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Cm's - is this 'normal'?

(27 Posts)
Truckdriver Thu 28-Jul-11 22:00:39

Hi - I am hoping you lovely CMs could reassure me a bit.

My DD has been going to a CM 2 days a week since May (she is 13 months). When we pick her up she seems to be playing happily and relaxed. The other mindees seem happy - the other little boy who is there at the same time as she is happily runs to the house in the morning.

But when I drop my DD off in the morning she cries EVERY time, in fact she starts to cry as soon as I start to make a move or pass her to the CM.

I really like the CM but my imagination is starting to run right that something is not right. I have NO evidence of this but I am not sure if it is something I should worry about it.

So is this 'normal' experience or does it depend on each child's experience. Or should it be something I should be wary off?

Any advice/experience much appreciated. Thank you

Truckdriver Thu 28-Jul-11 22:01:50

Sorry meant to say "run riot" - I am tiered!

Southernisle Thu 28-Jul-11 22:10:14

I'm not a CM, but as a parent who has used CMs.

I can say my ds used to do this, and never got to the bottom of it, we ended up changing him to a private kindergarten at 2, and he did exactly the same there. Carried on every day until he started school. Was reassured by everyone that under 5 mins after I'd left he stopped. And he did really enjoy his time, and would talk happily about the place. When holidays came, he was not fussed that he was no longer going, but wasn't traumatised to talk about it.

His sister on the other hand used to cry every day when I picked her up. 'I don't want to go home, it's too much fun'.

That one hurts as much if not more, also makes you feel like the real baddy, fortunately no childcare worker has given me the impression that they thought her tears were due to bad homelife.

elliepac Thu 28-Jul-11 22:18:35

DD has been going to a CM, the same one, since she was 4 months old for 5 days a week. This is the same childminder who had DS from 19 months old and has therefore been working with us as a family for 6 1/2 years. DD loves her to pieces, will regularly cry for her when we are at home etc. DS adores her and she absolutely adores both of them. DD has suddenyl over the last 6 months started crying every morning when I leave her there, CM told me it lasted a couple of minutes until I was out of sight and she was fine. I stood by the door and listened and yes, as soon as it was clear I was gone, she immediately stopped crying and asked to play with dolls. I

f you are instincts are telling you that everything is okn with the CM then I wouldn't worry too much. DO what I did and surreptitiously hang around to hear what happens when you leave and check it is as the CM says. If she seems happy when you pick her up, I think that is a greater indication of happiness than anything else.

hellospoon Thu 28-Jul-11 22:42:52

Ok, i do not want to panic you, but

My DD has always been very out going and confident, from being tiny has not made a single flinch or tear when passed to anyone untill we sent her to our very first childminder, we thought she was lovely and attentive and then every time i dropped DD off she would scream and it was very painful.

So.. one day i decided to show up early at the childminders to get DD as i could tell something wasnt quite right, what i found was awful.

My DD and the other mindees were in a room which was filthy, there were about 6 teenagers in the kitchen and the childminder was quite obviously half way to tipsy.

I went hell for leather and took my DD out of there, rang Ofsted and the police in my car and from what i aware she has had her registration revoked.

Go with your instinct and do what you have to in order to re-assure yourself

nannyl Fri 29-Jul-11 08:24:35

Hellospoon, what an awful experiance shock

However i dont think its the norm.

At that age most children cry (and even those who dont normally often go through a phase of crying)
Think if it as "Mummy, I want you to feel guilty for leaving me", but im sure within 5 mins of you going she is fine; Once they realise mummy has gone, and crying didnt work most children settle into having a happy day very quickly smile

Your childs behavior sounds completely normal to me

Of course if you are worried phone CM 5 - 10 mins after drop off, you will be able to hear if she is still crying and also ask your CM about it... see what she says, or pop by un-announced to reassure yourself smile

pippin26 Fri 29-Jul-11 08:44:56

Yes OP its perfectly normal. In my 9 years experience as a minder and as a mum of 14 years..... and then my previous childcare experience in a kindergarten... yes very normal.

I would say - make sure you are satisfied that your child is happy - and from what you say at pick up time your child is settled and happy. Then i would say its separation upset/anxiety.

My youngest son now age 6 since going to pre-school at the age of 2.5yrs has kicked off going into pre-school/then nursery and with his childminder and then reception and then into year 1. Its tapered off into year 1 and we did have a last episode two weeks before the end of term. Crying, clinging, screaming, hysterics, tantrums, please don't leave me wails.... oh he tries the FULL works. No idea why because once he is where he is going - he loves it and is fine within minutes.

I have had children do this as a minder.... one of my current 2yr olds does it ... within seconds after mum has gone he is fine... personally I see it as a very real to them performance for mum - that initial separation and no wonder your child loves you to bits and woudl rather stop with you.

