. I still use them as and when.

pumpingprincess Sun 13-Oct-13 18:27:02

DD has been going to the same nursery since very small and now, at the age of 4, has the most amazing group of friends that she has grown with all the way through, from baby room right through to pre-school room.

Apparently friendships like theirs can grow to be really strong and last a life time. I feel blessed that she has some fantastic friends and has such a positive experience at nursery.

If it's a good nursery then there is no reason why your baby shouldn't thrive there. Good luck!

teacher123 Sun 13-Oct-13 18:27:04

I think that this is one of those things where you have to go with what suits you and ignore everyone else. It IS hard though. I chose a CM for DS and I am the only one of my friends who didn't pick nursery. I am absolutely happy with my choice and know that DS is thriving. The problem is that when you make a choice that's different to other people's they automatically assume you are judging theirs. Which isn't the case. Good luck!

Finola1step Sun 13-Oct-13 18:27:46

Hettie gives lots of vv good advice.

whatever5 Sun 13-Oct-13 18:27:48

Eldest dd went to a nursery at five or six months. At the time most children started at that age or a bit younger as you could only have a maximum of six months maternity leave. She settled in much more quickly than my younger daughter who went at 2 years.

PurplePidjin Sun 13-Oct-13 18:28:10

I'm a SAHM and get the teeth-sucking cats-bum face off mardy arses who "couldn't be doing with all that, dearie"

Welcome to the world of parenting where your every move is scrutinised intensely by little old ladies on buses grin

Do what's right for your family. And congratulations on your pregnancy thanks

oliveoctagon Sun 13-Oct-13 18:30:28

We do a 1:2 ratio for babies under 1. I wouldnt feel comfortable having more than that at that age.

Varya Sun 13-Oct-13 18:30:39

Sounds like you have checked out a good nursery and as you need to return to work for financial reasons, no-one should question your choice or your decision. Good luck next Spring, with your lovely new baby.

hettienne Sun 13-Oct-13 18:43:11

Bear in mind that the most important thing for young babies is that their emotional and attachment needs are met - especially for a baby as young as the OP's as the attachment to the mother/parent hasn't finished forming yet. A good, well qualified baby room leader will understand this. Don't be impressed by an array of exciting activities if this is neglected.

For a baby in nursery (especially long hours) it is essential that they are able to form secure attachments to their carers. Be extremely wary of staff who tell you they avoid the baby becoming attached to one person because it makes things difficult for them - I have come across more than one nursery unfortunately that takes this attitude!

There has been some research that concluded that childminders are better placed to provide these responsive, emotionally positive and stable relationships that babies need, but there are things that good nurseries do to address these issues. The ideal for a baby in nursery is to stay in the same group of 6 or so children with two or three consistent adults for 12 months+. Run like a mile from nurseries that force babies to switch groups and key person every few months (I have seen baby units that switch group every 3-6 months) and are in groups as big as 12 children.

oliveoctagon Sun 13-Oct-13 18:46:44

If you dont live in London or a big city there probably wont be many settings that take more than 6 under 2s at a time. I have never worked in one, although I have travelled around and seen the odd bigger one.

AmIthatHot Sun 13-Oct-13 18:51:23

DD went to nursery at 4 months, because my 50% salary maternity pay finished and I needed to feed, clothe and keep a roof over her head.

She is now 14 and is the most amazing girl. It hasn't harmed her.

I picked one where on my visit the staff were all affectionate and gave the children cuddles and attention.

It worked for us.

I did get some criticism from some who thought they knew better.
One bitch said to me "oh, I stayed home with mine, because I loved spending time with them" Lucky for her, having a mega rich farmer husband allowed her that luxury

Ignore the judgers and go with it

hettienne Sun 13-Oct-13 18:51:44

I've known several nurseries with 24+ under 2s, one with a under 2 unit of 48!! Poor things had to move on to the next age group every 5 minutes. Usually it is only children's centres that keep baby groups small and stable.

