My dd is just over 3yo and has just started at nursery. We had three short visits where I stayed with her and although she enjoyed these sessions she didn't move very far from my side. On the last visit she was more confident and I distanced myself but stayed in the background. First session when she was left was last Thursday; she did really well, no tears. Next session was following day (these wont be her usual days but nursery advised that sessions close together might help her settle) she wasn't so keen this time and had a few tears but nothing too dramatic.
Tuesday this week I dropped her off and she was quite upset, staff had to pick her up and she was crying when I left. Ok when collected though and appeared to have enjoyed herself. I have just got home from dropping her off this afternoon, she was really upset. Staff offered a cuddle but she was having none of it and reluctantly agreed to draw but didn't want anyone to sit with her!
I have a few questions if anyone can offer some advise:
-She will go for two sessions each week. I feel that this is enough but am now wondering if it will just take longer for her to settle. Would it be better for her to go more often? -do I stay with her for longer or is that just prolonging the distress (I have always felt it was better to start as you mean to go on so as not to confuse her)
She is a quiet child out of the house and a bit timid. She has not been left with anyone other than my parents who have looked after her for three mornings since she was two. The rest of the time she is with me. She is the youngest of three and completely different at home (noisy, confident, chatty etc).
My oldest was the same and never really enjoyed nursery, just got used to going and got on with it although he was ok starting school. Middle one never looked back and settled easily.
Sorry this is so long, just waiting for the nursery to ring to let me know she is ok !!
Really normal, most children your dd's age will do this; she's probably just realised this is going to be a regular thing and not just a few one offs. Two sessions a week sounds fine for her age. Yes, it may take her longer to settle over a period of weeks but the same amount of upset would be caused just over a shorter amount of time. I'd only worry if she was getting really upset or stressed between sessions rather than tears and needing to be carried in at drop off. If that was the case more sessions closer together might be kinder. If you can manage it a short and sweet goodbye and handing her over to nursery staff is probably the best approach, ignoring any tears. But that is really hard to do. Can you sit in the car or hang around out of sight a little way away for a little while instead of spending any extra time settling her. Then maybe phone the nursery to see how she's getting on and pop back if you're not happy with her progress. Part of your farewell could be a bright I'm just going to get x, I'll be right back. Hopefully she settled down and has had a lovely time playing. It sounds like the nursery is very caring and are doing what they can to help her settle in.
Sounds normal to me. Drop her in, give her a kiss and go you hanging around makes it worse, she will settle surprisingly fast once you have gone.
Not sure about number of sessions but I don't think more would make a lot of difference but try it if it makes you feel happier.
She'll be fine going in soon although there will be some mornings worse than others. My DS still has the (very) odd off morning and he goes to nursery full time 4 days a week for over a year now as DH and I work full time.
Thanks for your replies. She was, of course, absolutely fine when I went to collect her. Nursery said she was quiet but joined in more towards the end. I agree that to hang around for too long just delays the inevitable. Nursery have been great and happy for me to have as much or as little time there as dd needs. I appreciate the advice x