Speak to your minder - can they reassure you that your child is fine - perhaps you can look through the window in 5 minutes or the minder can ring you so you can 'hear' that you LO has settled, get them to send you a photo text???
Don't prolong the goodbyes... firm cheerful brief goodbyes and go.

thebody Fri 29-Jul-11 09:04:48

Hellospoon.. awful experience for you but would suggest its quite rare.. most people who go into child care actually like children..

i am a cm and do have children crying occasionally on drop off.. they usually stop as the door closes.. in my experience its harder for the parents whose children cry when they are collected and have to leave the setting and that happens quite oftern as well

go to any infant school and there will be always at least one child crying for myum at the start of the day, its whar children do and its completely normal.

get your cm to do what i do.. send a quick photo from her phone to you so you can see exactly when she settles, bet its before you get the car off the drive.

as pippin says dont linger, kiss goodbye and leave..


bigdonna Fri 29-Jul-11 09:20:49

as an ex nanny and acm i used to tell parents to go to the front window and watch there child as soon as the front door shut the child would stop crying or would be happy to be cuddled till they were confident to go and play.good luck ask your cm how your dd is during the also could be because there is such a gap between her going there!two days there and five days with you!i have a 9yr old mindee whom i have had since 6 month when she was about 10-15 month she was very clingy she screamed when ever i took her to any groups and no one but me could console her!!!!!

bigdonna Fri 29-Jul-11 09:22:21

sorry repeating what others have siad but hadnt read all posts oops

nannyl Fri 29-Jul-11 09:25:42

hey bigdonna, dont apologise.... just another post to re-assure OP which must be good smile

TheOriginalFAB Fri 29-Jul-11 09:52:00

My dd was 2 when she started play school and would always cry. She would calm down by the time I looked through the window but after nearly 6 months I was told she hadn't settled. She had been fine when I picked her up. I immediately took her out.

I would spy through the window if it was me.

thebody Fri 29-Jul-11 10:30:51

not sure as a cm i would appreciate a parent 'spying through my window actually' this is after all my home and my own children and other mindees are entitled to some privacy...actually i would be f...kin livid if a parent did this without my permission and i would consider giving notice as couldnt work with a parent who had so little faith in me..

please remember a home is NOT a nursery... if you dont trust the cm to care for your child then take her out.. its a simple as that.

i send photos, texts and lots of info to parents, especially if the child is a new mindee or had been upset at drop off ...but at the end of the day its about trust.. and that is the same for parents wiith children attending cm, school, nursery or even play dates...

HSMM Fri 29-Jul-11 10:40:25

I invite parents to spy through the window, because every so often a child goes through the crying at the door phase and is generally happy as soon as the door is shut.

Listen to your instincts as well though. If you are happy in every other way and have seen pictures of your child laughing and playing, then you're probably OK.

My DD used to cry every morning when I dropped her at pre-school, but never wanted to leave when I collected her, so I wasn't worried about the drop off tears.

hellospoon Fri 29-Jul-11 10:42:08

The body, I'm not sure I agree. I am in the registration process at the minute to become a cm.

I don't see a problem with a parent turning up early or having a little peak through the window to check on their dc, afterall children act much differently when infront of their parents.

I would have nothing to hide so would have no problem really

wompoopigeon Fri 29-Jul-11 11:03:51

If you really like the cm then you should mention it to her. It's v likely that she will suggest that you loiter for a minute or two out of sight to hear how quickly your LO settles, or she might suggest something else to reassure you.
Going less than FT can mean it is a bit of a shock to the system to be parted from mummy, and what you describe sounds normal.
My DD also cried on drop off but she was almost always happy when I picked her up, even if I came unexpectedly. She was also eating and sleeping normally, and just generally didn't seem like an unhappy baby.

thebody Fri 29-Jul-11 11:12:04

there is all the difference in the world for a cm to invite a parent to take a peek through a window and the parent simply coming early and doing it... i think that would be very strange/ creepy behaviour but pehaps thats just me.

some of my more nervous mindees would be terrified at a strange face peeping into the window.. also my playroom is at the back of the house so the parent would be actually looking through my front window... where the children dont go and I wouldnt appreciate anyone gazing at my 12 year old dd who expects her privacy in there to be maintained...

as you say you are in the registration process(good luck its a brill job) but it is also a very invasive one for your family... thats fine of course it goes with the territory but lines have to be drawn for the sake of the privacy of your own family and other mindees.

if a parent turns up early thats fine, actually lovely, much nicer than turning up late!!

i have nothing to hide either

i agree with you that its a good way for a parent to see the setting in action so to speak..

but i dont allow 'visiting' as this is terribly upsetting for a child who expects to go home when Mummy comes.. i had a mum who kept doing this and it caused mayhem to an otherwise happy settled child..

now its my day off so will stop being a saddo and talking shop and depart...

BertieBotts Fri 29-Jul-11 11:24:30

DS was 2 when he started at the CM, and he used to cry when I dropped him off, I used to get her to text me when he settled, and it was always within 5-10 minutes. After a few weeks of going, perhaps 2-3 months or so (I can't remember) he was fine, and didn't cry any more. TBH I wasn't massively worried, because if I ever left him with my mum for example he'd be exactly the same, he'd also cry for 5-10 minutes when people had come to see us when they went home.

