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how long to settle?

(10 Posts)
norfolknic Tue 09-Apr-13 22:05:08

My dd (16mo) started at a childminder two months ago, doing 3.5 days a week. She has always been upset to be left, but I was hoping she may improve. In the past couple of weeks though she's started waking in the morning and then suddenly laying down again pretending to sleep when I go to get up (we co sleep the second half of the night). She also clings to dh or I in the morning and pretends to sleep on us, I think to avoid being taken to cm (obviously we still take her).

I'm starting to worry that her increased clingyness in the evenings and days after cm, combined with the crying before and after drop off mean dd is really unhappy at cm? How soon after starting cm would a child this age be expected to not cry at drop off?

Cm is very nice and experienced, though is stricter than I originally thought, for example I'm sure there's been an element of controlled crying which I've never done on nap times at home. Cm says dd stops crying a few minutes after arrival and is happy most of the day.

Should I be worrying or an I overthinking the clingyness and apparent unhappiness dd shows at home when she thinks she's going to cm?

Thanks in advance!

norfolknic Tue 09-Apr-13 22:08:40

Sorry, the other thing dd does is pretends to sleep when I say good morning, she does it by flinging herself on the bed and shutting her eyes, I'm really worried that this is due to her dreading being taken to cm sad

OutragedFromLeeds Tue 09-Apr-13 22:15:37

I really don't think a 16 month old would have the cognitive ability to fake sleep in order to avoid the childminder tbh.

The crying is tricky. If she is generally a clingy child it could go on a while. There are some children who cry at drop of at childcare and then pre-school and then nursery and then school. They just don't like being left. On the other hand it could be a sign that she isn't bonding with the childminder.

I would ask the childminder to send you some pictures during the day so you can see how she's getting on. I'd also pop back half hour after drop off having 'forgotten' DD's bag and then you can see for yourself if she's happily playing or not. Or speak to the childminder about your concerns and ask if you can peep in the window and see her settled before you go to work. You can do the same at pick-up, turn up a bit early and see how she's doing.

doughnut44 Wed 10-Apr-13 00:31:13

What is she like at collection time?

HSMMaCM Wed 10-Apr-13 03:55:46

Some children hate transitions (in your case the drop off and pick up). Can the CM show you any pics of your child at play? If she doesn't take pics, could you lend her a digital camera for a day. Listen to your gut instinct, but also be aware that some children will be unsettled at changeover for an extended time. Do you have a daily diary, so you can talk to her about her day and see if she seems happy about it? Make sure you are very positive at the drop off and wave a cheery and rapid goodbye ... see you later.

Runoutofideas Wed 10-Apr-13 15:57:12

My dd2 was upset being left at my mum's, pre-school and all the way through reception, even though she actually really enjoyed her days. She only started going anywhere on her own, happily, when she got to about 5 1/2. If your dd comes home happy I wouldn't read too much into it. I agree with talking to the childminder. When my dd was like this at pre-school they assured me she was fine within a couple of minutes. They even gave me a window to spy through, where dd couldn't see me, to reassure myself. She just didn't like saying goodbye.

The pretending to sleep thing sounds to me like a child who is discovering creative play and the difference between reality and pretence. I wouldn't link it with dreading going to the childminder's personally.

MUM2BLESS Wed 10-Apr-13 20:05:13

I am a childminder. The settling period is different for each child.

I have a new child who is still settling with me. Today he cried so much when mum was present. It must have been hard for mum to hear it, and for me too.

As soon as mum left within seconds he STOP.

It may not been any fault of the cm but the separtion from you.

I have been able to give one to one attention as he is the only one I am minding during this hols. Next week the other kids are coming back.

calmlychaotic Wed 10-Apr-13 20:24:14

Has she been in any childcare before? If this is the first time she has been left and she is quite clingy anyway I wouldn't worry too much about what you are describing. A lot of children cling to parents before they leave, doesn't mean they are not happy once the parents have left. Being clingy in the evening could be due to tiredness as she is probably having a busy day.
Its often not really possible to sooth children to sleep in quite the way parents might as there is more than one child to worry about. I doubt she will leave your dd to cry as this would disturb everyone but she may be left to cry a little.
Talk to your cm, explain your worries, I'm sure she would be happy to chat to you about it and give you some reassurance.

norfolknic Thu 11-Apr-13 07:02:03

Thanks for your replies! It's reassuring to hear my experience is fairly normal. I like the cm and have faith in her, I can see that a fairly clingy child who is used to being on her own with mummy might find settling hard. I have seen some pictures of her looking ok during the day.

On pick up she's usually playing with toys, either with cm or on her own, so I take that as a positive. When she sees me she usually starts murmuring and wanting to be picked up, but not full blown crying.

ReetPetit Thu 11-Apr-13 08:40:57

She sounds fine to me, it sounds like normal settling for a child that age who has been with mum up until now. The pretending to sleep is probably just the beginnings of role play. She possibly does know sleeping means being at home with mummy but i wouldn't take it to mean anything about cm personally i

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