Wishihadabs Sun 13-Oct-13 18:53:28

Sorry haven't read whole thread dd went to nursery at 5 months, she loved it, they loved her and they made me tea and toast while I breast fed her. it was great ignore the naysayers. She is 7 now gorgeous and extremely happy doing well at school.

oliveoctagon Sun 13-Oct-13 18:54:02

That must be a city. I have never heard of that. There is only two settings out of 14 in my town that take more than 9 under 2s. Most usually have less. My current one is a 1:2 ratio for under 1s. That seems standard for the under 1s in my area.

OwlinaTree Sun 13-Oct-13 19:05:10

Your baby will be fine as it will have parents who have made sensible decisions in order to raise it responsibly and you have obviously put a lot of thought into the choice of setting. You will still have a lovely amount of time with your baby before going back to work.

You will be judged what ever decisions you make, starting with how you choose to deal with your placenta no doubt. Remember, people's comments say more about them than about you.

Good luck, im due in March too! join the anti natal thread!

chocolatecrispies Sun 13-Oct-13 19:08:26

People will judge you when you are a parent whatever you do. I am now a SAHM (after working outside the home for 3 years with young children) and get told all the time 'I couldn't do that'.
However I wouldn't let one person's bad experience with a child minder put you off them completely - there is fairly significant amounts of research which shows that early group care is not ideal for babies and that the more hours a week they do the worse it is. In attachment terms even switching every 12 months is not great, whereas if you find a good childminder you could be looking at continuity of care up to school age and even beyond. The childminders available now will probably be completely different to those available when you need them - around here you can only really start looking for childminders 3 months before you need them.
It is up to you to ignore the research if you choose but at least make yourself aware of all the factors in your choice so you are making an informed decision.

babydueinmarch Sun 13-Oct-13 19:11:50

As I have said, it isn't just my friend's experience - it is a range of factors. I just feel more comfortable using a nursery.

LimitedEditionLady Sun 13-Oct-13 19:21:11

My child never bothered moving up a room or having a new nursery nurse after a year it just means he says hello to everyone and gets loadsa cuddles cos hes spent time with them,its also good because if a girl from another room covers his room he knows them.i dont know what nurseries people have seen but they sound very different to really proud of his,they must just be great.i dont get what is better about a childminder tbh,how is it shown that theyre better?i cant see how anyone can judge that.

babydueinmarch Sun 13-Oct-13 19:24:56

I think as with all things it varies massively - a good childminder will obviously be better than a bad nursery, and vice versa too. If I'd met a childminder who was helpful, pleasant and who offered my child top quality care then absolutely.

As it was the childminders we have met were lacklustre, vague and in one case quite rude. The children were restricted to one room which I didn't like and huge chunks of the day were devoted to school runs. By contrast the nursery is a big lovely spacious home, with a big garden and lots of friendly, smiley, happy staff and children. We felt welcome there which wasn't a feeling at any of the childminders!

cupcake78 Sun 13-Oct-13 19:26:16

Its nothing to do with anyone else! I will be going back when dd is 6 months old. I was studying when ds was only 4 months old and put in nursery . Two of my friends are also returning to work when their baby is 6 months.

Yes its a shame etc etc but heck so is a house and clothes and food.

OwlinaTree Sun 13-Oct-13 19:27:28

I should think the relationship would have to be very good between a childminder and the child chocolatecrispies for it to be better than a nursery. Presumably with lots of staff in a nursery the child would get a good relationship with at least some of the staff, as there are more than 1. So unless you personally really liked the childminder and could see your child did too i can't really see how it would be guaranteed to be better than a nursery just cos it's a childminder. Do you have a link to the research?

LimitedEditionLady Sun 13-Oct-13 19:28:01

Babydueinmarch,your minds made up!itll be fab,his nursery staff are fab,they want him to go more cos they miss theres nothing nicer than hearing them tell me the things hes enjoyed doing and seeingvthat he brings them as much joy as me

neunundneunzigluftballons Sun 13-Oct-13 19:29:44

Dd went to a nursery aged 5 mths if I had my time back I would have used a childminder. The nursery was fine but I have since come to the conclusion that one on one care is better for a child of this age and that it is overwhelming for such immature immune systems to be around so many other children at that age.

