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DS is 18 months and has been going to nursery since September. He settled in reasonably well and according to his key worker he is usually happy (exceptions being when he is feeling ill).
When dropped off (it's usually my husband or sister in law dropping him off) he cries in a heart-wrenching way, but according to his key worker he stops almost as soon as they leave.
DH dropped him off this morning and stayed for about an hour and noticed that DS was very subdued. Very kind of turned into himself and quiet, not his usual outgoing babbly self. So DH asked the key worker whether this was normal and she said that yes, that's the way DS always behaves at nursery.
Now DH thinks these are things to worry about (the fact that DS still cries at dropoff after 2 months and is not his usual personality while at nursery). I am personally not too worried. I understand if DS doesn't love nursery as much as having 1on1 mummy/daddy/S-I-L attention, and the feeling of 'being left' at dropoff is obviously not pleasant for him, but I don't really feel the above signals as if anything is particularly wrong.
Did DS know that your DH was there? That may may make a difference.
I would call in at nursery unexpectedly a couple of times and check for yourself how DS is when you're not there. Don't let him see you though. Or you could ask another parent to check on him.
My DD used to cry bucket loads when we dropped her at playgroup, for months (she was a little older though) - sometimes one of the staff would have to prise her off us, she held on so tight - but when we looked through the window 5 minutes later she'd be playing happily, without a care in the world.
If you're happy with the nursery, I would stick with it, as changing nurseries is unlikely to make any difference, and if you have to go to work, then you have to go to work.
It is tough if you can see that a DC isn't happy, but tbh, we all sometimes have to learn to make the most of things, even at 18 months.
Our ds1 never settled into nursery. He still cried at drop off after 4 months and was subdued on collection. I changed his nursery. He settled in a week, stopped crying after a week, and kicked off at home time!!
We moved him to a much quieter nursery with less children in his room and it was more play based learning and experiences. Staff were much nicer too.
I agree, the crying itself not necessarily an issue but subdued behaviour could be. What's he like when you pick him up?
DS wails when I drop him off at nursery (he only goes one day a week) and has done since he started 4 months ago (he's 17mo). But he stops as soon as I leave & he settles down to breakfast.
When we pick him up we get a chance to observe him through the door before he realises we're there & he always looks really happy & engaged. The staff tell me if he's had teary moments but usually they describe him as happy & funny.
In that context, I don't worry about him wailing briefly when I drop him off but I think it's worth investigating a bit more if you're not sure.