Need urgent nursery advice please help!!

(63 Posts)
Whenwillwestopmoving Mon 01-Jul-13 17:33:55

5mo dd is 'settling in' in nursery this week - I go back to work next week, 2.5 days / week. So far she has just been familiarising with the staff, tomorrow I drop her off so she can have her morning nap there. I'm totally stressed now as the baby room leader has told me that they won't rock / cuddle the babies to sleep, or even shush pat them. If they don't sleep, or cry so they disturb the other babies, tough.

DD had all sorts of colicky troubles when tiny, was fed then rocked to sleep, and I have spent so much time and effort getting her into a regular napping pattern, but it looks like its all going to go up in smoke. She doesn't need much help getting to sleep (a bit of rocking and patting as long as you catch her at the right time) but I know for sure if she's just popped in a cot awake she'll cry the house down. Is this practice common in nurseries?

I'm having major last minute jitters about going back to work early anyway, but I need people's honest opinions - should I gear up to having to take time off work in the first week or two to sort this all out? Do babies end up having to leave nurseries and going to childminders because of not nappiNg? Can babies be expelled from nurseries for crying or being troublesome??? (Only half joking...) I did meet a few childminders but the nursery was highly recommended, and a friends kids are in the same one which will be nice as we're moving to an area where I don't know many people.

I think I've buried my head in the sand to an extent as just didn't want to think about this time actually coming - and now I'm wondering if I've really f**cked up putting her in nursery at all.

Whenwillwestopmoving Thu 04-Jul-13 16:07:41

I'm slowly gaining a bit more confidence in the nursery - after the phone call yesterday I think they are now very clear that I don't want her crying, and it sounds like they used a sort of cry-free pick up / put down sort of thing this morning, and she slept for 20 minutes. A different girl put her to sleep today though, not her key person, which I'm not thrilled about. I'm back for full days in work on Monday and Tuesday but my mum is going to collect her at 2pm on Monday and we'll try a full day Tuesday. It is a very hard time but I think it will get better smile.

WouldBeHarrietVane Wed 03-Jul-13 18:54:02

I also agree with Maja. Putting it another way, the uk guidance is no cc at all for babies under 6 months due to possible brain effects. That means every time she cries she should be picked up immediately. If this is not happening she isn't getting the recommended approach for her age group.

I would look at the Isis sleep website for independent research based infant sleep info. Self settling is not the norm at this age afaik and sleep training isn't recommended for this age group.

NothingsLeft Wed 03-Jul-13 16:48:48

Totally agree Maja, very well put.

maja00 Wed 03-Jul-13 16:26:50

I would still find the crying completely unacceptable. Obviously picking her up a couple of times is not working as it still meant 40 minutes crying. I'm surprised any well trained professionals find this in any way acceptable.

It sounds like they don't believe in helping babies to get to sleep and want to teach her to self settle, but they are completely ignoring her emotional needs to settle in, build a bond with her keyworker and feel comfortable there. If you want to do CIO/CC/sleep training with them once she is settled in then you could discuss it with them (not that I think that is ethical to do on a 5 month old anyway) but to try to train her to sleep using crying methods during her settling in period is unbelievable to me.

It sounds to me like they are focussed on what works for them (having all the babies fall asleep alone with minimal input from the staff) but in doing so are forgetting (or maybe just don't know or understand) her emotional needs for security and attachment.

That sounds better. A similar chat about weaning policies might be useful.

Sleep patterns will inevitably be different at nursery than at home, and different is not necessarily bad, but you do definitely have the right to question what they are doing and make sure they will adapt to your DD if they need to.

Whenwillwestopmoving Wed 03-Jul-13 15:05:14

Ok so I phoned the nursery, and went through what happened this morning in detail. They didn't leave her to cry consistently for 40 minutes but did pick her up a couple of times and soothed her to the point of drowsiness, but she woke up when they put her down, and she was also disturbed by the noise of the other babies, which she'll have to get used to I know.

We discussed the use of swings / buggies; it is in the nursery's policy not to use them because of safety (I guess in case baby falls out or something?) but if she got v overtired and cranky to the point she was disturbing the other babies, the girl said that she would use one as a last resort.

