Need urgent nursery advice please help!!(63 Posts)
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.
I would get them to clarify. Most seem to be willing to spend some time getting them to sleep but aren't able to spend half an hour or more rocking/patting or whatever one baby to sleep simply because they don't have the staff to do so.
Realistically I doubt that a childminder would be able to spend long doing it either because they also have others they have to look after.
See how it goes though you may be amazed how well she adapts
Most children will go to sleep by themselves if they are tired enough, and especially at only a few months old.
Babies adapt incredibly quickly. I am sure she will be fine.
fwiw In the nursery where i work we had a 2 year old start and mum said she would only go to sleep if you patted her back. We did this fore the first week but once she was settled we left her to settle herself.
She now goes to sleep by herself at nursery but still needs patting on the back at home for her mum.
My 14 month old has been going to nursery one day a week since she was 8 months old
I was also worried about sleep, I struggle to get get to sleep and often need to rock her and sometimes resort to milk. Funnily enough at nursery they put her down and she goes to sleep by herself, she would scream the house down at home and she goes to sleep herself at her nans on anfriday aswell and I'm not sure why!
She's heck of a lot more tired at night after nursery or her nans so maybe they just tire her out more
I really wouldn't worry I'm sure they've dealt with much worse, it's very hard leaving them at first but give it a couple of months and you will both be fine
You know, I would have said the exact same thing about my eldest. She went off to sleep quite happily at nursery (I even stayed and observed unseen by her one day, and she did!). Still couldn't get her to do it at home though
I'm sorry, I know it's not what you want to hear but that would really bother me. It's good they're being honest, but DS's nursery are happy to cuddle/sing to/ rock/ push in buggy or leave to cry, whatever you choose. DS was colicky and v difficult to settle and I would not have left him somewhere which insisted on cry it out at such a young age.
Mine settled down for naps really well at nursery, I was amazed.
I think you should trust them, the staff have seen and heard it all before.
Don't worry, I'm sure it will be fine; good luck to you both for tomorrow.
I should have been more clear; if baby cries so other babies are disturbed, they get baby up = no nap = overtired impossible to settle baby that evening...
A friend has been given the option of CIO at her new nursery and I wouldn't be entirely against it. It's the potential for no naps at all that's stressing me out!
HP - I don't think its a case of leaving them to cry it out, its a case of what they can reasonably do when they have a roomful of children who also need attention.
What do you suggest they do ignore the child with a pooy nappy, or the one crying for a bottle, whilst they spend half an hour or so rocking a baby to sleep?
In an ideal world every child in a care setting would get 1 to 1 attention whenever they needed but realistically that isn't going to always be the case whether childminder or nursery is used. They can only do the best they can with the limited staff they have.
I'm so on the fence on this one I may need tweezers to pick splinters out of my bum.
On the one hand, I have to be honest and say I wouldn't have left DS somewhere that said that. His first nursery made it clear they would do 'whatever he needed' for the first few days (lots of cuddles, rocking and patting, as well as his comfort blanket from home) and then gradually got him to a stage where he'd self settle. At his current nursery he didn't need any of that (as the first one had done so well!) but I still regularly see them cuddling other babies when I go for pick ups.
On the other hand, as others have said. DD may surprise you and not need any of the stuff she does at home. DS eats and naps much better at nursery than he does at home!
Good luck though. It's a tough time, but hopefully she'll be settled soon and you can relax
They are so knackered they fall asleep! Our nursery was so relaxing at nap time - lavender, music etc!
Have you considered a CM? A good CM can be much more flexible than a nursery IME.
We found both our excellent CMs here www.childcare.co.uk
Atruthuniversallyacknowledged - she was only 8 weeks when I had to choose the nursery so I don't think I anticipated this, and now I have no other options. This nursery said, when I visited, that they would fit in with the baby's routine, which seemed like a good marker of quality to me, and in contrast to pretty much all the others i visited, and had a lot to do with me choosing it. I feel quite let down by them today, actually.
