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nursery settling in not working - help!

(27 Posts)
notagainstanley Mon 30-Jan-17 21:54:44

In 2 months I go back to work 2 days a wk.
Daughter lives with me (single parent from day one), she is 1 year 2 months.
We've been going to playgroups every day of the week from 5 months old.
I'm lucky that she is a happy child, happy to play on her own for ages, but is also very sociable, always trying to interact with strangers on the bus etc.
She's spent over 7 hours without me with family she doesn't spend much time with, not batted an eyelid, there are a few examples like that I could give.

Settling in period was as follows:
1 hr with me
1 hr without me
3.5 hr without me
5.5 hr without me
(2 x 8 hour days is meant to be what we're working towards)
First 3 sessions were great, the last one has traumatised her because at about 5pm her keyworker went home (I didn't know this), she then watched all the other babies be collected one by one, she was then left with staff that don't even work in her room, and moved to a different room that she'd never been in before because the cleaner was in her room?!
She was crying when I went to collect her and had crying nightmares (that's never happened before) for the next 2 nights that I couldn't cure with breastfeeding if you see what I mean. She's also been clingy.

Next session she was crying hysterically after I left so I went back and breastfed her, then waited til she was happy playing with toys and I left. Only to be called back 2 hours later because she was crying after waking from her nap.

Next session, again crying hysterically once I left (she has hardly ever cried more than just a "i'm bored/tired" type of cry) so I came back and ended up staying for 2 hours and then having to take her home. She was tired (slept in pushchair on way home) but couldn't get to sleep because there was too much noise from the other kids (one of them was always crying) for the breastfeeding to send her to sleep. Staff have suggested bringing her in next time when she's not in need of a nap.

She has a dummy (a recent thing) and I've taken in a soft toy and favourite book.

What can I do to help settle her? I'd rather give up my job and have my house repossessed than damage her. There is no other nursery close enough to go to.

SpiritedLondon Mon 30-Jan-17 22:01:11

Can I ask if you've considered a childminder rather than a nursery? If you find the right one she can still be exposed to lots of other children / experiences but within a less hectic setting ( and with one, consistent career). She is also likely to have a much quieter environment for naps. ( my DD had her own bedroom and cot at the childminders house) You could then have another go at a nursery setting when she is a bit bigger.

Patriciathestripper1 Mon 30-Jan-17 22:02:05

Would you have any good childminders near you? She may be better with fewer children and same carer?
I don't know if that is an option for you due to cost? Sorry to hear she isn't setting, and the way the staff moved her around,
I hope you get something sorted out soon.

wonderingsoul Mon 30-Jan-17 22:05:03

I work in a nursery and am in the baby room.

Some kids take longer to settle. Imo the nursery was wrong to call you, it is part of their job to help settle and by "giving in" and not working out what will help her or bond with her and they cant do this when they send her home because of crying.

Weve had some very differecult children to settle. Where they have screamed non stop for 5 hours. We battle this with their key worker being one on one with the child. It takes a week or two . Esp if they are in for more then a few hours here and there and i swear they are different children by the end of it. Happy and loving it.

I would keep going with it. Does she have a favourite teddy or small blanket she can keep with her?

Akire Mon 30-Jan-17 22:05:59

So she's only done around 6 sessions so far? How are they spread out? Every day or only doing 2 days a week? I would try doing 3h and building up from there. Obviously easier if you can do it 3-4 days a week rather than 2 but it can be done. It's a harder age to settle for some babies.

The nursery shouldn't have sent key worker home so soon, if you are not back at work yet I would try settle times the key worker will be there.

SpiritedLondon Mon 30-Jan-17 22:06:49

God the thought of a baby crying for 5 hours is awful.

Isadora2007 Mon 30-Jan-17 22:09:38

Yeah the idea that a baby crying for 5 hours is the "right" way to deal with things is just awful from someone supposedly qualified in child development.

OP trust your instinct. Maybe this isn't the right place for your wee one. A child minder might be closer to her experience with you so far? Or could you do reduced hours at work?

ispymincepie Mon 30-Jan-17 22:10:20

Screamed non-stop for 5 hours?! That's disgraceful. Do some research on elevated cortisol.

Isadora2007 Mon 30-Jan-17 22:10:24

Or your 2 days over 3 shorter days?

wonderingsoul Mon 30-Jan-17 22:13:22

sprited i didnt mean constantly.. there was breaks of 10 mins of smiles here and there.

I say baby. We take from 6 months to 2. Then they move up.

Trifleorbust Mon 30-Jan-17 22:15:19

I'm not a PFB mummy at all but it f I found out the nursery I was paying had left my baby screaming for five hours I would remove my child and never take them back. That's like torture, isn't it?

Tatiebee Mon 30-Jan-17 22:17:17

If your little one has taken comfort in having one key worker it could be that she would be more suited to a childminder.

goldsilverbronze Mon 30-Jan-17 22:20:48

Childminder! Maybe nursery isn't going to suit her? Kids are all different.

