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Nursery says DD(21mnths) behaviour isn't normal....worried

(37 Posts)
Haddock73 Tue 20-Aug-13 17:58:24

DD is very bright, lovely and kind.

She has recently started pulling tantrums when she doesn't get her own way, but nothing that I think is out of the ordinary - collapsing to the floor crying no, tears, etc when she doesn't get her own way sometimes and it's always short lived.

Anyway, she has recently become hysterical if you try to take away certain items of hers - her favourite teddy, cardigan and sandals.

She literally cries and cries and becomes hysterical if these items are amen away from her. Even when it's very not she insists on her shoes and cardigan being on.

I took this to be normal toddler behaviour - being attached to certain items etc and just a phase. If distracted enough, she will give up the cardigan, shoes etc.

Nursery raised their concerns about her "odd" behaviour, and said mother children bring a teddy to nursery and have this odd attachment to certain items of clothing.

I've been worried about it and don't know what to do. DH thinks its normal toddler behaviour. dd is very smart (lots of talking, can count to 10, sentences, good attention span etc) and I'm wondering is this a sign of autism? Or are nursery making a big deal out of nothing?

Haddock73 Wed 21-Aug-13 14:51:14

The ofsted report is 'good" all 2's, on par with all the other nurseries in the area. Not sure why all the staff are leaving, although they do seem to be very over worked and asked to fill in reports for the children as late as 8pm at nit (software system).

hettienne Wed 21-Aug-13 14:17:19

Staffing is the best indication of whether a nursery is any good. That level of staff turnover, your DD being insecure there, and their lack of knowledge and understanding of child development is all pretty concerning. Have you read the Ofsted report?

Haddock73 Wed 21-Aug-13 14:00:46

insancerre I didn't think of it like that, perhaps she's insecure at nursery because of the high turnover of staff.

Otherwise she seems very happy there and a reluctant to take her it and restart the settling process as she loves it there, and talks about her little friends a lot, but I am very glad to hear her behaviour is normal!

insancerre Wed 21-Aug-13 12:32:46

I would be looking for a new nursery for all the reasons already mentioned.
I work in a nursery and am dismayed that there are still nurseries out there that just don't seem to have a clue.
The behaviour your DD is showing s more than likely a reaction to the many staff changes in the nursery, To her, her teddy/cardigan etc are the only constants.

cory Wed 21-Aug-13 12:14:03

Nothing wrong with a toddler being attached to a comfort object and something a little bit dodgy about a nursery that goes into overdrive over a bitten finger. How are they going to cope if there is a serious accident one day?

LIZS Wed 21-Aug-13 11:16:24

Dear me , dd was terribly clingy between 6 months and about 3, was very tricky to leave anywhere. Took her teddy along as a comforter and even when she started school she had a special tissue ! She too would cry hysterically for no apparent reason. She is 12 now, perfectly normal if a bit shy at times. Do they not have much experience of toddlers , suggest you look for another setting if possible.

Katnisscupcake Wed 21-Aug-13 10:55:03

Another one here who thinks maybe you should rethink the childcare facility that you're using. Particularly as at this age children absorb what goes on around them like sponges. Their view of her as 'odd' may end up making her feel different from the others which is definitely NOT what you would want. She is totally normal.

Monitor it and if anything else happens, I would definitely have a look for somewhere else.

meandtheboys Tue 20-Aug-13 22:37:45

Well you just described my DS1 at that age. He had a teddy called Milton who he was so in love with from about 20 months. He slept with it, carried it around, took it everywhere with him. He even took it to nursery school with him when he first started just after his third birthday (August baby). He just kept it in his bag and wanted to know it was there. The teacher was aware of it and said it was fine. He never needed to get it out his bag, just knowing it was ther was enough for him to feel settled. I wouldn't have dreamed of removing that from him.

It's certainly not out the ordinary. In fact attachment to transitional objects has been shown to be beneficial at improving kid's confidence and wellbeing whilst away from their care givers.

He's 6 now and never mentions Milton! Although he does still sit on DS's drawers in his bedroom !

DS2 is 19 months and whilst isn't attached to a particular object or item of clothing, he does have a meltdown if I remove anything from him, be it his shoes, his cup, whatever he has in his hands etc. It's normal toddler behaviour. DS1 was exactly the same and is absolutely fine.

I am shocked the nursery would say it was odd.

LingDiLong Tue 20-Aug-13 22:16:49

Your daughter's behaviour is so normal, I'd actually be quite concerned that any childcare worker with a basic qualification and some experience would describe it as 'odd'.

I say that as a mum of 3 and a childminder. I also think that level of attachment to objects when a child is in a childcare setting is even more to be expected because a)being away from their parents might lead to them needing a bit of extra security and reassurance and b) they're in an environment where EVERYTHING has to be shared, none of the toys are their own. I'm sure for some kids this means they feel a need to have something of their very own.

Is there any scope for looking elsewhere for childcare?

breatheslowly Tue 20-Aug-13 21:51:54

From your description of the staff turnover I would be looking for another nursery or a CM. I don't know if there might be a regional variation in staff turnover, but in the two nurseries DD has been in I think the turnover might be 10% a year (mostly retirement or not coming back from maternity leave), not pretty much all of the staff in 6 months.

