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Leaving a child to scream is the best way of settling a child in nursery?

(61 Posts)
nailak Thu 15-Nov-12 19:29:25

So what is the best way to settle a child in nursery?

Aibu to think a screaming 2 year old who is in her 3rd week of settling (half term in the middle) should be given a lot of attention, cuddles, etc by the staff, while her mum waits outside, and that the mum shouldn't be told to just leave her, and she would get used to the routine eventually.

Doobydoo Fri 16-Nov-12 18:39:32

Also agree with 2am... know lots of teachers who would not do this.ds1 was in for 2 sessions then taken out,just not ready and why would he be? Also ds2 re primary school...took him a bit longer and had to take him out for a while until he was ready.

LynetteScavo Fri 16-Nov-12 18:33:49

I looked around the most highly regarded nursery in this town (feeder for prep school) and there were several small things I wasn't keen on, but when I asked about settling in and was told it was "Baptism by fire" I knew it wasn't the nursery for us.

The nursery we chose insisted a parent carer stayed for the first three sessions. It was a bit tricky finding care for DD who was about 9 months, and had her own issues with me leaving her with MIL grin - not a happy baby when I collected, but well worth it for DS who settled into nursery well.

crookedcrock Fri 16-Nov-12 18:14:53

I agree with 2am, it is just dreadful. These are babies, poor little thing crying for its mother for that length of time.

nailak Fri 16-Nov-12 17:56:39

yes, I will do that, talk to the mum, she said first few days she was fine, then one day she got stuck in traffic and was ten mins late, and after that the dd wouldnt settle. She feels her child is bored and unstimulated at home and she has just had a new baby as well few months ago.

Doobydoo Fri 16-Nov-12 17:43:11

What Couthy has saidsmile

nailak Fri 16-Nov-12 17:40:00

Today after taking him and then waiting outside for a bit I left him

They gave him star of the day as they said he was good and only asked for me once.

The manager said the settling policy is you stay definitely one day then as many days as the child needs.
The keyperson they decide after 2 weeks, as they see who your child naturally clicks with.( (is this normal).
The chat about your child, and their "level" how much they can talk etc is done within the 2 week settling period.

The manger did say "hasn't anyone talked to you about this?" So maybe they missed out something.... as there was like no induction sort of talk, just introduction of staff.

LadyWidmerpool Fri 16-Nov-12 00:41:15

It sounds to me like a poor nursery and a mismanaged settling period.

To balance the nursery bashing, one of the nurses at mine sends her own son there. There are good ones.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Fri 16-Nov-12 00:25:14

DD was impossible to settle in preschool at 2.5yo. After 3 weeks of gradual withdrawal, and her screaming solidly to the point where I had to go back and pick her up, I withdrew her.

I tried again with school Nursery at 3.5yo. She still wasn't ready. It wasn't until she was 4yo that she was ready to be left like that.

DS1, on the other hand, started Nursery at 4mo, and was out if my arms and crawling towards the toys before I had even got his coat off.

DS2 was not able to settle at 2.5, besides which he was not walking and non verbal at that age. However, at 3.5, he enjoyed Nursery after a week of settling.

Each child is ready at different times. I think it would have helped me with DD if I had been more confident in my own belief that she wasn't ready. It was only when one mum took me to one side, and told me that I didn't have to send her if she wasn't ready that I realised the preschool staff weren't necessarily saying what was right for MY DD.

Maybe just gently tell this mum that she doesn't HAVE to send her DC to Nursery yet if HER DC isn't ready to be left like that yet. She may not realise that not every child will be ready at the same age. She may just look at it that 'all' children start preschool or Nursery by 2.5, so that's what happens, and the staff are right and her DD will get used to it.

A quick pointer that she knows her DD best, and can decide herself if her DD is ready to be left or not might actually really help. It helped me.

I didn't know when I had my DD that some DC's just weren't ready to be left at 2.5, and that though they may settle eventually, if you think it is too distressing for your DC, you CAN take them out and try again 6 months to a year later, and if you think another setting would work better for YOUR DC, you don't have to stick with your initial first choice.

A word in her ear may help her to decide whether her DD being in Nursery NOW is worth the distress it is causing her DD...

Cortana Fri 16-Nov-12 00:04:28

Fuck sake Piglet are you just cut and copying that comment into any thread where a nursery is mentioned? Get a grip. People are here looking for support and help rather than to have someone piss on their life choices.

3bunnies Thu 15-Nov-12 23:49:11

Dd2 never really settled in nursery, she was there 4 terms, hated me leaving, hated the noise, but loved reception, even though it was just the next door classroom, two of the TAs moved up with her, her teacher was lovely. But they always made sure there was someone with her, she always did calm down, it was also to do with the personalities, but those girls went into the other class and dd2 discovered boys!

Ds is completely different and from day 1 has bounced in. This afternoon he was urging me to to off and do the school pick up so he could stay with a mother whom he has never been looked after by before.

All children are different but I would hope that the response of all staff would be to get down on their level and interact with the child/ scoop them up and cuddle them. We pulled dd1 out of a preschool - she had been in the nursery but then transferred across, the nursery had been great, but the staff in the preschool were colder, when we heard them telling her not to be silly and not to upset mummy we pulled her out. She wasn't being silly she just missed us.

I guess for your own son you need to think he might be absolutely fine when you leave him, in which case although you still need to monitor the situation he will probably be like most of the other dc there. If he is getting upset then you will have to assume that they will treat him in the same way as this poor child.

