Not happy with DD's first day at nursery, how did your Dc's first day/week go?

(28 Posts)
superconfused10 Thu 05-Sep-13 10:53:44

DD 2.10 started a montessori nursery on Tuesday. I thought I would be staying with her for the first hour and then bring her back the next day and try moving away or sitting outside. This is not what happened DD walked through the doors and the manager told me to let her go and just to leave her! I said no I wanted to say goodbye and settle her in she said it will only make her cry and best no to. She said I could wait outside and she will let me know if she cries. She came out 10 mins later said she was fine and I could go home and pick her up at the end of the session which was full 3 hours. I said I wasn't happy leaving her that long on her first and would be back after an hour.
When I went back to collect DD was really upset and had cried a bit. I know this is normal for the first few days but just feel she should have been weaned in gently and not just not left on her first day in a new place with strangers She had cried but not overly and told her key worked that she was missing mummy. .
Also Key worker said it was best to let her stay for the full session the next day as otherwise she will get use to leaving early. Part of me just wants to scream and say its the first week surely the settling in process should be about getting them use to the environment and gently increasing the time spent there the way they have done is it basically just thrown her in at the deep end. I've been put off the nursery as to me this was an important process and don't feel it was handled well and or in the way they said it would be and not what is stated in the handbook.

I didnt send her in yesterday spoke to the manager told her my concerns she said it was the best and quickest way to settle them otherwise I would end up spending a couple of weeks settling her in, but that is fine by me. She said I could stay with her if I wanted. So I took her today went in to my surprise all mothers just left their children which is fine if that's their choice but then this made me feel I am being over sensitive and I should just leave DD even though she didn't want me to go. Anyway I left after half an hour as I didn't feel welcome told DD I was going outside and would be back soon. She was fine. Key worked told me to come back after the full session.

I'm just not happy with the way the first week has gone, basically there is not settling in procedure it's just drop of your child and go.

Is what happened normal am I just being oversensitive?

tapdancingmum Sun 22-Sep-13 23:32:21

I run a pre-school and we have had some new starters this week. I always go with what the parents want to do and will offer my advice when needed. One parent will drop and go as she knows her ds will be fine after a few minutes. Another one spent the whole morning with us on his first day then dropped and left on his second. He spent a good 5 minutes crying at the door so I took some activities to him rather than trying to get him to join in with the other children. This calmed him enough to join in with the rest after about 20 minutes but he couldn't cope with the full 3 hours so I phoned mum to collect after 2. He is coming back tomorrow and I will chat with her and go along with her wishes.

All children and parents are different in the way they want to do the first few sessions and I will always defer to their wishes. If they want to stay and play and drink coffee with us that's fine but if they want to leave at the door after saying a firm goodbye that is also fine.

I hope that by doing it the way we do ensures we are meeting the needs of the child AND the parent.

Imsosorryalan Mon 09-Sep-13 22:27:09

Please don't listen to the posters saying you are being precious!

My dd is the same age as yours and 6 months ago I tried the drop and go method at a nursery. She had never been away from me and they told me just to leave! Stupidly I did, even though in my gut I knew she wouldn't settle. After 8 'settling' sessions I pulled her out. She was so upset that she cried if we even past the nursery on the way to somewhere else! I still feel guilty that I didn't intervene sooner. She still talks about it today, how she was crying at nursery and mummy wasn't there!hmm

She started another preschool this week, and I have been encouraged by the staff to stay with her..for as long as it takes! We are both happier and even after 1 session, she was off playing without me so I don't think it will take long.
Oh and before anyone says anything, she isn't my first!

Only you know your child and what they need. If your not happy, look elsewhere. Good luck

hardboiledpossum Mon 09-Sep-13 22:19:05

I've worked in nurseries that have encouraged parents to drop and run and others that have encouraged parents to stay fir as many session.s as they felt best. Children cried a lot less in the latter and seemed much happier and more relaxed.

thinkofthemoney Mon 09-Sep-13 22:17:50

I'm too tired to make sense but exactly what hard boiled said. Leaving without saying goodbye is detrimental to a child's well being.

hardboiledpossum Mon 09-Sep-13 22:14:09

I dont think you are being precious at all. Did she want you to leave without saying goodbye at all? Leaving without saying goodbye first can really upset and scare children, ofsted guidelines are clear that staff should not encourage this. Parents know their children best and if a nursery didn't listen to me as a parent e then i wouldn't use that nursery.

level3at6months Fri 06-Sep-13 21:15:21

You aren't being over sensitive at all. Yes, for some children it can be best just to leave them, but all children - and all parents - are different. I'm surprised there has been no discussion about what would happen beforehand. 3 hours is a very long time indeed for a young child to be away from their main carer and until they have had the chance to bond with their key worker I believe things should be taken very gently.
We give our parents the chance to decide how to handle their children starting with us and they generally really appreciate being given options.

Ineedmorepatience Thu 05-Sep-13 19:22:08

No you are not being over sensitive! She is your child you settle her in the way that works for you and her. I am surprised youhavent had at least one settling visit.

Wher I work we had some new starters today, one mum stayed for a few minutes and then the dad picked the little one up early and another mum stayed the whole session.

As early years practioners it is our job to work with parents to settle children, cold turkey works for some but many including me prefer a more gentle approach.

Good luck smile

milkwasabadchoice Thu 05-Sep-13 12:50:12

I left my dd, who is same age as yours, for three two-hour sessions, and she was a bit wobbly but fine. That was last week, and this week she is doing four full days.

I also think that you hanging around will make it harder for her, and you might find you are staying or extending the process for your own benefit rather than hers - that sounds harsh but I mean it kindly.

