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to be panicking at how upset 12 month DS is at creche

(67 Posts)
Zara1984 Thu 10-Oct-13 13:44:20

DS is nearly 12 months. We are having his settling in sessions at his (by all accounts, very lovely) creche this week. I'm back to work on Monday (will be working 3 days a week).

First session yesterday was 1.5 hours. They suggested I leave straight away/sneak out, which I did. When I came back they said he hadn't cried at all, had eaten lunch, been very good. He was sitting in at a table playing but he did look a bit sad/forlorn. Totally fine and happy once we left.

Today the session was 3 hours. I dropped him off at 9am and he was a bit tired (they only do 1 nap a day in the wobbler room - whereas he would normally be having his first nap at about 9am). One of the girls took him off me again and suggested I sneak away, which I did.

When I came back at 12pm I could hear him crying hysterically when they answered the intercom. I could hear him as soon as I entered the building. Went into the room and he was absolutely distraught, I've never seen him so upset. sad Really really redfaced, tears streaming down his face, he was retching he was so distraught. The staff looked concerned and said he had been "a bit" upset. After I left he started crying, then about an hour later he fell asleep in the arms of one of the workers and had a half hour nap. He then woke up and was a bit better, had some lunch, but then was crying again more and more until I picked him up.

I had forgotten to bring along his favourite stuffed dog blush the past two days but also I wansn't certain whether having it there would make a big difference if I wasn't there????

I feel absolutely awful, awful, awful. Is this normal? AIBU to be panicking?? Is he not suited to creche? How much crying during settling in is too much? What the Actual Fuck am I going to do?


pinkpiggy Thu 10-Oct-13 13:52:46

sad I know how you feel, it's awful isn't it?

My DD was like this too with her childminder. It took her 3 weeks to settle in, she would cry hysterically and sit by the front door, refusing to look at the childminder. Now, 6 weeks later she is happy and settled in. Sometimes it takes a while for a baby to realise mummy is coming back each time and that it's not all bad. The staff should be experienced in settling babies in and they should know what to do.

Hopefully in a week or two your DS will be settled there. Good luck

WorraLiberty Thu 10-Oct-13 13:56:56

It's too early to say whether he's suited to a creche or not, but having his nap time messed with was bound to cause a few tears.

Plus he probably didn't know where he was when he woke up.

He might get used to it yet.

CreatureRetorts Thu 10-Oct-13 14:00:38

First of all make sure his fav toy is there!

Second of all the nap will throw him out. Why can't he have a morning one?

MDK Thu 10-Oct-13 14:01:01

This happens, our wee one took a while to settle you just need to stay strong, if they see you worrying it won't help. Personally I'd say don't sneak off, say you are leaving, get into a routine of:

1. Stay a few minutes to settle him.
2. Say you are leaving but YOU WILL BE BACK.
3. Little kiss and cuddle.
4. Love you lots, SEE YOU SOON, HAVE FUN.

Then leave - don't look back or wave etc just go. This routine should surely help him settle, worked well with ours but took a few days.

Nap time you'll have to carry on when he's at home especially over weekend, if he's only getting one keep him to one when he's at home.

TheRobberBride Thu 10-Oct-13 14:11:53

It's too early to say yet whether he'll settle in ok. Many babies are a bit unsure for a bit.

I am a bit shocked that you were advised to 'sneak away'. Very bad advice IMO. I have always given a brief kiss before assuring DCs that I will be back after lunch (or whenever).

Being forced to drop his nap probably isn't helping either. Is there no wriggle room with your nursery on that? Could he sleep with the babies? My DD2 had 2 naps a day until she was 20 months or so.

Zara1984 Thu 10-Oct-13 14:19:38

I am trying to be VERY CHEERFUL for his sake but I was still shock when I came to pick him up

He was totally fine when we left the building.

If they are really tired creatureretorts they will put them down for a nap but the set nap time for the wobbler room (none older than 18 months) is 12-2. They all have naps on little pull-out beds in another room. I have given them his sleep sack to sleep in and I will make sure he has his dog tomorrow (he is staying for the nap tomorrow).