LimitedEditionLady Sun 13-Oct-13 19:31:54

Ha kinda sounds like youre being told that youre making crap choice because its not a childminder,lol.kinda links to people telling you youre wrong like your original post

I've worked in lots of nurseries and pre-schools and think 5 months is a great age to start! Babies settle much more easily at 5 months than at about a year IMO. Old enough to be settled in themselves, to be able to sit up and play with toys, but not old enough to miss Mum for long.
Perfect! Good luck with everything flowers

LittleBearPad Sun 13-Oct-13 19:34:37

Your baby will be fine in a nursery truly. They will be very well looked after. Don't worry about the lip-pursers. If you do everything perfectly they will still find something to suggest otherwise. So smile and ignore, smile and ignore.

Naebother Sun 13-Oct-13 19:37:59

I've used both. Never regretted either.

Nursery was perfect for dc1. Small baby room, lots of cuddles and a very happy 3 years.

Pros are reliablility, longer hours,school holiday cover.

I've used childminder for dc2 and this has been great as she can take dc1 to school and collect too. They will, hopefully, be with her through primary school.

Morien Sun 13-Oct-13 19:40:06

OP, I think it's a cultural thing. My DC1 is due in February, and like yours will be going to nursery from 5 or 6 months - but I live in Belgium, where just about ALL babies are in nursery from even earlier than that. So nobody is going to judge me for it here...what's more, it wouldn't cross anyone's mind here that it could be remotely bad for the baby. When I talk about this with my friends back in the UK, though, it's a different story, and I've had reactions similar to those you've had.

surgicalwidow Sun 13-Oct-13 19:51:44

I did this, from 5.5 months. It was tough for a couple of weeks, and meant I gave up breastfeeding sooner than I would have wanted (would have been the same with a childminder / nanny). Bit of advice though is to try to sort their sleep out before they start, get them self settling a little bit if you can at all. It will make the transition to nursery naps in cot in a communal sleep environment easier. Good luck!

I felt much more comfortable about using a nursery rather than a childminder and I can't think of any friends who use a childminder. DD started nursery at 6 mo (though only for 2 mornings a week, she would have been fine with more than that). The reason she started then is that I strongly believe that it is easier to settle them early than at over about 8 months when they have more separation anxiety. DD seems to have done very well and I think much of that is from going to nursery - a good nursery is both caring and stimulating for a child.

NichyNoo Sun 13-Oct-13 19:54:10

This makes me so angry. Like someone has said upthread, it is just a cultural thing. I gave birth in Belgium where maternity leave is only 15 weeks and childminders are virtually unheard of so the majority of babies are in nursery from the age of 4 months. They all turn out OK.

oliveoctagon Sun 13-Oct-13 19:54:21

ballons - Did you exclusively breastfeed? Dd2 was bfed until nearly a year and has only had 1 day off nursery and she goes 5 days a week for 45 hours as I work there.

PinkPepper Sun 13-Oct-13 19:59:06

A good nursery would be fine with expressed milk. I exclusively fed my son (though he didn't go to nursery my partner looked after him at first) still feeding now he's 15 months but he has cows milk when I'm not with him now

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Sun 13-Oct-13 20:08:09

My mum went back to work when I was 4 months old.

I have no bad memories of nursery. Or any for that matter. Only lots of reports, pictures, etc. looks like I was doing fine.

Apart from my MN addiction grin, I am as good as the next person.

Do what you have to do and do not worry.

olympicsrock Sun 13-Oct-13 20:26:06

I'm sure baby will be fine. We used a good nursery and good childminder from 10 months who came recommended by a good friend. Childminder only did 3 preschool children, including our baby so no school runs. It was much better than nursery as it was quieter, one individual with him all day so much better at recognising what he wanted and needed. He also slept much better in a quiet room upstairs at her house than in the baby room at nursery with other babies 'sleeping'. He came back very tired from nursery as couldn't sleep with all the noise and the childminder days allowed him to rest. The other problem with nursery and young babies is that they catch every bug going. Our nursery is very inflexible, CM much more. Nursery expect you to collect if they have to give calpol if in pain eg teething or has a cold whereas CM gave calpol, cuddled and used discretion when to call us. I would ask nursery where babies sleep and what policy about giving calpol and calling parents are otherwise you'll be called back from work once a week at this age (they teeth from 6 months to 2 years).

peanutMD Sun 13-Oct-13 20:35:15

I work in a nursery that caters birth - 5 years and or youngest start has been 14 weeks, she definately took more settling in than the older children especially at nap time but after 2 weeks all was fine.

