Nursery vs nanny/childminder, etc - health impact?

(8 Posts)
alikat724 Sun 23-Sep-12 10:22:36

Hi all,

Sorry for this being so long-winded! But would really appreciate advice... I am a first-time mum with a 10 month old DD, who started nursery 2.5 days (Monday, Wednesday, morning session Friday) 2 weeks ago upon my part-time return to work. We have been doing the Friday morning session for about 6 weeks as extended "settling in", and I am really happy with everything about the nursery - the staff, particularly her key worker, are wonderful, the facilities are fantastic and my DD is really enjoying the environment. We chose nursery over nanny or childminders primarily because neither my DH or I have family so we would have no recourse to them should an individual carer call in sick or go on holiday.

However, since she has been going to nursery she has had 3 bouts of illness - a high fever and tonsilitis (which coincided with her first two teeth), then a low-grade cold, and now a pretty bad 'flu. I realise that all babies get sick, and she had had a couple of colds before nursery, but nothing like the terrible run we have had in the past 6 weeks.

My question for mumsnetters is - purely from a health perspective, would she be better off if we took her out of nursery and opted for another form of childcare? I would do my best to have her mix with other babies at baby classes or on play dates because she is a social baby and loves spending time with other kids, but it would be much less contact. What do people think? Are children that attend nursery more likely to be ill simply because they are around so many babies, or are colds and 'flus inevitable? I am still breastfeeding (and providing expressed milk for her at nursery) so her immune system has as much support as I can give it, and on one hand I know she has to build up immunity to a wide range of cold viruses at some stage but I hate seeing her sick so if there is something I could do prevent it... All advice greatly appreciated!

Many thanks.

moogster1a Sun 23-Sep-12 11:13:53

She's probably exposed to more illness in a nursery as all the little ones are in one room for most of the day. However, I'm a childminder with a couple of little ones, one who goes to nursery half a day and 2 schoolies, and they all pass illnesses round to each other.
The ones in school / nursery pick up things there, the little ones pick up things from playgroups etc.
Unfortunately, as soon as they start getting out in the big wide world they often get cold after cold ( or hand foot and mouth disease in the case of 4 of mine in the last month!).
Some lo's do seem to pick up everything going but I think there's little you can do.
The only difference in terms of childcare is that a nanny will be able to still care for lo whilst she's poorly, and most childminders take children more readily than nurseries which usually have much stricter sending home policies, whereas a CM might well let mindees cuddle on the settee for the day rather than send them home ( what I do as an excuse to have long cuddles, especially if all mindees have the same ailment anyway so no cross infection worries)

bethjoanne Sun 23-Sep-12 11:15:15

hi its the same when they start school too.there are many selfish parents who send there child into the nursery i work in.children have been sick on the carpet,had the runs not made the toilet in time .children with high fevers,or child complains they are itchy only to find they are covered in spots chicken pox except for face sometimes so they think they can get away with it!if we ask a child if they felt ill before school they always say yes i told my mum/dad eg.
parents should think about the comfort of their child and keep them at home and also think about the health of others.when i was pregnant parents still sent in their ill child .
another thing about the nursery is hygiene do staff regulary wash their hands.young children are not taught to cover their mouth when sneezing/COUGHING OR WIPE THEIR NOSE IT IS LEFT RUNNING AND THEN CHILDREN WIPE IT ON THEIR HAND TRANSFER IT ON EG TOY/ TABLE SO ANOTHER CHILD PICKS IT UP.PARENTS PLEASE KEEP YOUR CHILD AT HOME IF THEY ARE ILL AND TEACH THEM BASIC HYGIENE HAND UP AND WASH HANDS TO PREVENT THE SPREND OF DIESEASES.

bethjoanne Sun 23-Sep-12 16:21:54

children are sent home from nurseries if they are ill with a fever / upset tummy .a fever is a symptom of meningitis and to safeguard a child spreading serious ilness .public health have guidelines.

suburbandweller Mon 24-Sep-12 10:11:02

It's pretty standard for children to go through a stage of picking up various illnesses when they start nursery or school ime - their immune system is suddenly subject to so much more than when they are at home! It does tend to settle down after a few months though as they build up their immunity. My DS has been at nursery for 9 months now and not really been ill at all for the last six or so. For the first 3 it felt like one thing after another - not ideal when I was trying to settle back into work!

jeaux90 Mon 24-Sep-12 16:14:23

I understand your concern. I took the decision to do 5 half days and then afternoons with a nanny (out in the park, baking etc). It is a personal thing but I just thought that its a bloody tiring day for them to be in day care all day which makes them a bit more vulnerable. I took that decision when I went back tp work when DD was 9 months old. She is now 3.5 years and she has had a couple of bouts but nothing in comparison with what my friend's DS has and he is in full time day care. I think you will make an instinctive decision at the end of the day.

SydneyB Mon 24-Sep-12 16:21:38

You either go through it now or when they start school! Their immune systems need building up somehow and this is how it happens. Hard to see them ill when they're still small but there you go. DD was in nursery from about 7 months, we had a year of hell with me having to leave work practically one day a week during that time but she's now in Yr1 and has not had ONE day off sick since she started school.

alikat724 Thu 27-Sep-12 18:51:30

Thanks for your comments/feedback. I guess the consensus is that nursery is a bug breeding ground, but that it isn't the end of the world! I knew this prior but it is still unpleasant to have to come to terms with it. I think we will persevere for a couple of months and see what happens.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now