I called the creche and spoke to one of the staff. She did reassure me that it was normal and that I should bring in his dog. She said it was impossible to know how long it could take for him to settle, really, it could be in a week or so or even longer. She said the staff can call me half an hour (or as often as I want) to update me on how he's going, if he's upset. She said if he ever got so upset that he vomited or was what they would consider extremely distressed they would always call me. I asked about staying with him for a bit. She said they recommend to just slink away immediately rather than saying goodbye/staying until they calm down as they have found that it makes it much much worse for upset children if the parents stay. She said yesterday was probably a novelty to him and today he worked out that I wasn't going to be there sad

He's just such a happy, cheerful, calm boy the rest of the time. I've never seen him like this, it was such a shock. I know a degree of crying/upset is normal but how long should I expect? We have arranged that DH will be picking him up at around 4.30pm on the days he's in (M-W) but next week he will pick him up earlier at around 3pm. I have a fair chunk of annual leave leftover still so I can try and make every second week ony 2 days.


Zara1984 Thu 10-Oct-13 14:21:14

robbersbride they don't have babies, they only take children from 1. hence they have no cots for him to sleep in if he wants another nap, they put him down to sleep in the room itself/ a side room or in the arms of staff. It is quite a small creche, family-run and they are very kind.

Milkjug Thu 10-Oct-13 14:23:53

Sympathies, OP. I sat on the footpath and cried when my son first went to his childminder. I think it's very early days for your son, though I know how horribly distressing it is to feel as if you are causing pain. Mine was about 11 months, and, oddly, staying slightly longer at the childminder and having lunch there seemed to help him settle. (Which he did, very quickly and thoroughly, and now adores going there, as he loves being around other children. If I pass the door without taking him, he grumbles! Take heart!)

On practicalities - 9 am seems awfully early for a nap for a 12 month old...? Does he not sleep well at night? Can you come up with a plan with the nursery staff to help migrate the nap to later?

Also, whatever the staff say, I would not sneak out. That creates anxiety. I would stay to settle him with a toy he likes, tell him you will be back, and that he is going to stay here and play for a little while first, being very cheerful and upbeat and calm, then say goodbye and go, staying cheerful (even if your heart is breaking!)

Chances are he'll be absolutely fine very soon. Try to stay calm and cheerful about it, and don't panic. It's a big change and will take time.

Zara1984 Thu 10-Oct-13 14:29:51

milkjug I'm not sure what to do about the nap - will ask the staff tomorrow. He sleeps very well at night - 11-12 hours straight, but has a 90 minute + nap twice a day, one at 9am, and one at about 2pm. He wakes up between 6-7am.

He loves being with other children but it's the being away from me that's upsetting him, I know it. Because we have no family nearby he's not been left with anyone else at all before sad

teenagersmother Thu 10-Oct-13 14:37:58

I totally agree with milkjug, sneaking out will not help at all and can make children feel more insecure in the long term. Much better to make a short, sweet goodbye and offer a cheery "see you later".

This sets a good routine for the future- nursery, school etc and after 34 years in the childcare profession I can assure you it works !

PollyIndia Thu 10-Oct-13 14:40:01

Zara, my 12 month old also has a nap at 9, even though he sleeps 7-7 ish. As does the baby we do childminding with so I don't think it is especially unusual.
Apparently this does get dropped at some point from now though.

I have a few friends who are now going back to work, and my sis last year when my niece was 13 months, and they have all experienced lots of tears until the babies settle in. Sorry I don't have anything more practical to add but I feel very sure it will pass.

But it made me want to cry reading your post, so I can only imagine how it makes you feel. I agree about not sneaking out too. I hope he settles in quickly.

Zara1984 Thu 10-Oct-13 14:44:34

Ok so when I take off his coat etc I could say "have fun today darling" or similar, give him a kiss and cuddle then hand him over to the staff member and go? That sort of thing? Or longer?

VulvaVoom Thu 10-Oct-13 14:47:24

Don't feel awful, it's bloody hard isn't it. DD had just started going to a CM as I've gone back to work after 13 months off with her.

Just wanted to make the point that our CM encourages the parent to say goodbye, so that the child knows Mummy or Daddy are going. This could make things 10 times worse or it could make the child feel better (as Mummy/Daddy didn't just disappear)

Just thought I'd mention it smile

impatienttobemummy Thu 10-Oct-13 14:53:33

My DS was like this and tbh I thought he was never going to settle! Like you I'd never left him so it was doubly hard for him. But after 3 weeks he did settle and now at 2 he LOVES it and I don't regret my choice. It's so hard. Persevere, he will settle

Imsosorryalan Thu 10-Oct-13 14:53:36

As an early years teacher ( and a parent) I would always say stay until little one is happy for you to go. It's a shame you haven't got longer to settle him as it can sometimes take 6 weeks or more!
Yes, they eventually settle when you just leave them but personally, I feel it just adds to the negative associations of being at a nursery and this can take longer for them to enjoy it. Only my opinion mind.

