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Worried about DS settling with CM

(9 Posts)
Thombo Mon 25-Apr-16 13:54:26

Hi. I'm just looking for some opinions / advice about settling my 2.5 yr old boy with a childminder.

Sorry for very long post!

We're trying this out not from necessity due to work but because we think that it can help him develop resilience and prepare for nursery. We don't have a large family and he has never been passed around much or had many visitors etc, so I guess we worry that he is dependent on us a bit too much.

We found a lovely childminder with 20 years experience - she previously managed a nursery and then quit to set up her own CM business at home. The days that our DS goes to her there are only 2/3 other little ones there and it seems like a really good atmosphere - very calm and with lots to do.

So, we started by staying with him for the duration of his time there for 4 visits, then maybe 3 visits left him alone for around 20-30 mins. Since then he's been left alone for an hour 6 times and he's been left 2 hours 4 times now. This process has 2 days a week for the past couple of months.

The previous 3 times he has learnt to expect being left and as soon as we tell him he is going to the CM he instantly begins to cry and say " me no wanna go to (CM)" and will cry all the way there, being handed over in tears. The CM will text us and tell us how he is doing - a few times he has been picked up after 40 mins due to crying and a few times he has managed the 2 hours - apparently cheering up after 5-10 mins. But as far as I can tell, he wants to sit on her lap a lot and gets upset if she goes to the loo.

What's bothering me now is that the past 3 days he has said in the morning "me no wanna go to (CM) - me no like it at (CM)" and needs assuring that he is not going. I just don't like the thought that every day he worries that we will leave him there. Also, last night he woke very upset and wouldn't settle for 30 mins - asked if he was sore or hurting and he said no (he can tell us if he is sore usually) - but he wouldn't or couldn't say why he was upset. Them this morning I asked him why he was sad last night and he said "because me no like going to (CM) house".

I know that some settling is required, but we're concerned that this is causing him too much anxiety to justify the possible positives. What do you think?

shouldhavegonewithhannes Mon 25-Apr-16 22:48:09

Hello OP, just wanted to share a similar story about my oldest dd. We had problems when she first started at the CM. She was a little younger; 20 months, but would get herself in a right tiz before we even got there and would not settle at all.
Like you we tried the slow approach with gently upping the time but nothing seemed to help. She was a lovely lady but in the end we completely gave up on the idea and I have never felt so relieved!
I postponed going back to work and 6 months later tried again but this time at a nursery and she took to it without a backward glance.
I don't know if it was an age thing or the setting but I am glad we didn't force it.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

HSMMaCM Tue 26-Apr-16 07:54:41

I agree. Maybe he's just not ready.

Children really don't need to be prepared for nursery by going somewhere else.

Is he going to nursery at 3?

HSMMaCM Tue 26-Apr-16 07:56:59

Just take him to toddler group and things to get used to being around other children

BatFacedGrrl Tue 26-Apr-16 08:00:48

If you don't need to use a CM for work reasons or needing a break reasons then I wouldn't bother. He's not ready. Just pop along to toddler groups

PhoebeMcPeePee Tue 26-Apr-16 09:45:01

It's difficult because you don't need to take him I can understand your reluctance to get keep plugging at it if he's distressed however, I do think (& in my experience as a cm) that a long & protracted settling in period isn't helping as he's come to learn that if he cries he will be collected - even 2 hours really isn't that long so Inge never had a chance to properly settle. I think you either need to bite the bullet and start doing proper door-step drop-offs and leaving him for a good 4/5 hours, or stop now and just take him to playgroups and activities. There's no need to go to a formal session for socialisation at this age unless you need/want some time to yourself (absolutely fine btw) but best in mind that if you had to go to work he would undoubtedly settle eventually. I had a little girl who clung to me screaming for the first hour but came 3 days a weeks so after a a few weeks started to settle and is still with me & now runs in for a cuddle before trotting off to play.

PhoebeMcPeePee Tue 26-Apr-16 09:45:14

It's difficult because you don't need to take him I can understand your reluctance to get keep plugging at it if he's distressed however, I do think (& in my experience as a cm) that a long & protracted settling in period isn't helping as he's come to learn that if he cries he will be collected - even 2 hours really isn't that long so Inge never had a chance to properly settle. I think you either need to bite the bullet and start doing proper door-step drop-offs and leaving him for a good 4/5 hours, or stop now and just take him to playgroups and activities. There's no need to go to a formal session for socialisation at this age unless you need/want some time to yourself (absolutely fine btw) but best in mind that if you had to go to work he would undoubtedly settle eventually. I had a little girl who clung to me screaming for the first hour but came 3 days a weeks so after a a few weeks started to settle and is still with me & now runs in for a cuddle before trotting off to play.

Thombo Tue 26-Apr-16 20:58:58

Thank you all for your really helpful replies. We're going to take him this week and see how things go, but if we do decide to bring an end to it, your responses have reassured me that I'm not being a selfish parent. I say that because the CM has mentioned a few times that we mustn't let our anxieties as parents hold him back.

starry0ne Tue 26-Apr-16 21:06:48

I am a childminder.
I don't think your settling in approach has helped.. One settling in session with mum or dad...
Then very short drop off ... increase the hours...

However that said if you don't need the childcare I think he may not be ready but maybe more groups( not sure what you do already). At this age it is still side by side play so though people/ children are familiar they aren't true friendships.

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