Experiences of settling in?

(19 Posts)
StepfauxWife Mon 21-Apr-14 22:06:31

DD is starting nursery in a couple of months, when she will be just over ten months old. It's a small nursery with only 7 babies in the baby room. She'll be there full time.

The nursery have said I can have as much time for settling in as I like, we've currently allowed for two weeks.

I was interested in others' experience of settling in - how long did it take, what did it involve? The nursery have said we will start with an hour here and there but I have no real idea of how we progress from a short visit to her being ready to do a full week.

Would really love to hear of other tales of settling in, and any tips which might make the transition a little smoother.

Thanks!

BananaPie Mon 21-Apr-14 22:22:05

We built up gradually, from an hour with me there, an hour without me, a morning, an afternoon, a few short days etc. it took a couple of weeks to build up to the full days.

It was ok, but there were quite a lot of tears at drop off for a good few weeks.

Good luck. It's horrible, but I was happy that ds was enjoying it in the end after I'd gone (despite the tears!). He came on in leaps and bounds developmentally too.

3DcAndMe Mon 21-Apr-14 22:23:04

It is usually easier before they turn one in my exp!

StepfauxWife Fri 25-Apr-14 19:11:21

Thank you, that's great to hear.

I'm hoping DD will be okay, she's quite a sociable baby but it's just such a long day. I'm going to miss her terribly and hate the idea of being so far away from her. It actually makes me feel unwell when I think about it.

Any more stories welcome!

grumpalumpgrumped Fri 25-Apr-14 20:01:10

When you are ready to leave her:

Don't sneak out, the next time you go she will not let you out of her sight. A quick goodbye, mummy will be back after xxx then go.

When you go out, do not go back in for cuddles is she cries. It makes it harder for her and the staff.

Make sure you leave comforters if she has any.

Try to be cheery at handover, cry when outside.

Dont be worried about calling to see how she is, a good nursery won't mind.

Ask any questions you want, don't save up worries, they will grow in your mind. Again a good nursery will be happy to reassure you.

Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself to a nice coffee and a cake, it will be normal for you both before long.

Good luck

StepfauxWife Fri 25-Apr-14 20:11:51

Thank you! I may print that out and keep it with me at all times.

babybouncer Sat 26-Apr-14 21:42:27

Good tips from Grump!

At DS' first nursery (6 months old), he went in for 2 settling in sessions, the first time I left after a while and came back an hour later, second time I dropped off and came back after food and nap. He was fine - barely even noticed I'd gone.

He moved nursery when he was 3 and there were a lot of tears, it was so much harder, but he is happy now.

DD started at the second nursery and I spent about 5/6 days over 2 weeks settling her in. First time was an hour and I didn't leave her, second time I left her for a while (if she was happy), third time was over tea time - and possibly a nap?) - then for a short day and long day. It was the way they normally did it and I was more anxious because she was generally more picky about who she was okay with. I was amazed because she just adored her key worker and never got upset about being left.

There have been a few times since when I've left a screaming child, but Grump is right - smile, quick cuddle then run away and cry out of sight!

Friedbrain Sun 27-Apr-14 11:34:14

She is likely catch alot of bugs, in an ideal world, I would start my little one ATLEAST a month before I had to go back to work, I know people can't normally do this tho.

So two weeks would be something like this:

-Hour first with u there
-2 Hours with u there
-Hour alone
-2 hours alone
-3 hours alone
- 4 hours alone
-6 hour day
-6 hour day
- 6 hour day
- 6 hour day

Mutley77 Sun 27-Apr-14 11:54:14

I agree with what grumpalump said. I have just done settling in for my DC3 (now aged 10 months - she started at about 9 months).

Tbh she only did a couple of settling in sessions and was absolutely fine for an hour or two hours during the settling in sessions. The first day she started she was a week older and slightly more aware - probably just at the start of separation anxiety - bad timing! She screamed as I left and it was awful but I called repeatedly for updates. 20 mins later she was still sobbing her head off sad but an hour later she was ok. The nursery staff had found her favourite bunny in her bag - that she usually only uses for sleep - and given it to her, which had really reassured her - silly me with DC3 hadn't even thought to suggest it!!!

Anyway she only goes one day per week and the second week drop off was slightly less traumatic, third week again slightly less so and fourth week no crying at all although she obviously was a little wary of me going.

DD is a really outgoing and sociable child - she is usually happy to go to others, but does like to be able to see me there. I think that's pretty normal and I think it was probably inevitable we had to go through the "pain" of her being left but had it been any more traumatic, I would have slowed it down and done shorter sessions again before going back to a full day.