She's now 10 months and gets excited whenever age sees the building and squeals when she comes in, she also waves "oonigh" (goodnight) when she leaves at 3pm grin

I'm on maternity leave at the moment but will be returning to work in January with my then 10 month old DD.

I've had a few "pity" comments from friends who don't work or have free childcare from family but i just point out that i'm pleased with my decision as i see quite a lot of socially unaware children who are useless with sharing, holding conversation or playing with other children and generally settling in when it comes to the pre-school sessions.

In all honesty thigh children generally adapt pretty well and problems I've mentioned above are short lived but they don't need to know that and it shuts them up grin

DS started part-time in nursery when he was five months, gradually becoming full-time by eight months. He LOVES nursery and gets shirty with us at weekends when he doesn't get to go.

He was also exclusively breastfed until six months (total, total bottle refuser - just held out for me) and is still breastfeeding now at 17 months so there's no reason at all to reduce or give up breastfeeding if you don't want to.

It is incredibly hard work, though, working full time with a baby. No time or energy whatsoever to do anything for yourself. I'm smiling wryly at the previous poster who said 'sort out their sleep' before you go back. If DC wants to have their sleep sorted, you will be able to sort their sleep. If DC doesn't want to have their sleep sorted, and is perfectly happy waking every two hours through the night, there's not a blind bloody thing you can do but plough through work with toothpicks under your lids! grin

PresidentServalan Sun 13-Oct-13 21:15:45

Tell these people to fuck off to the far side of fuck if they comment. It is nothing to do with them - you are doing what is best for your family.

hippo123 Sun 13-Oct-13 21:15:49

Until the paid maternity leave increased from 6 to 9 months in 2007 most mothers went back to work when baby was 5 months. Ds did,he's 6 now and as fine as a 6 year old can be.

lillibet1 Sun 13-Oct-13 21:34:31

mine went at 4 1/2 months nothing else to do as I had to go back to work he is a happy intelligent well adjusted (if there is such a Thing) nearly 3 year old. it will not do your baby any harm you will find it hard but you will manage because that's what you have to do

Barbeasty Sun 13-Oct-13 21:42:31

DS started nursery a few months ago aged 5.5 months. He's thriving. The staff loved having such a young baby there (generally seem to start at 9 months now) so he had all the staff making a huge fuss of him.

As he's reaching peak separation anxiety, the staff are on his "list" of people he trusts, so no problems dropping him off.

It's been easier than starting DD at 1yr, and not just down to personality.

They move children up carefully. With friends, sometimes moving a member of staff up if a large group of children happen to move at once. It's done slowly and at the children's pace.

Would I have stayed at home longer if I could? Absolutely.

Do I regret sending DS to this nursery at that age? Not at all.

dyslexicdespot Sun 13-Oct-13 21:51:41

Just say: ' thank you for your concern. I will let you know if I am ever in need of your advice.'

Xmasbaby11 Sun 13-Oct-13 21:58:09

DD started nursery at 8mo, full time. She was the youngest there so I did find it a bit hard, but she settled SO quickly and loved it right from the start.

I prefer nursery to childminder, due to reliability. The only thing I hadn't thought about is that nurseries have much stricter policies about a child's illness, eg 48 hours after any sickness/diarrhoea. I took a lot of time off to look after DD when she was sick, but luckily my employer is supportive. I hear childminders are much less strict.

You will be fine and you will learn to deal with people's responses. My only advice is to make likeminded friends who understand you and do not judge.

kangarooshoes Sun 13-Oct-13 22:08:03

I went for a less than perfect nursery, because it allowed another advantage for us, at 8 months. No regrets, and child appears fine. Childminders appear to have a real thing about babies shouldn't be in nursery, but I think it depends how long, which one, and what suits your family. It's hard, whatever you do will have pluses and minuses.