DD's nursery encouraged us to give DD a muslin regularly when she was small so that she would get attached to her "muzzie" and therefore have a washable and replaceable attachment object.

maja00 Tue 20-Aug-13 21:46:04

Wow, have you got any other childcare options? This does not sound like a good place.

Haddock73 Tue 20-Aug-13 21:42:57

maja the turnover is very high, dd has been at nursery for 6 months and apart from three ppl who work in different classes, every singe one f her teachers has left within a month. This particular teacher has been there a few weeks amd seems nice enough, but english is not her first language and I wonder if maybe something's she says is lost in translation?
alanna I personally would feel silly taking dd to the GP based on this one observation. Mine and dhs gut feeling is she is completely normal, in fact if anything on the brighter end of average, but the comment concerned me and as she's my pfb I wanted to check with other mums whether this should be something I should be worried about.

The general consensus sees to be there's nothing wrong with a toddler being attached to her teddy or being dramatic about keeping her cardigan on.

I'll keep a eye on it but my gut tells me she's bright, kind, socialable, has a number of best friends" this all sound like normal toddler behaviour to me.

unlucky83 Tue 20-Aug-13 21:03:01

My DD1 insisted on wearing a fleece hat ALL the time at that age the middle of summer...and in bed etc - battle to get her to take it off to have a bath!
Sounds normal to me - but you could get them to be more specific about their concerns and have a chat with HV to put your mind at rest...

sittinginthesun Tue 20-Aug-13 20:56:28


Both mine had teddies they were very attached to (still sleep with them now(.

At that age, ds1 only wore his yellow wellies. Even at a wedding in mid summer.

yawningbear Tue 20-Aug-13 20:49:28

Agree with maja00, I would much more concerned that the nursey are labelling such behaviour as 'odd'.

In terms of child development and attachment it is completely healthy and appropriate for a young child to have attachment objects, it can be a really good strategy to encourage as lovelyredwine's nursery suggested.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Tue 20-Aug-13 20:48:28

Sounds normal to me. At that age the world ends if something is taken away. Even if its a dead bug or half chewed sandwich. What's odd is that they don't appear to have any idea of normal range toddler behaviour.

Alanna1 Tue 20-Aug-13 20:43:46

I have tended to find the senior staff at my nursery observant and their comments helpful - doesn't mean yours are! I'd take your DC to the GP and ask for an observation referral to the appropriate specialists. Often these things are nothing, but nothing wrong with having someone's hunch investigated. A friend picked up autism really early through an obseervant nursery worker and she says that the changed focus of her support workers made a massive difference.

maja00 Tue 20-Aug-13 20:40:48

I'd actually be slightly concerned that the nursery staff don't know that it's normal for toddlers to have attachment objects confused Are the staff generally young/trainees?

dyslexicdespot Tue 20-Aug-13 20:32:14

DS refuses to take off his rain jacket and must wear his 'robot wellies' at all times. He is 22 months and we think this is perfectly normal.

Crocky Tue 20-Aug-13 18:18:19

My dd always had to have her teddy in nursery. They got to the point where she was comfortable knowing teddy was in her bag but would always demand to have it for quiet time.

ViviDeBeauvoir Tue 20-Aug-13 18:17:56

I think it sounds perfectly normal. Recently at my DD's old nursery (she's 4) they raised an issue that she'd got really upset when another child had gone into the shoe box and put on her shoes and started walking around in them and said it was 'strange'. My response? Well, what do you expect? We talk to her about not taking things without asking, so she expects the same. She is perfectly 'normal'.
My Ds1 is 2 and obsessed with vacuum cleaners (asks to look at pictures of them on the Internet, likes to look in shop windows as we go past etc.)
FWIW DS1 is very advanced language wise but also has he biggest tantrums ever and I've learned to pick my battles with him (today he kicked off because his fish finger got broken hmm )
Luckily nursery pretty much only see the good side of him and are supportive when they don't.
Your LO sounds perfectly fine to me and it sounds like you're doing the best you can so I wouldn't worry too much!

runningonwillpower Tue 20-Aug-13 18:17:42

My son used to do exactly this at the same age. He would go berserk if you tried to take off his cardigan or jumper - I've seen him on the point of heatstroke and he still wouldn't take it off. He wasn't bothered about shoes but his trousers just had to be long - the mere sight of shorts would lead to a total meltdown.

I think he just didn't like bare arms and legs. Who knows?

In any case, it was a phase. He was a perfectly normal boy and is now a lovely man.

Haddock73 Tue 20-Aug-13 18:17:20

Thank you all, that's exactly what I thought and really threw me when they raised this concern. To be fair, they made a very big deal when another toddler bite dd on the finger once, no mark, dd wasn't concerned, yet they made it a huge deal and worried me when they first told me "mummy, we have something to tell you and you're not going to like it. Something has happened to dd....something bad..." When I found out another child bit her finger, I was like "oh, okay, we'll that's what kids do right? I'm sure it'll be her next week".

Maybe they just over react to things too much?

Themobstersknife Tue 20-Aug-13 18:13:43

At DD1s nursery, they had a big long list of all the attachment toys /comforters against each child's name. I always felt DD was odd because she didn't have one! I felt bad that hers said 'thumb' and everyone else had some beloved little teddy!

WireCat Tue 20-Aug-13 18:13:09

Have they not dealt with small children before?!

Sounds totally normal to me!

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