Usually now DS skips in quite happily with barely a goodbye, on occasion he has shut the door in my face grin which is a bit sad but also good that he's so happy there (and you can't expect a two year old to have tact really...) The last couple of times, he has been crying again though, and I think it was kicked off that one morning we had overslept and I was feeling very sleepy when I dropped him off and without thinking I hugged him goodbye, which I never usually do - low-key is the best for not upsetting them, even if you think it's best to give them a reassuring hug etc, they're actually more reassured by you acting as though this is as inconsequential as going into another room to fetch the milk for their cereal.

Also 13 months is a prime time for separation anxiety. Another thing I found helped with DS was having a key phrase so when I picked him up I said "I'm back" and when I dropped him off I'd say "I'll be back later". At her age there is a limit to the amount of verbal reassurance you can give, so body language and tone and simplicity is important. Act like you're not worried, big smile, breezy, "Bye-bye darling, mummy will be back later", walk off, even if she is crying. I've found DS is best if I don't give him a hug and kiss, although that seems cold to me. We usually have a really big hug when I pick him up. Don't linger. Don't cry until you're out of sight! Don't be afraid to text or call CM 5-10 minutes later to ask how she is settling. Once she's a bit older you'll be able to ask her about her day as well.

And I agree with turning up unexpectedly if you have any suspicions - I haven't needed to do this at all but I know it wouldn't be a problem if I did, which gives me confidence too.

Jasbro Fri 29-Jul-11 20:06:22

If your child was unhappy at the childminders she would show this in her general behaviour during the rest of the week. It is perfectly normal, particularly at this age, for a child to be attached to their mum and cry when left. Because she only goes two days per week, it is hard for her to settle completely into the routine. My daughter was exactly the same when she went to her childminder (about the same age), but had a wonderful time there once I was gone, and still over a year on, absolutely loves the childminder and talks about how she enjoyed her time there, so I know she was happy.
I am now a childminder, and I am glad I have had this experience so I can see things from the other side too.

Truckdriver Sat 30-Jul-11 07:26:12

Wow, thank you for all your responses!

Funnily enough my CM has actually sent me text messages when she has cried with a picture of her happily playing.

I could talk to the CM about hanging about outside to see if she settles (but would only do this with CMs permission).

Also thanks for the advice around not lingering, I think I have started to do this. On thurs this week I was there for 20 minutes, so I may be making it worse. I suspect that she has started to pick on my anxiety.

But I will talk to my CM about it again and see if she could just call me once she settles.

Just to add - I have no worries about her as a CM, very experienced and came highly recommended by people we know. Also the other mindees seem to have a great time there. Also our DD is giving me no other indications that she is upset there, in fact on odd occasions when I go to pick her up after having a hug with me she puts her arms out for the CM envy

Thanks for your hints and tips!

HSMM Sat 30-Jul-11 08:24:22

Definitely try and stop yourself lingering. I know it will be hard, because you want to stay and comfort your DD. From my experience (12 yrs) of children going through this phase, the quicker the drop off, the less upset for the child.

ytseb Sat 30-Jul-11 10:34:53

Hi I'm a nanny and have worked in nurseries, a lot of children will cry when being dropped off but soon stop when the parents leave, also the little girl I have just started to care for will as she,s been with her mum all morning, she's fine as soon her mum has gone, I will text her mum and reassure her that she's ok.

Flisspaps Sat 30-Jul-11 10:41:17

YY to not lingering - my mindees parents don't even usually come in the house! Quick handover at the door, kiss goodbye and a wave, then straight into the house and playing!

The 'danger' of hanging around and peeking in (even with CM's permission) is that DD might spot you and that might make her even worse, whereas usually she'd be fine within seconds of the door closing. And if she doesn't settle straight away, then what? You're upset, she's upset, if you go back in to settle her you just prolong the whole event. Perhaps you could suggest that if she doesn't settle within say 20 minutes, then CM could call you?

BoysAreLikeDogs Sat 30-Jul-11 11:04:13

please don't linger, drop and run is kindest

I wouldn't let you linger for 20 mins, I would be steering you out subtly after about 3 grin

Tanith Sat 30-Jul-11 13:55:18

I work with my DH: we're both childminders. I can tell you that our son used to cry if one of us left him with the other! It's usually a phase, most children go through it and it seems more to do with the actual change, which is why some will cry when they're picked up.
The worst we had was a child who would cry when her mum dropped her off, be happy as a piggy in clover all day long then, 5 minutes before her mum was due, she'd start up again and her mum was left with the impression that she'd been crying all day long.
A few photos convinced her and the child is still with us 6 years on. She still finds transitions difficult but she's very happy with us.

I do agree with theBody, by the way. Used to have a parent do this, just suddenly peep through the window with no warning and I hated it.

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