I'm a little more reassured, and she is having a nice long nap now, and just woke up, cried a bit, and went back to sleep herself. It is so helpful, though, to hear what people consider acceptable and not, so thanks so much, Mumsnet is great smile. Friends and family I think tend to be overly reassuring as they know it is going to be a tough time, but it's good to know that there are some lines that should not be crossed and that I'm not just being a super anxious first time mum.

WouldBeHarrietVane Wed 03-Jul-13 13:23:32

Op I think you need to speak to the nursery manager. I would not take her back there again if this was my child.

40 minutes crying? sadsad

matana Wed 03-Jul-13 12:21:48

DS has always been a great sleeper but at 5 months still needed some help sometimes and has always been fond of closeness and cuddles. I think it is so, so important to respond to them and my heart would ache even now my DS is 2.6 if i thought he was being left to cry. Such little human beings need to know someone will be there when they need them. I really don't mean to make you feel even worse, but the things you have said would definitely be a deal breaker for me. Could you consider a different nursery, or a childminder? I went for a CM when DS was still a baby for various reasons. DS is still with her and has developed a lovely bond (mummy's still his favourite, but he runs to his CM and throws his arms around her when he hasn't seen her for a week or two!)

NothingsLeft Wed 03-Jul-13 11:57:07

I would be furious if anyone left my baby to cry for 40 mins without picking him, especially five months. The fact you are having to pay for this crap would piss me off even more!

Young babies are not supposed to be left to cry. Did you tell them that?

I know it's difficult when it's your first & you have no idea what you are doing but she's still your DD and you still have a say. I had lots of trouble with nursery not taking DS's allergies seriously and I was far too polite for too long. They undermined my parenting a lot and minimised my concerns until I threatened them with OFSTED and they sorted themselves out. The were also the 'best' nursery in the area.

I feel for you, I really do. They sound totally heartless. No way could I listen to a 5 month old crying for its mum in a strange place and not pick them up. No way.

maja00 Wed 03-Jul-13 11:28:42

Leaving a 5 month old to cry in a cot for 40 minutes would be a deal breaker for me (I work in a nursery btw).

Whenwillwestopmoving Wed 03-Jul-13 11:11:20

All staff are qualified to some degree or other - I'm not sure about guidance re weaning being different in Ireland; I thought it was a WHO thing rather than a national thing. Anyway there was no mention of food today.

More annoyingly, I just picked her up and she didn't sleep at all this morning. They tried her in the cot for 40 minutes but no joy, and they said she did cry quite a bit. They didn't try anything else to get her to sleep. I don't know what to think as although tired (fell asleep as soon as the car set off) she wasn't horrendously overtired, and they did say that they would have tried her again in the cot in a bit when she got tired again. I just know her, and know that she has the potential to go for a whole day without napping and will be screamingly overtired by evening. Yuck this is horrible.

LandaMc Wed 03-Jul-13 10:59:46

My health visitor said that babies under 6 months should never be left crying as they're just too young...

This is really hard. If it was me I'd probably delay returning to work and get a loan to cover the gap.

Good luck x

threefeethighandrising Wed 03-Jul-13 10:45:58

This doesn't sound like a great nursery. They are inflexible, ill-informed, actually directing you to do things which are not in the best interests of your child and, as a poster above pointed out, they are not listening to you.

Could you have another look at CMs near you perhaps?

They sound very poorly informed if they are taking guidance from the back of a packet of baby rice. Are any if them qualified or working towards qualification?

lola88 Wed 03-Jul-13 10:07:52

That was my main reason for choosing a childminder she had much more time to do things the way I wanted them done which is not possible in nurseries. Not that nurseries are bed DN went to a lovely nursery and was very happy there but DS was a totally different kind of baby and I know due to his naps I needed someone more 1 on 1 for him.

Cosmo89 Wed 03-Jul-13 09:34:45

Isn't the advice on solids different in Ireland? I seem to remember reading thay somewhere.

As they soothed her in the cot for a bit on the first day, they're obviously not not anti it.

My soon started pt at nursery at 7 months. Naps were a nightmare for us at home. At nursery, they found it easier and were able to stop shush patting and bouncing (our domestic routine) within a month. Yes, they left him to cry a few times - which he did for all of a few minutes before rolling over and going to sleep.. They wouldnt have left him longer or if really distressed. Part of the reason, apart from getting older, was that he was much more stimulated at nursery and, consequently, more tired I think.