The thing is, it IS difficult. Dd cried all the time I was getting her dressed this morning and sobbed at handover, and I cried too later. It is really hard. I just don't know if a protracted settling in period with you in the room or popping back after a short time will actually make it easier overall. It's going to be hard somewhere along the line, unless you are particularly lucky.

WithConfidence Thu 05-Sep-13 12:41:04

I'm a bit surprised you didn't know before the first day what was going to happen?

Not normal here. Ds has been going for a week and I'm staying out of sight in the staff office. He's not upset about me leaving, just finding it hard to cope with the routine and large group of strangers. They are happy for this to carry on as long as it takes for him to feel comfortable. They said there is no point making him stay when he is unhappy as then he won't want to come again.

The gentle settling in and focus on the child is one of the things that made me choose the nursery, as I think that is what ds needs.

tumbletumble Thu 05-Sep-13 12:36:55

You're not being over sensitive OP, I can understand your feelings. Personally I think you're right about building up to the full 3 hours gradually, but the nursery is right about not hanging around at drop off, just saying goodbye and leaving. That's just my opinion though. There's no right or wrong here.

I'd be careful to switch nurseries based on this alone if you like everything else about this nursery.

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 05-Sep-13 12:28:45

I think the problem is the child will pick up on your unease. It is important to show them that it is normal and a good thing they are left at a preschool. Obviously I assume you already trust the people you are leaving your LO with. That is the point I think the OP is being over precious about the leaving. Is she really going to come into any harm? Like others say they will ring you if they can't settle the child.

SolomanDaisy Thu 05-Sep-13 12:18:48

Mine started at montessori preschool a few weeks ago. We stayed about 15 minutes the first time and all the parents stay for the first five minutes of every session. They made it clear that their approach was stay for a few minutes, tell your child you're leaving and then come back at the end of the session. The sessions only last 2.5 hours though. DS cried for a minute the first couple of times and is now fine, can't wait to get there.

I dont think it's precious to worry that things haven't gone as you expected, it's scary leaving them for the first time. Give it a few weeks and you'll both be fine, unless there are other problems with the pre school.

mirry2 Thu 05-Sep-13 12:10:30

op When you chose the nursery school did you ask what happens on the first day? Did you go and have a look at the school before you dropped your dc off? Actually I would have thought a good nursery would have explained to you how they settled the new children and what they expected of you. If they didn't, maybe they're partly at fault.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 05-Sep-13 12:01:16

I think you are being oversensitive.

And of course your child was upset, because rather than sending her off with a quick hug and a big smile, you've stood at the door making it very clear that you don't want to leave her!

The only two children at my DSs preschool who had problems further down the line with not wanting to go, crying for mummy etc - were the ones whose parents had hung about doing a long-winded settling in process like you would like to do. Just leave them and let the staff handle it, they know what they are doing.
And I'm not surprised they didn't want you there, because then all the other children are going to want their parents and the whole thing descends into chaos.

Flicktheswitch Thu 05-Sep-13 11:55:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

superconfused10 Thu 05-Sep-13 11:49:48

Thanks for your replies. I understand what some of are you saying and that it may just be me but I would like to have been given the option on how I want to do it. I'm not happy and instincts are telling me to look elsewhere.

noisytoys Thu 05-Sep-13 11:36:08

DD started a Montessori full time this week she went from no one other than me looking after her straight into 5 full days a week 8am-6pm. She was fine. It was me who had a wobble and a cry

OddBoots Thu 05-Sep-13 11:20:43

There are exceptions but for the vast majority of children just leaving is the kindest way, the more it is dragged out the bigger deal it seems to the child.

I know it is hard though, I stayed out of sight but in the building for the first week with both my children when they started.

nextphase Thu 05-Sep-13 11:18:14

Do whats right for your child.
If she needs you there for a bit, stay.
There is no rule that she needs to stay for 3 hrs at her age either. Pick her up when you want (didn't you book a dentist appointment tomorrow, and a Dr checkup / booster jabs on Monday, haircut on tues?)
FWIW, DS1 took ages to settle into Nursery at 13 months when I went back to work, but has just run off into reception without a care in the world.

Sunnysummer Thu 05-Sep-13 11:17:24

I used to look after kids the same age, and often a slow withdrawal actually makes it harder for the child to transition.

But it's a testimony to how strong an attachment your DD has to you that she was able to handle it - it's because she trusts you to come back that she managed okay smile

DoItTooJulia Thu 05-Sep-13 11:14:38

Oh, I'm with you OP. I don't think you are being precious or over sensitive! And I would absolutely want to observe a real life session before I left my ds there too.

I wouldn't like the attitude or the unwelcome feeling either.

Can you look at other places? Can you have a proper meeting with the manager?

Don't be bullied into doing something you don't like. Either on here or in RL.

It's normal IME. I was told that they would call me if she was too upset to settle. THe fact that they didn't call you meant that she settled down ok. They know what they're doing, it's their job after all!

superconfused10 Thu 05-Sep-13 11:04:50

yes she is my first so wasn't sure if it was just me. I just thought first couple of days would be short sessions.

redcaryellowcar Thu 05-Sep-13 11:02:50

I am not sure what is normal, my mum used to run a nursery attached to an infant school and wouldn't let children be left if they were upset as she felt they weren't ready, sometimes (rarely) they deferred entry for half a term which always worked!
My ds is two so not starting pre school until next year but I can tell you with complete certainty that he won't be staying for full sessions initially and I certainly won't be leaving him if he is upset!
Stick with your instincts.

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 05-Sep-13 11:01:20

Oh and we did only 2 settling in session with DD at both nurseries. Around 1-2 hours each. And then she's in for a full day.

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