I wouldn't place a big emphasis on the ofsted, often it is more about whether they have the right health and safety/ doing right eduactional stuff etc. Ds's preschool is only satistisfactory but there is more love there than in the nearby good one, and is 'the one' to get a place in. While academic curriculum etc are important, for me preschool/ school, my first concern is whether my dc is happy, and if that means that they spend more time on a lap and less time doing finger painting, if that is what my child needs, I'd go for the lap every time.

pigletpower Thu 15-Nov-12 23:42:55

Reading this thread reminds me why I have never left any of my children in a nursery.

nailak Thu 15-Nov-12 23:17:11


RockPaperScissorsLizardSpock Thu 15-Nov-12 22:50:26

DS has just turned 3 and started in September. He only goes twice a week for three hours a session on a Monday and Friday, which we (being the teachers and I) have decided is a factor in him not settling as the two days are too far apart. I spend a lot of time there as part of the settling in process and see how they handle each child and I have no concerns what so ever, they are brilliant with all the different personalities. They have told me there is usually one or two who do not settle for a long time and it's not unusual given their young ages. I'm already dreading tomorrow sad

Woozley Thu 15-Nov-12 22:38:25

DD2 took longer to settle than DD1 (who was just like, "Yeah, see ya!") but the nursery staff always gave her loads of cuddles, as she does love a cuddle and it really helps. Only one time I had to get her early as she wasn't settling.

nailak Thu 15-Nov-12 22:35:24

rock I don't know, maybe this is what is happening here, I am only seeing a bit of it,

how long have you been trying for? how old is ds?

dikker that is amazing that you could facilitate that! Sounds like a good school. When dd1 was in reception, the TA was so wonderful and friendly and approachable, I had confidence in them and leaving my dd there.

pointythings Thu 15-Nov-12 22:34:10

OP, my DDs' private nursery did not have committees and governing bodies, just the owners and the staff running it as a business. Didn't stop them from being utterly amazing, though.

dikkertjedap Thu 15-Nov-12 22:25:35

To clarify, at our school this particular child which would not settle all through reception was never, ever left alone. At all times there was a member of staff trying to distract through reading stories, playing games, walking round, going on a sound hunt, flower hunt, etc etc, we tried different personalities, male staff, female staff, nothing worked.

The Head decided that the parents should only be told if they specifically asked, as both worked full-time and our Head did not want them to get upset and worried.

RockPaperScissorsLizardSpock Thu 15-Nov-12 22:21:46

Oh god, I really wish I hadn't read this thread. My DS isn't settling in pre-school and we have tried all sorts of techniques to help him settle but nothing is working. This story makes me feel sad sad

nailak Thu 15-Nov-12 22:19:05

do i need to talk to manager, or can I talk to the teacher in charge of the session?

btw do private nurseries have committees and governing bodies and that sort of stufF?

pointythings Thu 15-Nov-12 22:15:18

I wouldn't write, I'd request a face to face meeting and just discuss it in the mildest of terms - I think mentioning the other child is possibly counterproductive, and it's really up to the child's mother to deal with this. But I would definitely want clarification on their settling policy in very, very concrete detail. If that isn't forthcoming, I'd be looking for somewhere else. (Not easy, I know - have been there with sudden nursery close-down and desperate search for something else, fortunately it turned out to to be the silver lining rather than the cloud!)

nailak Thu 15-Nov-12 22:10:15


so what should I do, should I wirte an email to manager? what shall I say?

I want to ask about clarification of settling policy (I was told different things by different staff, still not sure how long they want me to stay for/how many hours) and keyworkers and how they record child's ability on entry.

pointythings Thu 15-Nov-12 22:05:21

My two were in nursery from 6 months (no 39 weeks of paid mat leave back then...) and they had their periods of separation anxiety. They were always cuddled, distracted, comforted and never, ever left to cry. A good nursery should do this, it's part of their job. My DDs' nursery was always good, never outstanding, because their premises were old and somewhat shabby, but the love and care just shone through. My DDs had the same keyworker from the day they started there to the day they left to start school.

FeckOffWithYourXmasBollocks Thu 15-Nov-12 22:00:54

Screw that! I gave dd a couple of weeks to sort herself out, and then took her out. She didn't need to be in nursery that badly!

choceyes Thu 15-Nov-12 21:54:31

Sounds like a crap nursery to me, regardless of the osted rating. I've had 2 DCs in nursery and when they occassionally cried when I left, they were always comforted, distracted, whatever it took to calm them down. If a DC cried when I left, then I would hang around outside the nursery for a min or two that takes them to stop crying, to make sure they are alright by the time I leave for work. My DD was a bit more difficult to settle in than my DS (breastfed, never left without me for more than an hour or so by the time she started nursery at 12 months), and everytime I visited nursery at pick up time and at random times, she was on her keyworkers lap or arms. I've never seen any children left to cry without the staff trying to distract or comfort them (although some children cry regardless). And this nursery had a "satisfactory" rating till recently, now a "good" - so can't really go on ratings.

My DD is 2yrs now and in her room (actually the main hall in her nursery) there are only 2-3yr olds. I don't think lumping together 2-4yr olds really work tbh. 2-3yr olds are still babies and need a lot of attention. It's only after 3yr they generally become more independant and play with each other so need less emotional imput (i.e comforting etc) by the nursery staff.

i woudn't be happy with sending my DCs to the nursery you describe OP.

nailak Thu 15-Nov-12 21:50:41

I have only been there 2 days, and can just go on what she said!

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