I hope it's going well. My son loves nursery. I feel lucky we can afford to send him there now, though I had my doubts about going back to work, he's thriving and I don't think I could replicate that environment at home. I'm much more positive about it now.

matana Wed 03-Jul-13 07:59:55

I'm with others op, it doesn't sound good at all and I would not be comfortable with anything you have said about their approach.

WouldBeHarrietVane Wed 03-Jul-13 06:11:27

When, on the solids issue, you are the mother and their advice is very out of date. The studies now show that feeding solids before 6 months can increase risks of allergies and other stomach problems, so your concerns are completely valid. Do NOT let then push you info solids. Just refuse and say she'll have them at 6 months.

Did they refuse to feed ebm?

Please just go with your instincts. My DS had an awful nanny for 2 months and I really wish I'd sacked her in the probation period sad

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 03-Jul-13 02:06:16

Yeah, I don't like that they're 'correcting' your parenting wrt the solids thing. I do feel for you, OP, I went back to work at five months with my first, and it's a tough road even without all of these worries.

On the bright side, it does sound as if she's settling in beautifully, so I don't think you need worry on that score too much if you're otherwise happy. But the overall view does sound like they know best and you can like it or lump it, which would bother me. I don't think you need panic short term - she's clearly not being neglected - but I'd look around for something else longer term. This is a long relationship you've embarked on, the one with your baby's carers, so it's worth getting it right.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 03-Jul-13 02:01:44

The food thing is a real issue for three reasons - 1. She's 5 months, she does not need to be on solids 2. If she was on solids, she wouldn't be eating that (if she was mine) and 3. - the most important reason they are not listening to you - she is your DD, you have said 'she isn't on solids yet' and somehow they are now showing you what they will be giving her - what she 'should' have had at 4 months, not what she 'could' have had at 4 months and if they are going to disregard your opinion on this, what else will they do???

The sleeping - I'd want to know more and I would probably see how she went as many of them are different/more tired at nursery so it might not be as issue (though I don't like their attitude).

I don't suppose you can stretch to a part time nanny can you??

NothingsLeft Wed 03-Jul-13 01:40:59

Oh dear. They don't sound very baby friendly.

DS's nursery take them from a year and I always see babies in buggies being rocked. They have cuddles him to sleep and he has snoozed on their lap if he's needed an extra nap etc. I wouldn't expect otherwise, even more so if they were younger.

Could you look for somewhere else? Or a nanny share if childminders were unsuitable?

maja00 Tue 02-Jul-13 23:06:17

Wow, I would be really worried about the weaning stuff too - so their nutritional knowledge is about 13 years old of date hmm Sounds like they do not know enough about young babies to meet their need effectively imo.

What is their Ofsted report like?

OP it doesn't sound great, TBH. Both the nurseries my DC went to would soothe/cuddle DC to sleep, and at DD's a lot of them ended up sleeping in pushchairs (down flat) so the they could be rocked without disturbing the others.

DS's nursery did beg to wean him at 4.5 months (10 years ago, it was the norm then) but only because he was following every spoonful with his eyes when they were feeding the other babies and it was breaking their hearts grin. There were no packets, either - on - site cook prepared stuff from scratch daily.

No easy answers, but I for one think your concerns are valid.

Whenwillwestopmoving Tue 02-Jul-13 21:59:40

Thing is, when I've gone along to pick her up (3 occasions now) she has been happy as Larry, once on a staff member's lap, once in the swing being played with, and today she was rolling around on the playmat with another baby and a staff member with the two of them. No tears at all. Unlike me this morning! We'll see how it goes.

Another thing that concerned me was that the plan is for her to stay for 'dinner' on Thursday. The staff member said that they'll give her baby rice, or I can bring in food from home if I want. I explained that because she is only 22 weeks (also only just stopped breastfeeding; that saga of attempting to continue is a whole other issue!) she isn't on solids yet, and I have no plans to start til closer to 6 months.I was shown a packet of something or other and informed that she should have started it at 4 months hmm.

I'm really not painting a good picture here, am I?

NothingsLeft Tue 02-Jul-13 21:38:17

Agree the nursery doesn't sound great. Who would purposefully not let a five month old nap?! If she needs a cuddle is totally what should be happening. Especially was she's so young.

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