Pilgit Sun 13-Oct-13 22:41:12

It's none of their business. Yes, 5 months is young but if that's what you have to do, that's the way it will be. Mine went at 8 months and 9 months - and I got similar comments. I just ignored them. We had found a lovely little nursery, fantastic feel to it (and small baby room). Both DD's have loved it. Really were/are very happy there. There are lots of things we would do in an ideal world, but we don't live in an ideal world - we live in this one and good enough has to be good enough. This will be only one area where you will probably feel attacked as a parent for not doing this or doing that - ignore, ignore, ignore. The best piece of advice i had as a new mother was take all the (well meaning) advice with a smile, take what was useful and ignore the rest without guilt.

WorraLiberty Sun 13-Oct-13 22:47:01

I think you're just going to have to grow a tougher skin OP.

There will be many people who get upset at the thought of a baby being put into full time childcare, rather than being with its parents.

That will never change, although voicing it to you is extremely rude.

Just be happy and confident enough in your decision, to let people's remarks wash off you like water off a duck.

Otherwise you'll drive yourself mad.

Caitlin17 Sun 13-Oct-13 22:52:27

I went back to work full time when son was 3 months, he had a nanny in our home. I have friends who put children to nursery at 6 months, theirs and mine all turned out fine.

Fakebook Sun 13-Oct-13 23:09:32

I did it with dd1. She was just over 5 months and was in full time until aged just under 3. Had a few "tut tuts" and "what's the point of having children" comments from a few far relations and that "you'll ruin her" type comments. I didn't have time to over think about them because I was so rushed off my feet all the time! You'll be fine once you get into it and your dd will love nursery with all the attention and activities. It's also brilliant for keeping your baby to a strict timetable which comes in handy for bedtime and food times.

It's really nice watching all the babies grow up together into toddlers and then pre schoolers in a nursery setting. Dd will be six next month and has a "baby" friend from nursery who turned six last month. I can't believe they've been friends since babyhood. It's a special friendship.

moogy1a Mon 14-Oct-13 07:29:19

choos " Yes I couldn't use a child minder as less regulated "

Where on earth did you get this misinformation from??? CM's are subject to exactly the same rigorous standards and regulations, inspections as nurseries

babydueinmarch Mon 14-Oct-13 07:34:05

For me, one of the things I felt less comfortable with was knowing the child would be on its own with only one adult. That made me uneasy. I think (although don't know for sure) that was what was meant with the 'less regulated' comment. My friends childminder got away with hitting her daughter for a while because of this.

AveryJessup Mon 14-Oct-13 07:42:23

Nurseries here in the US ('daycare') take babies full-time from 6 weeks old and the babies seem to turn out fine. Most American parents have to go back to work full-time very early on as there is no maternity leave here worth talking about. The kids all seem to do fine. The more popular solution is hiring a full-time nanny rather than using daycare but I actually think daycare is better because they get to interact with more people and with other babies.

It depends on the baby / child, but my DS, for example, is very sociable and loves the 2 mornings a week that he is in nursery. At 5 months he would have transitioned to full-time daycare no problems. Other children might be more anxious about separation though so it just depends. Only you know your baby and what suits him best.

I would have found it hard to do myself, I have to admit, but if I had to do it then I wouldn't have worried about it doing him any harm. The harm would all have been to me, just from being soppy and missing him!

AveryJessup Mon 14-Oct-13 07:44:49

That's lovely, Fakebook. The social aspect of nursery care is something a lot of people seem to overlook. I think it's great to give kids a social outlet beyond family at a time when so many of us live in isolated, nuclear families without grandparents, cousins, aunts etc around.

hettienne Mon 14-Oct-13 07:51:09

The social aspect of nursery is irrelevant for a baby though, and if anything is an issue for nurseries to overcome if they are providing adequate care.

Choos123 Mon 14-Oct-13 08:05:08

yes, i did mean that that by the 'less regulated' choice, sorry, poor choice of word. I know from my dd's nursery there is a lot of foot traffic, parents looking around etc. Felt (& feels) safer to me.

Mine will be in the nursery from 5 months old too - due end of April, and I'll be starting my 3rd year of uni next September, with OH starting his 2nd. The university nursery is a great place and less than a minute's walk from our classrooms, but we've still had people telling us we're doing the wrong thing and we'll regret it and it's cruel.

