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Adjusting to nursery

(8 Posts)
choceyes Mon 30-May-11 10:52:46

not sure if this thread should be in this section, but...

DD is 9.5 months old now and will be starting nursery 3 full days a week from 13 months.

Currently she is very clingy to me and she is still breastfeeding every 3 hours or so. we do BLW and she still eats very very little, tried spoon feeding too, but she hates it.

I'm worried about how clingy she is to me and her dependance on milk, i.e me. not introduced a bottle yet, but I think I've left it too late.

I know I still have plenty of time before she starts nursery, but I'd like some advice on how breastfeeding mothers settled their LOs at nursery?

I have a 2.5yr old DS too, who had major problems latching on, so I fed him expressed milk from a bottle till 11 months, when I went back to work.
He was very independant from the beginning and loved playing with toys and other children so he didn't mind going to nursery at all, although just after 1yr his seperation anxiety kicked in and he sometimes cried when I left him.

I don't if it's the breastfeeding that is making DD extra clingy to me (she cries if I leave the room sometimes, or if she can't see me) or it's just her nature.

Anyone had a baby like this who adjusted well (or not ) at nursery?

gourd Mon 30-May-11 13:29:14

Oh ours was just like this till a few days ago! I'm not back at work yet so she's not started in childcare yet but this week she's suddenly she stopped feeding so often and only had 3 feeds in total yesterday. When your LO feeds, how long are those feeds? Does she sit up/turn away quite quickly? If so, it's likely she is using the breast for comfort or to try to get to sleep rather than because she's hungry for milk. I've started putting our LO in the cot sleepy but awake and although she complains about it she is getting better at self settling to sleep rather than always needing the breast and I think this is why she's suddenly stopped feeding so often. Try offering food every 2 hours as well. It seems to help with our LO - basically meaning she's too full to want milk very frequently, and if she does want milk, it's become really obvious that it's only for comfort, not because she's hungry. Also the crying when you leave the room is normal separation anxiety behaviour and she will grow out of it though there are things you can do to try and help. Being very consistent in the words or phrases you use when leaving the room and on your return will help her understand you're coming back. This separation anxiety often develops around 9 months anyway - our LO struggles with it, particularly when tried - when of course she'll also want to be on the breast for comfort (not due to hunger). I'll be back at work full time in 4 weeks time so it's not ideal that this behaviour often reaches a peak around the exact age that I'll be having to leave her, but hopefully being in the care of a single trusted childminder will help her feel secure quite quickly.

gourd Mon 30-May-11 13:30:24

And yes you've got months yet - she'll change a huge amount in that time anyway.

RitaMorgan Mon 30-May-11 14:37:56

I'd try not to worry too - so much will change in the next 3 or 4 months, and she won't need a bottle at 13 months she can just have cow's milk from a cup. At my 10 month old's nursery they seem to be feeding them constantly so there are plenty of opportunities to eat - they give them a cup of milk at snack time mid-morning and mid-afternoon and will give extra bottles in the day if you want too.

My ds does half days and doesn't have milk at nursery - he just feeds before and after. I'm sure at 13 months she'll manage on breastfeeding morning and evening with cow's milk and food in the day, though she might want to feed in the night still?

The separation anxiety isn't anything to do with breastfeeding, I'm sure it's just the way she is. Do you have a programme for settling her in? I think we did 4 or 5 sessions of increasing length before ds started properly. I always say good bye and make sure he knows I am leaving rather than slipping away, and he's usually fine on drop-off but often has a little cry when I come to pick him up.

My 9mth old starts with childminder tommorow ): and was feeding every 2hrs ish - on demand really during the day but has slept at night since 15wks and I was worried too so easter weekend we made the decision to cut down breast feeds (bottle was a no-go tried in past and beaker was also a no-go for milk!) as we had 2 long weekends with both of us around so we did morning feed and tried as long as possible not to feed by distraction and offering food instead and got to 2pm on first day then extended to 2.30pm next day and after a week we got it to 4.30pm (time I will collect from childminder).

His food intake has increased alot and he has a breast feed at 7am, 4.30/5pm and 7pm, he always fed for 45-60mins at a time and now he has a 10-15mins feed at 7am and 4.30pm and an hr at bedtime.

The cutting out milk when i wasnt going to be available was the lesser of 2 evils as a beaker would have been harder work. He drinks water from a beaker.

Settling in wise with childminder we have done wk1 - 45mins with me, 1hr on own, wk2 - 2 and 1/2 hrs on own and wks 3 and 4- 3 and 1/2 hrs on own (once a week over a longer period had worked better in my opinion than doing couple hrs for a few days week before as it gave us all a chance to get used to it slowly)

good luck.

choceyes Mon 30-May-11 21:28:59

Thank you so much for the replies!

The nursery does have settlign in sessions. As many as needed to get her settled in I guess, but I'm still so worried about it all. My DS goes to the same nursery and she will be able to see him all the time from her room, so I'm hoping that will be a good thing.

yes, I hope she will take cows milk from a cup if she wants during the day. She is quite keen on her cup and loves drinking water from it.

I am only in the next building (it's a work creche) if she is desperate for a breastfeed or really wants to be with me, but that would be less than ideal, as that would mean unsettlign her again when I have to leave her again, so I'd rather not do that. But it feels better to have her close by.

pinklizzie Mon 30-May-11 21:57:34

Choceyes - you and the baby will be fine. I'm still bfing a 20 month old. I've been working Full time for quite some time. My baby never took milk until 17 months but ate food, yoghurt instead. Don't worry about the milk issue. Eventually if she needs it she will take it.

I never espressed either. I think you will find your baby to be very clingy with you and want to bf when you are around as they smell the milk. But then they do adjust and get on and enjoy nursery.

I agree that you are probably best just leaving once in the day - as coming and going could just cause more unrest.

And it is I think a good sign if they cry when you drop them off or pick them up - as it does mean that they are bonded with you and remember and miss you. However, now days my little one waves and says bye bye. The other night my DH had to drag him out of nursery because he was having so much fun, and in the end you want them to have fun and enjoy different experiences like messy play while you are away.

Good luck!

organiccarrotcake Mon 30-May-11 22:41:48

I also work very close to my DS (11 months). For quite a few months I went 3 times a day to feed him but over the past few weeks he's not been so bothered, so I'm cutting it down to two times a day. He can't have cow's milk or formula as he's CMP intolerant. He feeds on demand when I'm not at work and we are also doing BLW, and he's naturally reducing daytime feeds.

It was hard as he did cry when I left sometimes, although not always, but we had a bit of a strategy where I would feed him, then stay for another 2-3 minutes playing with him while he got involved in something and let me just sneak out. I found that if I fed him and walked out that was really tough on us both, but if he was distracted by something he didn't really notice most of the time grin.

He's a very high needs baby and I hate, hate to leave him, but this works for us.

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