Sirzy of course not, but there seem to be a lot of posters saying that nursery staff can and do take a few minutes to cuddle / rock when needed. I'm in the rep of Ireland but I understand staff: child ratios for this age are 1:3 both here and the UK in all nurseries so if it can be done in some why not in this one?
I initially was set on a CM but because of a lack of local knowledge / connections (and one particular crackpot I interviewed!) I didn't have the confidence to choose one, and thought a nursery would be a safer option. This one has all sorts of awards and accolades
I wouldn't be happy with this tbh op - I think she's quite tiny to be expected to learn to self settle from day 1. Any better nurseries close to where you work?
That's the thing, Harrietvane, it's 'the' nursery in the city. Quite a lot more pricey than any other too, not that that means anything. Otoh I didn't have any trouble getting a place...
If you have the option to delay return to work for a while that might be your best option.
Give you time to settle into new area (join a whole heap of baby groups and get childcare recommendations that way?) and then be really confident about going back.
The nursery sounds little production-line-ish to me.
When, if this is London, is it leapfrog?
When DD started nursery at 6 mo she would only sleep at home when rocked in a buggy with something over it. I explained this to her nursery and the staff politely smiled and nodded. They had some sort of magical method whereby they got her to sleep in a cot at nursery. She still wouldn't at home. Do ask them what they do, express your concerns and ask each day how it has gone, but it might work out well.
If anywhere near Marble Arch or could travel to it, i think this nursery now has an outstanding Ofsted:
Ha, no not London, I wish I was in London! Think
rainy west of Ireland (although tbf the scenery is quite nice!).
My rationale for going back PT (quite a big deal, workwise, for me as I'm still in training) was that it would sort of 'extend' my mat leave for a year, as opposed to taking an additional 3 months then going back FT, which is very full on. Only time will tell if it was a good call. Life is a bit of a fiasco at the moment hence my nickname (all related to DH's career ).
It may well be easier for your DDto settle now than in 3 months time as at 8 months you would be entering a phase of greater attachment anxiety.
I would not be happy about that at all - when my DS started nursery at 7 months he was cuddled/rocked/patted to sleep, whatever he needed.
I deliberately choose a nursery that had a small baby room with a large age range, as this allows for the youngest babies to have their needs met more fully. In a baby room that has for example 6-9 babies under 12 months with 2-3 adults it is just physically impossible for all those babies to get enough attention. There is a reason childminders are limited to 1 under 1.
You sound really anxious about this. Are you going tomorrow? Would you feel confident discussing it with them again? As I said, both nurseries DS has been to have spent a lot of time cuddling. The ratios shouldn't stop them from doing that.
I'll see how the nap tomorrow goes and discuss it afterwards I think. If she sleeps - great! Thanks all for the help
I really feel for you, I was worried about my dd sleeping at nursery too. My dd started nursery at 10 months (and is now 14 months) and whilst I'm happy the nursery do all the reasonably can, she has never slept much there. Most days its 40mins in the cot, sometimes less. She's shattered at the end of the day but as she's got older she copes well and does enjoy nursery. She's never slept much though, even as a newborn so I don't think its the nurserys fault.
The nursery staff did sometimes try rocking her to sleep in the bouncy chair in her first few weeks though I noticed they didn't have the time to do this every day. They never left her to cry though and would always hold and soothe her and try to distract her even if they couldn't get her to sleep. Perhaps ask the nursery what they'll do if your dd is tired and grisly and won't sleep?
I couldn't find a suitable childminder either and they didn't give me any comfort that dd would sleep more as they had to fit in school runs, playgroups etc. A part-time nanny would be the ideal at that age but hard to find (and expensive!).
In our nursery they use a bouncy chair for the little ones, could you check if they are happy to use one?
So a quick update - she was shattered and more than ready for her nap when I dropped her off, and she slept for 30 minutes, although the staff did say it was challenging! They told me that they soothed her a bit in the cot but not all the way to sleep. They encouraged me to try the same at home, and she self settled for her lunchtime nap. I nearly fainted with the shock when I peeked into the cot and she was asleep! So I guess they let her cry it out a good bit . Plan is for the same, morning nap at creche tomorrow, we'll see if it lasts....