Don't listen to other peoples' judgement - only you can decide what's best for you and your child smile

Summergarden Mon 14-Oct-13 08:55:21

In answer to someone who asked about research to show that childminders generally offer more suitable care than a nursery for babies, try reading Steve Biddulphs book Raising Babies-Should under 3s go to Nursery?

He (a child psychologist IIRC) refers to lots of worldwide studies to answer the question.

It's a very emotive issue, and knowing I had to return to work when baby would be 8 months old I did lots of research to help make the right decision for our family. Its true that there are a lot of not very good childminders out there (have met quite a few doing school pickups as I'm a primary teacher). However, if you are lucky enough to find a good one, they are worth their weight in gold. Ours was recommended by several other teacher friends at the school where I work who had used her in the past. Yes of course childminders are regulated by the same rigorous standards as nurseries (and rightly so). Ours is Ofsted rated outstanding and follows the EYFS same as a nursery. But honestly, I don't really care about that. For me, the main thing is that my dd now aged 21 months is in a homely environment, with same, stable carer who has formed a close attachment with my dd. According to Steve Biddulph, that's the main thing.

However I do think nurseries are brilliant for older children, lots of fun activities and chance to build up social skills, when my dd is 2 and a half or so I may well send her there.

It's for every parent to make their own choices in the end, I wouldn't judge anyone else for whatever they decide to do, we all have to pay bills at the end of the day. The majority of people who work in child are of any form surely do it because they love children and want to do a good job of it.

shewhowines Mon 14-Oct-13 08:55:57

My dd was in nursery from 4 months.

She was breast fed but was used to happily taking a bottle from others.

At nursery she refused to drink milk at all. They tried different people feeding her, different bottles and different formula. Nothing worked. She went from 8am to 5pm with no milk at all. It was heartbreaking. I had to stop working. Maybe that was just my dd but how many other babies experience stress but still feed?

I don't know what the answer is. I chose nursery for the same reasons you did. You don't know what goes on behind closed doors at a cm. At least at nursery there are more people around and it's unlikely that they would all be complicit in any mistreatment.

pointyfangs Mon 14-Oct-13 09:00:36

I used nursery with both of mine from just shy of 6 months - again, because that was what maternity leave was back then. It was fine. DD2 had the same key worker from 5 months to when she left at 4.5. DD1 had to change nursery at 17 months, but it ended up being an improvement and again, she had the same keyworker from start to finish. They were loved, cuddled and taught and they still greet their former keyworkers in the street 5 years later.

pointyfangs Mon 14-Oct-13 09:03:04

shewhowines mine were bf too, but they were bottle refusers with everyone. At nursery if they took 4oz of expressed milk, that was a good day - however, they would happily drink water from sippy cups. Then they tanked up on the real deal at home - my supply just adjusted, it wasn't a problem (except for having amazing 5pm boobage grin)

gordyslovesheep Mon 14-Oct-13 09:06:11

Please note op there are plenty of studies that dispute biddulphs views and he is not very pro women x

thonah Mon 14-Oct-13 09:10:34

It'll be fine. A lot of people take a year mat leave now, but 10 years ago it was quite usual to be going back to work 5-6 months after birth. Having settled DS in to nursery at 6 months and DD at 11 months, it's a lot less traumatic at the younger age! All DS cared about was that he got fed when he was hungry! DD was much more attached to me by 11 months. make your decision and stick to it! Ignore everyone else.

Maryann1975 Mon 14-Oct-13 10:39:34

My experience of nurseries is a high staff turnover, staff not staying in rooms for long enough for children to form good bonds with them and owners of nurseries only caring about their profit margins. Having worked in several in the town where I live and in other parts of the country, I vowed never to send my children to a nursery.
But, if you are happy with your choice, you have to go with it. Their are so many descions to make as a parent, you can not possibly follow everyone's advice and these people would probably judge you just as much if you were on benefits for the rest of your life.

gordyslovesheep Mon 14-Oct-13 10:42:36

All three of mine had the same key worker from baby room to school, same staff still there from when my first child attended 11 years ago. All nurseries are different.