Tabymoomoo Mon 30-Jan-17 22:25:15

I'd agree with pp find a childminder.
Having read lots on child attachment and development a childminder is a much better option for under 3s than a nursery which can't guarantee a key worker always being able to be with the child.

fabulous01 Mon 30-Jan-17 22:25:25

Mine settled well but I saw a child at drop off and pick up that cried and.... cried ...and cried for months!
Child now loves it. Anothger girl at work took 4 months to settle her little ones.
I don't know how they did it
I took a toy which mine loved ( I have twins) but I think I was lucky. I also didn't breast feed
I also dropped, kissed and walked. No waiting. Ruddy hard as one had a few tears but always stopped by time I was at door ( I peaked back)
Or maybe give them a scarf with your smell

Or it is wrong setting

Good luck.

welshgirlwannabe Mon 30-Jan-17 22:25:55

My baby has been at nursery for 4 weeks. I would be so so upset if they left him to cry for any number of hours without calling me. Do you tell the parents thats what happened?

OP that sounds so distressing. Could you work half days for a while? Otherwise second what others suggest a child minder might be easier for your baby. flowers for you

Purplestorm83 Mon 30-Jan-17 22:26:47

I manage a nursery and I can't believe a childcare worker is suggesting it's ok to let a baby/toddler cry for 5 hours - hopefully that's an exaggeration and what you really mean is grizzle/whinge intermittently for 5 hours. If a child is actually crying for more than about 15 minutes (and I mean crying as in can't be calmed down) we would phone parents (though it's never happened so far where I work).

I agree though, a childminder sounds a much better bet. My friend's 1 year old was similar, tried nursery but never really settled, my friend moved him to a childminder after a couple of weeks of perseverance with the nursery, he loved it with the childminder and settled in after a few days.

Astro55 Mon 30-Jan-17 22:30:23

DD tried nursery and it was a nightmare - we switched to a childminder and she really thrived

The childminder loved her as her own and gave her full attention and she was always out an about doing fun things and normal every day errands

notagainstanley Mon 30-Jan-17 22:36:14

wonderingsoul, thank you for your post cos I do wonder what's "normal" in nurseries. She has her favourite teddy there. I just worry about the effect on brain development etc etc, even if they do end up happy at nursery.

My main reason for not choosing a childminder was that she'd be safer in a nursery...there'll be a few childminders that are abusers and in a nursery (especially this one) the staff are overseen by each other almost all the time. But I'm beginning to think I might need to use a childminder instead, so are they more expensive?

I have thought that I might need to stretch my hours over more days, if she ever does settle at all.

Akire, you're right, there's no way she's staying there without her keyworker, now that I know her shifts and that it's apparently me that has to make sure she's there at the same time as the keyworker. The sessions have been 3 in the first week, then 2 last week and then 2 this week.

isadora7000, need the 16hours in order to claim working tax credit.
I'm off to look at the council website re childminders
thanks all for your comments so far.

notagainstanley Mon 30-Jan-17 22:42:26

tabymoomoo, thank you, I was hoping someone who'd read lots about it would comment, i'm defo off to look at the childminder option. Nursery better reimburse me!!!!

thanks for the additional comments. I just hope I can find a decent childminder as the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. I do still feel that she probably could've settled if they hadn't cocked up the fourth session so badly. You're allowed to go in to breastfeed and my office is close by. I do need to wean tho, unfortunately, and that's a whole other thread.

SeahorsesSwim Mon 30-Jan-17 22:51:37

A decent childminder will have been vetted by ofsted and will have references. You can visit and see how the other children respond to her and gauge whether they like her. I think abuse is very unlikely, plus your dd would get a bond and level of reassurance 'home from home'. I loved my childminder.

Astro55 Mon 30-Jan-17 23:06:45

A lot of childminder work together - so they can probide holiday cover for each other - sometimes family/related

My childminder wanted a companion for hers - it worked well and both were ready to move in when hers went to school

Peanutandphoenix Mon 30-Jan-17 23:23:43

OP look at the childminder option it would probably be the best option for your DD it might be more expensive than nursery but they can't expect you to only take her in when her key worker is there I think her key worker leaving early and watching all the other kids leaving on top of being shoved in a totally different room has seriously unsettled her and am not surprised it has. Could you not leave her with a family member that she's use to if a childminder isn't a good option for you both. I think nursery would be a better route to go down when she's older.

notagainstanley Mon 30-Jan-17 23:50:53

thanks for comments
peanutandpheonix I think you're right that it's seriously unsettled her, I've just left a msg on the council's childcare enquiry line for them to phone me about childminders. I know a couple of childminders from playgroups so i'll talk to them this wk if they're at playgroup this week.

I'm guessing that Working Tax Credit only pays some childcare costs if the carer is registered? Just wondering about the off-chance that it's like Direct Payments (where disabled people are allowed to pay anyone they want to provide their care)?

Coastalcommand Tue 31-Jan-17 07:06:50

That sounds very hard. You have my sympathies.
Childminders are usually cheaper than nurseries and as long as they are ofsted registered you should still get working tax credits and free hours when she turns three.
If you've prepaid for nursery insist it is returned. If your dd is unhappy they shouldn't insist on keeping her there.

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