I cant see them not nursing such a little baby if they dont then it doesnt sound a nice place.Theyd be stupid to let one baby wake the others up!If you arent happy ring them and ask.Do it now.if you still not happy take baby out.This is YOUR child not theirs and YOU pay them they ateny doing you a favour
When great that she is starting to self settle.
But please don't let them leave her to CIO - it is warned against by the NHS for young babies now as they think it can cause raised cortisol in the brain which can raise stress in the longer term. There is no need for them to leave her like that - if she's upset they can just pick her up.
I really feel for you- nurseries and naps are not the best combination. With a 1:3 ratio there is no way a member of staff can devote a lot if time to settling one little one as what about the other two? Both my dd went to nursery from a young age- my dd1 was an awful sleeper and that continued at nursery but once she dropped to one nap it was better. Going back to work is a tough tough time for everyone- the mum especially. Hope your dd settles ok and nursery naps get easier x
I wouldn't be happy about a nursery that lets babies cry to sleep. The nursery I use for my DD and DS also have the same ratios but they manage to get everybody off to sleep without much crying. If they do cry they do rock and cuddle to sleep. When DD was settling in, she found it difficult and wouldn't sleep, but was tired and crying, they called me so I went in and BF her to sleep at lunchtime for one or two days (work creche, so I'm only 2mins away).
Babies do have this magical way of going to sleep at nursery in ways they never do at home! My DD would never go to sleep at home with me jsut patting her back. At nursery that's what they did in the early days. Now they just put them on mats on the floor and they go to sleep...like magic! I think getting them to sleep on the floor on mats is easier than in cots.
Harriet I know, and I saw recent research that its only after 7 months that they can say for sure there are no long term effects from CIO. I'm presuming (and will check with them tomorrow) that she wasn't v distressed, and will make it clear that I don't want her left alone crying and v upset, but I think a bit of whinging is ok. I'm relieved she slept but you are right of course.
IMO if I had to tell them not to let my baby CIO then it's not a good enough nursery.
DS's nursery is lovely, and so child-centred. They'd never let a child CIO, they wouldn't have to be told.
Whenwill - echoing others, I really would speak to the nursery and ask them what they do. Personally I'd be surprised if they'd leave a child to cry as it would wake others up (and particularly given CC isn't recommended by the NHS for babies under 6 months). You might feel reassured if you have a frank discussion with them about your concerns?
The nursery my dd attends used a bouncy chair to the point dd was nearly asleep then transferred her to the cot. They said they tried not to bounce the child to full sleep but instead let the child settle themselves that last little bit in the cot. This didn't mean letting them CIO though and they always stayed close by and picked dd up if she did wake and cry.
(The bigger problem with my dd seems to be her wanting to play at nap time rather than cry though :-/
As others have said your little one will have a completely different way of operating at crèche. My 3 certainly did. Are you happy with the crèche. If you are then she will be gone and adapt to the routines of crèche
I would not leave my child in this situation - it sounds shocking to me. No nap if she cries?! And no rocking or cuddling? That's brutal and unkind.
I really really recommend using a childminder I think it's the best setting - and my cm would cuddle/ buggy my ds to sleep - not probably as much as I would but never just picking up without letting him have a nap
5 months is so little she will need a couple of naps at least ..,,, it seems very uncaring policy
I also think you have to go with instincts re childcare and it sounds like you are not happy
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.
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 .
I'm really not painting a good picture here, am I?
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 . 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.
Wow, I would be really worried about the weaning stuff too - so their nutritional knowledge is about 13 years old of date Sounds like they do not know enough about young babies to meet their need effectively imo.
What is their Ofsted report like?
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?
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??
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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
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.
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).
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.
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!)
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?
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 . 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.
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.
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.
Totally agree Maja, very well put.
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.
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 .
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