to be leaving her at nursery?(26 Posts)
please be gentle. I know I probably sound a bit overemotional but I didn't expect to find this so hard.
DD1 (2 years) and DD2 (9 months) are doing their settling in sessions at nursery. I don't currently have work so strictly speaking I don't need them to go yet. But if I do get work it'll be on very last minute notice and I need them settled into somewhere so I can take it.
DD1 seems ready for nursery and is off with barely a backwards glance. Great.
DD2 is not happy. Lots of crying. Day 1 (2 hours) she wouldn't nap or take milk. Day 2 (2 hours) she napped a little but wouldn't take any milk.
I appreciate that her routine will change at nursery and that's fine, but she does need to eat something and have some sort of a nap as the last 2 days she's been a bit of an overtired, overhungry and therefore very unhappy baby. She was very clingy yesterday after the session.
I have just left her there for day 3 of settling in (4 hours). Screaming. Its horrible. She screamed as soon as anyone else tried to pick her up. We managed to distract her with toys and I sneaked away, didn't get out the door before she realised and screamed. I waited outside the door for a minute or two and she was still screaming. I eventually left but whereas I was really looking forward to some time on my own I'm just miserable.
Am I doing the right thing? She's generally a very chilled out baby who doesn't cry a lot. I've been very lucky - she's been the typical 'easy' baby. Self-settles, sleeps well. We have days where she doesn't cry at all. So to hear her loosing it is very hard.
I have very little family support so she is very used to having me around. If upset will only settle for me - she's had a cold recently and OH tried to settle her when she woke but she just gets louder and louder until I come in and give her a cuddle when she'll go instantly quiet. She'll play happily on her own when I'm dealing with DD1 so its not that she's had constant attention - far from it - but I guess that attention has usually been from me.
So my AIBU is... AIBU to leave her at nursery knowing she's unhappy? Maybe she's too young and not ready for it yet?
She is at the age for separation anxiety. Do you need to have both in nursery? Tbh 2 hours isn't long to need to nap/feed so I wouldn't stress too much but if she doesn't settle soon it may be worth reconsidering.
Have you considered trying a child minder?
That might suit her better.
Dd1 needed 1 x 1 hr settling in with CM. Dd2 needed 6 sessions that went from 30 mins to 2 hours. The day before leaving was due to return to work l thought l would have to delay it.
But thankfully that was the session where it all clicked for her. They will cry, it's tough on us!
Don't be too hard on yourself, it's the most soul destroying thing to hear your child cry like that. Some kids take longer to settle in nursery than others, give it a wee bit of time, plenty of cuddles and reassurance after the session and see how you and she feel in a couple of weeks.
This is really normal OP. It does get better. My children love nursery and it's enriched their lives massively but few children Trot off and leave their main carer happily at a young age.
I know it's heartbreaking but it gets better. Realistically though, you need to be thinking weeks rather than hours before she's settled
And yes- you are doing the right thing. It will be much more stressful to try and so this after your work has come in
I'm afraid, for your baby, you've picked the absolute worst time to try and settle her. They go through a phase of separation anxiety at around this age, even if they are at home and have never been in childcare. Both my own did it and they were at home with me and their dad (we're childminders ourselves).
So it's probably not the nursery and probably would be happening regardless during the next few months.
How you deal with that is your decision. She will settle, but may take some time to do it. The nursery can advise on strategies: they'll have seen it time and again.
Alternatively, you may feel you want to wait until she's older and try again, although it's no guarantee that she'll settle as quickly as her sister. If you do, you can introduce other carers at a slower pace and take some time to prepare her for nursery.
she sounds exactly like my youngest. After a few weeks of similar hysterics I gave up. Tried again a couple on months later. First day was horrible she went rigid (I think because it bought back memories), I stayed for the whole session though. Next day I also stayed but went in and out. Third day left her for an hour. By the end of the first week she was really happy to be left and for the next 3 years never cried at nursery. So if you can I would wait and try later
It's not unreasonable to want to put your child into daycare, however I second someone above, maybe give a childminder a go. However it is early days so you may find a bit of perseverance will go a long way when it comes to nursery.
I know my son would have struggled with nursery at 9 months so I put him in with a childminder. He's now 15 months and I think he'd LOVE nursery. I think 9 months can just be too young for some babies depending on their personalities. My son would've got overwhelmed at that age, and he wasn't at that age the most sociable of babies, and he needed slightly more one-on-one attention which I felt he'd get a bit more from a childminder whilst still being in the company of a few other children.
She is at the age for separation anxiety.
I was also wondering about a childminder for the reason both children will be together where as in nursery sepreate rooms.
It would be better doing it slowly than suddenly having to drop in when you get work.
Milk strike is normal, they don't starve themselves but they will refuse feeds then guzzle as soon as you are back (so be prepared). Feed well before taking them to nursery.
9 months is classic age for separation anxiety, keep with the routine so you build up them realising that you leave, you come back.
How the staff react? They will have seen this time and time again and thus will be have an approach which they feel works. Personally I will hold baby, usually sitting on the floor with various toys in reach, talking to them, singing, getting them used to their new surroundings, protecting them from those babies who are more mobile.
Talk to the staff, is the session length too long? Is that time of day too busy, is there a calmer time of day worth trying?
LIZS - its tricky as strictly speaking no - I don't need to put her into nursery yet.
I do need to get back to work soonish though - if I'm out of it too long then I wont be able to get work. We can afford for me to have more time off, but we are running down savings at the moment whilst I'm off so I cant keep not working forever.
I also have only had 1 day without kids in 2 years (and never one without DD2) - have done every night feed and most night settling for both of them. I'm pretty shattered, house needs cleaning, etc. I'd like to start getting a few hours to myself every week which nursery was going to do. I know that's selfish though which is why it seems wrong to do it if she's unhappy.