Op its you child and if you are happy stuff what other people may finger wag about x

Maryann1975 Mon 14-Oct-13 10:43:23

And to those that think childminders don't follow any sort of regulations, they are inspected by ofsted the same as a nursery would be. They follow the same EYFS as nurseries and have to do training before they are allowed to become registered. Childminded children generally have more experiences of real life, due to being out and about with their carer (shops, library, bus trips, toddler groups, park, feeding the ducks) rather than being in the same nursery room and garden all day.

Regarding the high staff turnover that can happen to some extent - having worked in nurseries before having my own DC - I think some of that can be due to the staff often being quite young. I left one nursery to move to one nearer where I lived and cut down on long tube journey, another time because I moved flat, and another time to join DP on trip abroad. So, just the stuff that can easily be going on for you in your twenties. Even if I was there for less than a year I still formed really good relationships with the babies and children. Hopefully because there are a team of nursery staff any staff changes will have less impact on the children than with childminders or nannies. However a good childminder or nanny can provide a great experience for a child too.

sugarman Mon 14-Oct-13 11:38:39

When your child is in nursery, you will begin to meet other nursery parents and you won't feel so isolated.

It is a very emotive topic but those teeth-sucking acquaintances of yours are not the parents of your baby and have no role in your child's life unless they learn how to be supportive. So don't give their opinions any weight.

conorsrockers Mon 14-Oct-13 12:45:42

My 3DS went from 10 weeks and guess what? They are perfectly normal, loving, well rounded children.
You have to grow a thick skin to it as it will carry on until they are not babies anymore ....
I actually found that the biggest teeth suckers were just jealous as they couldn't go back to work .... and others just didn't have a clue.
"Did you mean to be so rude/judgemental?" if you are really at the end of your tether ... Otherwise smile and nod like its a secret club wink

conorsrockers Mon 14-Oct-13 12:45:55

My 3DS went from 10 weeks and guess what? They are perfectly normal, loving, well rounded children.
You have to grow a thick skin to it as it will carry on until they are not babies anymore ....
I actually found that the biggest teeth suckers were just jealous as they couldn't go back to work .... and others just didn't have a clue.
"Did you mean to be so rude/judgemental?" if you are really at the end of your tether ... Otherwise smile and nod like its a secret club wink

MrsDeVere Mon 14-Oct-13 12:56:00

Send your baby to the nursery you have chosen.
If it doesn't work out you have the option of trying a CM (keep an open mind).

You have to go back to work, your child has to be cared for.

Don't allow others to make you feel guilty. None of those people care about your baby more than you do.

moogy1a Mon 14-Oct-13 15:23:13

To the many comments about not knowing what goes on behind closed doors re. CM's. Do people really think CM's are any worse as people than nursery workers? CM's tend to be a lot more visible in the community at playgroups, school runs etc. and unhappy children would soon be noticed by other people.
There is also the fact that unkind behaviour is normalized when there is more than one adult. As soon as one person condones it by not immediately complaining about the way a child is treated, then that treatment of children becomes the norm. Whether it's ignoring them or abusing them in other ways.
Please try to remember that nurseries are also "behind closed doors".
I have yet to come across a single case of a registered CM abusing children, whereas there have a been a number in recent years of nursery workers abusing their charges.

LimitedEditionLady Mon 14-Oct-13 15:41:39

Our nursery has cameras.theres more chance of behaviour being pulled up by other adults.Anyway why is there all this talk of damning one or the other?i like my son going nursery a couple of days,ive always wanted him to join a nursery.people act like its a torture chamber and the kids are being friggin neglected,what is the problem?my child has no issues from meeting the ladies at nursery.Hes not been abandoned or neglected he hasnt got attachment issues.hes a happy child.Is a child that is at home 24/7 better looked after?depends on the mother doesnt it

Moogy1a - both of the nurseries that DD has been in are far from behind closed doors. They have children being dropped off from 7.30-9.30, picking up at lunchtime and parents collecting 3-closing time, so parents popping in and out. Then settling in visits in the am and pm with parents in for lots of them. By virtue of the number of children there are always plenty of parents coming and going.

I understand your point about how poor behaviour can be normalised in group settings, but I really don't think this poor behaviour can be switched on and off as parents go in and out, if it has become a workplace norm. You do hear of nurseries which aren't great (occasional threads on MN being the only place I have heard of them) but I think that you are quite likely to pick this up when visiting as they really can't hide it.

dontyouknow Mon 14-Oct-13 18:47:08

My DD went to nursery at 4 months. DS would have gone at 5 months, but due to some issues at work put back so he will be 9 months.