If you can stay, get him playing and after a while say you are just going to the car ( to get his toy or something) then literally only leave for 10 mins. Then build on this every time. Yes, it takes ages but it gives them time to adjust and build a good relationship with their key worker and they stay happier.

rachyconks Thu 10-Oct-13 14:54:27

I could have written this post. I am going through the exact same thing with my DD (10mo). She's never been worried about being away from me before, and last week (her first week there), she was fantastic. This week started badly and has escalated to her sobbing (and me!) when I dropped her off and picked her up. Nursery staff said she was teary all day. She has the cold, and isn't sleeping well, so I think that's not helping. Supervisor seems to think she will be fine in a couple of weeks and that generally she is ok, but there's just moments when she's tired/hungry when it's worse. I think we just need to ride it out and hope they settle. I'm actually going to get DH to do the drop offs and pick ups next week to see if that helps.

Hellenbach Thu 10-Oct-13 15:09:14

I am an early years inspector and I don't think the crèche have given you very good advice.
Settling-in should be tailored to the individual child's needs. Generally day 1 would mean the parent and child staying for an hour or so. Then a gradual process of the parent leaving for half an hour and building this up slowly .
As mentioned the parent must always say goodbye and not be advised to 'sneak off' as this causes trust issues.

At my DS's nursery the teacher has said she doesn't want parents to leave a crying child as it's too upsetting.

Regarding nap times. It is good practise to follow the child's current routine. A nap at 9am is very common for this age group. There shouldn't be a specific nap time when all the children must sleep.

Do they have a good Ofsted report?

mumofweeboys Thu 10-Oct-13 15:10:38

Iv found the longer you stay the more hysterical they get and take longer to settle. Literally kiss and cuddle, then leave. If he has never been away from you it's not really surprising he's upset to start with. Give him a month and see how he is getting on.

Zara1984 Thu 10-Oct-13 15:20:59

hellenbach I am in Ireland so no Ofsted. It is very highly rated creche, lots of good reviews from people I know and online, a friend used to work there, it's won lots of awards etc etc. We actually changed from a different creche he was booked into because we wanted him to be in a smaller and more family-like place.

I don't know what to do except to see how next week goes and see what DH thinks when he picks him up.

I am going to be very cheery and give a happy goodbye, lots of kisses and then hand him over. One of the workers takes him away straight away and starts him playing/doing an activity with the other children already there.

Zara1984 Thu 10-Oct-13 15:22:44

mumofweeboys in my head I have a month, although I will see what DH thinks at the end of next week. Surely he'll be settled in a month?????

hardboiledpossum Thu 10-Oct-13 15:22:57

honestly I think the nursery sound awful and they certainly aren't following ousted guidelines with regards to settling in or sleep. having worked in many nurseries I would say children settle with far less tears and upset when it is a very gradual process with parents staying for a while at first and leaving for short amounts of time and gradually increasing. never ever sneak out, if a nursery is advising this they have no clue about child development or psychology.

Artandco Thu 10-Oct-13 15:48:24

I would push for the nap to be allowed tbh. Most if not all children i know have had x2 naps until 15-18 months. And even after that would easily fall asleep at 11am if allowed.

Allowing him to have regular naps for the next few months allows him to continue current schedule so not such a huge change. A few months later they could change it.

I'm very surprised no other child under 18 months naps in the mornings there.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 10-Oct-13 16:01:35

It's REALLY bad to sneak out because it makes them worry that you will just disappear any time! You can end up with a child who's really clingy and anxious.

It is good to keep the goodbye extremely short and to the point, though - long drawn out hugs, kisses etc will signal to him that it's a big deal when you don't want it to be.

When DS was a similar age I went through something like this, and what I did was think of a stock phrase, I think it was "Back soon!" and EVERY time I left a room with him in it, even if I was just going for a wee or to grab something from another room then I would say it. When I came back I said "I'm back!" so that it was a very similar phrase to reassure him. He soon got the idea that "Back soon" meant I was leaving but he knew I would be back. I didn't do any kisses/hugs or anything - even now he is 5 I don't do kisses/hugs when dropping him at school but DP does and he's fine with this, not upset by the lack of them or upset by them happening any more.

Zara1984 Thu 10-Oct-13 16:04:05

Just called them and they said they can put a bouncer or bed mat out for him to sleep on when he first arrives, and try and get him to sleep in line with his normal nap time. Another one of the children arrives asleep, the manager said.

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