Not getting a great feel about nursery even though it's meant to be a great nursery

(10 Posts)
Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Fri 18-Jan-13 21:28:17

Hi

DS is 2.5 and attends nursery 2 days a week 8-4. I'm on maternity leave and DD is 8 months. This is the 3rd nursery DS has attended cos we have moved a couple o f times and he has been going to this one since sept. in the past we've thought he's been happy at nursery and this current nursery has an outstanding ofsted and a good reputation locally. But what worries me is that DS is often extremely distressed at drop off, much more so than he used to be at his old nurseries. Over the last few months there has been good weeks and bad weeks in this regard with it possibly happening more when he's teethign or a bit under the weather. It seems to be better if we get him there for breakfast.

I really worry he doesnt like nursery and it's not good for him. He usually seems happy enough (not crying but playing by himself) when I pick him up and the staff usually say he's been "fine". He apparently sleeps and eats ok there. Do you think all kids this age do or should enjoy nursery? Or could it be this nursery isn't actually as great a place as it is said to be? I have I say I don't find the staff very warm or nurturing though a lot of them seem quite confident and competent. The other kids don't look especially happy most of the time though there's not usually anyone crying and if there is, they are usually being comforted (though on a couple of occasions a child has been crying and wasn't being comforted). My sense is that DS doesn't have a bond with any of the staff...

Really having a bit of a crisis of confidence with the whole nursery thing too and wondering if a nanny or a combo of nanny and preschool will be better when I go back to work in April. Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Btw DS can't talk yet, he's likely to need speech therapy in the future for an expression problem. I don't think this is part of the problem but it does mean I can't really discuss his feelings with him.

Sorry this is such a long winded post!

amazingmumof6 Fri 18-Jan-13 23:22:11

go with your gut and take him out if it doesn't feel right to you

tacal Sat 19-Jan-13 09:29:11

I agree with amazingmum that you should do what feels right. My ds has always gone through quite long phases of being distressed at drop off at nursery. He started going to the nursery when he was 9 months he is now 4.

I have often thought about moving him especially as I have some concerns about the staff turnover and communication at the nursery. But my gut has always told me not to move him because he seems very happy when I pick him up, has made lots of friends and the staff are very nice. I also think he would not handle moving to a new nursery very well. I have come to the conclusion he has periods of suffering from separation anxiety especially if he is tired/unwell or has had changes of routine outside nursery. He eventually goes into nursery happily if I make sure he has lots of sleep and sticks to a strict routine. Routine seems to be very important to my DS.

Sometimes I regret not moving him to another nursery but he goes to school in September so am just focusing on that now.

insancerre Sat 19-Jan-13 10:26:31

It's not that surprising that he is showing signs of distress at drop off when you consider he has had 3 nurseries in 2.5 years.
He is just confused and not understanding what is going on. Moving nurseries is a huge transition or any child. Especially when they are young and have limited communication and understanding.
Btw DS can't talk yet, he's likely to need speech therapy in the future for an expression problem I don't think this is part of the problem but it does mean I can't really discuss his feelings with him.
This is exactly the problem. he has lots of thoughts and feelings going around in his head and he can't express any of them. He is still trying to make sense of it all.
Just give him time, he will settle.
In the meantime you could ask his key-person to develop a plan to help him to settle.
I recommend short drop-offs, basically hand him over with the minimum of fuss and leave
Ask the key-person to make sure his favourite toy or activity is set up and ready for him when he arrives
Let him take something from home in to nursery, a comforter, an item of your clothing or a favourite toy
Ask if the key-person will do a home visit to your house
But most of all you need to be really positive about the whole nursery experience- children are experts at picking up on how you are feeling, so if you are anxious and upset, so will he.
I forgot to say, I am an experienced nursery nurse and have settled in lots of children and have used these strategies with success.

Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Sat 19-Jan-13 15:18:24

Thanks all for your comments.
Insancerre, would you say all 2 year olds settle eventually at a good nursery? Or do you think nursery isn't te right place for some kids? Any thoughts on how his speech problem might impact his time at nursery?

amazingmumof6 Sat 19-Jan-13 21:34:13

my DS3 started nursery when he was 2, but hated it, for 2 terms he just didn't want to go, but I really needed time to recover from my C-section with DS4 so he kept on going.
in hindsight those 2 terms I wish I could have kept him at home (he's now 8, so it doesn't matter...)

then a new nursery worker arrived and DS3 "fell in love" with her. she wasn't his key worker, but that didn't matter, she helped settle him, then he was happy with anyone else! this sort of thing you just can't see or predict!

speech - yes, huge impact! if he can't express himself he'll get very frustrated and it is very likely that he will communicate physically instead - if he ends up shoving/pushing/snatching/biting etc he'll probably be viewed as "naughty" rather than a cry for help!

well at least that was my fear, so although DS5 was fully booked in to start in Sept, I changed my mind in the last minute and canceled the whole thing.
he is the sweetest and most adorable little boy and it would have broken my heart to see him struggle and possible be seen as difficult or be labelled as naughty, just because he wasn't able to communicate verbally, only physically and of course mainly in a negative way amongst strangers!!!

at that point he was 27 months old and only said 5 words! he wouldn't even say yes or no, just use different kind of noises that only we understood!

4 months on he's talking and singing constantly, and he's lovely & charming & very much able to express himself!
I'm so happy and proud of myself that I went with my gut and kept him home for longer!

he'll be 3 in May and will start nursery in Sept, properly ready and hopefully settling in will be a breeze

does this help?

insancerre Sun 20-Jan-13 11:24:17

Yes I would say that all children will settle at a good nursery. The nursery will be designed to meet all of their needs, including their emotional needs as well as their physical and learning and developmental needs.

Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Sun 20-Jan-13 21:47:08

Thanks a lot amazing and insancerre, very helpful indeed

Karoleann Sun 20-Jan-13 22:40:47

Can you try three mornings instead? Maybe it's jus too long a day?

If he's no better t least you know it's the nursery.

inthewildernessbuild Fri 01-Feb-13 22:34:29

Nanny and pre-school does have the advantage that he gets to meet some of the children he may go on to Reception with. A nanny with good spoken English would also help him with his speech in comparison with a nursery.
My 2.5 ds1 loved pre-school almost immediately. He had never been to nursery before. He never minded being dropped off. Nor did twins later. It was one week max of wobbles then they loved it. I would have worried if they continued to be upset every day. I think seeing your mum go home with baby is quite an emotional thng for a toddler,when you probably feel you are the "baby" still.
I certainly don't think you should soldier on with this if he continues to be upset.

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