DD loved it and settled in so well I am almost wondering if I am doing the right thing having more time off this time!

Not sure about comebacks - I think I might have pointed out she was at nursery with other babies, doing fun stuff all day, rather than being at home with me having to spend part of the day watching me doing the cooking and cleaning. To be honest, I don't remember many comments, so maybe I just ignored them, or glared at people if it seemed they were going to start.

If you really aren't keen on going back, have you properly checked the figures - take home pay, less nursery fees, less travel costs, less lunches out/work clothes, less the cost of takeaways for when neither of you can face cooking - if it isn't much more than SMP you might want to reconsider.

babydueinmarch Mon 14-Oct-13 18:56:22

Moogy - I think the issue (for me) is that if you have a non verbal child and one adult, you just don't know what is happening. Very unlikely anything untoward is going on, I know, but my friend's 16 month old DD had her legs smacked by her childminder, and was told to stand in a corner and when, crying she tried to come over to the c/m was told "get back over there, no one wants to see your ugly face." sad

I don't think for a moment the childminders I saw would do that BUT - there were huge chunks of the day on the school run, limited area to play in, general apathy: I preferred the nursery. I didn't like two of the five nurseries we looked round, two were nice and one was lovely which is the one we've chosen.

Anyway - good news! - we've had a windfall (well not really!) but the mortgage company have agreed to give us 3 months 'holiday.' So I'll go back after Christmas when DC will be 9 months - I know for some that's still too young to be in full time nursery, but I feel much happier! grin

LittleBearPad Mon 14-Oct-13 19:01:00

Good news OP.

CMs vs nurseries are horses for courses but I felt as you do that nursery would be better. Other people feel the opposite.

LittleBearPad Mon 14-Oct-13 19:02:17

Ps people will still make comments about nursery at nine months and all other aspects of your parenting just ignore them. You are doing the best for your child in your circumstances.

janey68 Mon 14-Oct-13 19:15:43

My children were in childcare from around 12 weeks old ( as others have said it was totally the norm a few years back.) We did start with a cm, and then progressed to nursery (then the lovely cm again later for before/ after school care)
My two have many happy memories of nursery. As long as you look at your childcare options carefully and know what you want ( in our case we were very pro child- led provision) and ensure your child is secure, stimulated and content, then what's the problem?

My children are teenagers now and totally normal, secure, loving kids.

You're best off growing a thick skin because I'm afraid there are always some naysayers who will delight in darkly hinting at why they don't think you should do it... Just ignore ignore ignore! And remember the people who are secure in their own choices wont have a problem with yours

Prozacbear Mon 14-Oct-13 19:44:11

Everyone has said this but I don't think the point can bé stated too much - down with the tutters!

DS went to nursery at 6 months, is now almost 2.8. They doted on him, he has friends, security and since he moved to the big room has transitioned from playtime 100percent to a more learning-type environment. He still adores and has a very very close relationship with us, and I have absolutely no worries about his transition to school.

Would I have loved more time with him? Yes. But he is an indie little person and very active with a constant need for stimulation. Nursery gives him that (or. made him that?!) And I genuinely believe for some babies can bé a really positive place rather than a second best.

yonisareforever Mon 14-Oct-13 20:09:56

With any setting where a vulnerable young person ie under 5 ish in this case is being looked after by a nursery or child minder, the only thing you can do to see if they are being looked after and happy, for everyone is to simply call in un announced on occasion...but enough times to check with your own eyes, is my child happy, look through the door, window, are they being engaged with, are they playing? Any CM any nursery, can if not openly abuse your child, still may ignore them!

I think everyone with children in a nursery or CM setting just once, call in, on the spur of the moment just to make sure with your own eyes everything is fine. Thats all we can do really.

HSMMaCM Mon 14-Oct-13 20:54:42

Totally overqualified CM here and I think a good nursery/nanny/CM will be fine for a 5 month old and they should skip the whole separation anxiety that some older children go through. Good luck OP. It will all be fine.

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