The plan friedbrain suggested sounds a good one as if your DC struggles with the six hours days you have time to cut back a bit again before going full time.

StepfauxWife Mon 28-Apr-14 20:42:13

Thanks all, this all sounds really sensible. Babybouncer, the nursery has suggested something similar to what you have outlined.

DD is generally fine with others but inconsolable when she is tired - only me or DH can settle her (and even then it's a struggle).

Is there a support thread for settling in, nursery or otherwise? If not, there should be!

StepfauxWife Wed 21-May-14 12:50:17

So we are a few days into settling in and I'm not sure it's going well!

DD is very tearful on and off the whole time she is there. She is not playing or exploring as such, just needing lots of cuddles and holding. Is this normal?

She has had a nap there which was shorter than usual and she was grumpy when she woke.

The nursery assure me that it's okay and she will improve but it feels like she is at the height of separation anxiety and I'm making it worse by trying to get her used to nursery!

We have another ten days before I go back to work so I'm hoping for an improvement before then. I just can't bear the thought of her being unhappy for an entire day sad

Any tips on how to make it easier? Or do I need to grit my teeth and get through it?

StepfauxWife Wed 21-May-14 20:22:45

Anyone?

RhinosAreFatUnicorns Wed 21-May-14 20:49:33

My experience was slightly different, in that DD was older (20 months). The intros week was fine, and I was really confident it would be a breeze. It wasn't. Two weeks of tears, tiredness, it was almost as if she were ill from it all. I seriously reconsidered my decision to return to work.

But after two weeks, a switch flicked and she began to enjoy herself. In my experience what worked was what has been suggested up thread. I always (and still do) tell her that I will be back to pick her up. She has her favourite toy for times where she needs comfort. Nursery were great about me checking in with them.

It's a horrible feeling so I do feel for you, but hopefully it will get better.

StepfauxWife Thu 07-Aug-14 21:09:43

Bumping for you ThirteenWeddings - hope this helps!

Fran10 Tue 19-Aug-14 17:19:19

Hope things improved Stepfauxwife. My dd starts full time on 1st September and we have done 2 of the 6 settling in sessions we were offered. I am having some real doubts about my choice. When I arrived this morning, all of the others were being spoon fed breakfast. Dd does blw - I didn't feel very confident that she will be given the time she needs. I left her for an hour and they said she was fine until the end. When I reappeared she was upset. This is the best nursery in our area. We've followed attachment parenting styles - well, sort of - and always pick up before she cries, pre-empt needs etc...just can't help feeling that a lot of the security we have created is going to be eroded with this transition... fingers crossed for a lottery win...

Fran10 Tue 19-Aug-14 17:22:28

Hope things improved Stepfauxwife. My dd starts full time on 1st September and we have done 2 of the 6 settling in sessions we were offered. I am having some real doubts about my choice. When I arrived this morning, all of the others were being spoon fed breakfast. Dd does blw - I didn't feel very confident that she will be given the time she needs. I left her for an hour and they said she was fine until the end. When I reappeared she was upset. This is the best nursery in our area. We've followed attachment parenting styles - well, sort of - and always pick up before she cries, pre-empt needs etc...just can't help feeling that a lot of the security we have created is going to be eroded with this transition... fingers crossed for a lottery win...

StepfauxWife Mon 25-Aug-14 21:07:17

How are things Fran10? Hopefully the rest of the settling in has been better.

My little girl is loving nursery now. She is happy, eating and sleeping well. They are really gentle with her and she is clearly getting lots of attention. They're not so good at updating me about what she has done all day but on the whole I'm really pleased.

It might be worth spelling out how you would like things, Fran10, if you've not done so already? I suppose it's inevitable that there will be some "dilution" but if there are things you would really like to insist on (like blw) then I wouldn't hesitate to let them know. I'm sure they will understand.

Nocrossbuns Sat 30-Aug-14 22:37:56

Fran10
I could have written your post. My ds had his settling in sessions this past week. We were only offered a one hour session at first and it did not go well. Ds (19 months) has had another two one hour sessions since then but has been upset throughout them. sad today I took him swimming and when we arrived at the swimming pool reception he just clung on to me fearing I would leave him there.... We have also done a bit of attachment parenting and he has never been left to cry. He is actually rather clingy, much more so than his older db who just walked into the nursery room without glancing back.

Shall we keep each other support through the styling in phase on this thread?

stepfaux it's great to hear that your dd is happy and settled now. Do you feel she has changed or is a bit more clingy /insecure now?

Nocrossbuns Sat 30-Aug-14 22:39:23

*settling in phase. The styling phase will later smile.

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