Worra - I have thought about childminders although I don't know anyone who uses them so don't have a recommendation so it would be a risk. A friend recommended the nursery and they do seem quite good from what I can tell.
Joseph - so your sessions worked up to 2 hours? I think that's why I'm struggling so much - these sessions have been 2 hours, 2 hours and then 4 hours (subsequent days) and she's due to start next week - just feels quite rushed!
Ok, I didn't use childcare at that age, but I will say my dd was extremely clingy and upset at being left even with loved grandparents for an hour at that age. If I were in your position, and I know work is a stress on your mind, I would leave it until she is one if you possibly could.
They change so much in a short time, enjoy being a little more independent are more in control because they are mobile, and can take new experiences more easily. And importantly, they know you are coming back!
Take the time to make sure your dd1 is settled (she is still young and could have a wobble still) and spend some one on one time with your dd2. You will find it easier going from 2 to 1 in terms of getting stuff done, and your dd2 will get used to going to the nursery every day and seeing her sister dropped off which may help.
Good luck with whatever you do
If you look up the number for your Family Information Service (it may be in your Red Book as HVs provide it) they can give you details of local childminders in area, tell you a bit about them and vacancies etc. Remember all childminders are Ofsted'd and can be a lovely alternative for little ones not quite ready for the hustle and bustle of nursery.
As others have said though she will settle and nursery will be very experienced with situations like this.
I think this is a difficult age, I know someone who started working as a dinner supervisor with a child that age, and the baby used to cry for the entire time they were away which was a couple of hours, and in the end she did give it up as it was too stressful for the other person looking after them.
I think if you don't have to do it, then the choice to proceed right now is up to you. Mine were very clingy and one never went to a childminder, and one did but used to not like it especially. Both were fine going to preschool at 3, so this isn't a permanent state of affairs and probably comes down to how much you need to persist.
Op I just wouldnt push it right now as you are off and can have her with you.
dc change and adapt so quickly, ie whilst she is taking longer to settle now, have her with you at home and then in a couple of weeks maybe try again.
I have just been in hospital with a baby crying in cot next to us - whilst dp sorted out their work schedules, she was screaming and crying and nurses picking her up, bringing stuff in, helped a little but the difference when mum or dad came back she was instantly ok.The difference was astonishing. It was heart breaking to hear and I wouldn't do it - if there was an option to just be with her.
I think there is a difference between dc who do settle and take to it - and others who are simply broken down and give in.
My daughter was very upset about nursery at first but she would always cheer up once the shock of separation was over (nursery showed me pictures of her laughing 20 minutes after a huge paddy!). For me, the relief of being able to reclaim some time to myself made it worth it. 2 years on and she runs into nursery without a backwards glance.
I would give it a bit longer to see how she goes, it doesn't sound as if she's had many sessions yet. You can always go in early to pick up if you want to shorten the sessions.
My nursery were great, they noted the one worker she seemed to like more and made sure it was always the same person there on drop off. That helped her to feel a bit more secure. Maybe speak to your key worker and see if that's an option?
DS has been an 'easy' baby too, but also went through this about 9 months he'd wail if Ijust left the room at my parents they were dreading me going back to work!
He's 11 months now and I've just started going back and he's been fine, not a whimper. So quite a big change in 2 short months. He'll be starting nursery too in a couple of weeks, not sure how that will go but he is showing all the signs of being less anxious.
For your youngest-does she have a 'key person'? Someone who will make the special effort to get to know her routines and spend that time 1:1 to bond with her and support her as she adjusts? What are the ratios- will they allow this person to do this? Can you take as long as you like to settle her into an activity, then give her a kiss and hug and say goodbye. Maybe stay in the building and get them to call you after 10 minutes to say whether she has calmed or not? These sorts of factors tell you whether it is a nurturing, responsive & caring setting.
Also I know it's hard, please don't sneak off, always tell her that you are going. This is part of her building trust (with you & her new carers) She is only a few months old, she needs to be able to predict what is going to happen & if she thinks you will disappear at any moment without warning, it will be difficult for her to settle & feel secure.
Humid that's an odd way to describe it- how can a child be broken down and give in?
My children go to nursery. That is our lives. It's not a battle ground to win or lose. Why would a parent ever think of it like that?
Yes I agree don't sneak off and also
Don't stay there too long or they will start associating nursery with you too
you're right I probably shouldn't have sneaked off.... If I speak to her she just tries to climb on me and cries if I put her down. Maybe I'll just sit there with her for as long as I need to next session and explain what's happening. I spent most of the first session with her though. This is so much harder than I expected.
I just called the nursery. They said she has dozed in the pushchair whilst they took her for a walk this morning (great - I guess she wouldn't have done that if she was that bad...unless she cried herself tired??) but got upset when they took her back in. They were going to try and give her some milk.
They have said she's 'fine', but its 'fine' with a bit of hesitation in their voice. Like she's not doing awfully, but its not like DD1 who they say is doing great and I can see that as when she saw me yesterday she ran up to me, hugged me, then ran happily away again!
She does have a key worker, although I cant really tell how much they stick to that.
Maybe I'll go in to pick up a little early and try to watch her before anyone knows I'm there.
She'll need a lot more time to bond with her key worker- my son only liked a woman who looked vauegely like me for weeks (she didn't even work in his room- they had to keep bringing her in!) but he adores his key worker now, and I mean adores. She's basically part of the family!
Nursery workers IME will be totally honest with you and won't try to pretend it's been ok when it hasn't.
You're doing great- just a cheery wave and bye bye then go and cry in the hallway!
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