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What's in normal range for settling in?

(7 Posts)
Redheadedwoman Mon 30-Oct-17 11:48:53

My 14 month old is very up and down at his minder and is becoming increasingly upset at separation from me. I feel like it’s been getting progressively worse. Wondering how much is age related ‘clinginess’ and how much is feeling unhappy at the CM. I wouldn’t describe him as a clingy child.

He’s been there about 6 weeks. Before that he was at home for 6 weeks with grandparents/OH when I went back to work and wasn’t upset at all. Settling in went really well. I work 3 consecutive days and he’s at home with me the rest of the time.

His CM is lovely and very experienced. At the last pick up we were chatting about the day it came out she’s never had a child be so up and down before and is worried at how long it’s taking him to settle and has spoken to other CMs about it as she doesn’t know what to do. I knew he had some off days but had no idea that he was so upset so often or that she was concerned about it.

Any thoughts/advice? Guess there are two things – first, how to help him and does there come a point that we have to conclude it might not be the right setting for him and secondly what are reasonable expectations for communication and how do I broach this without jeopardising our existing relationship?

jannier Mon 30-Oct-17 13:11:30

Its not unusual for a child to start happy and then realise that this is the permanent way forward. Especially if before they had been an only child with grandparents who do in my experience tend to be very much more okay you want it so you have it and now suddenly someone is saying we have to were his grandparents with him?
What do you do at drop off? Is it a quick upbeat bye or do you hang around?
I've had some children take much longer to separate from me so I can not move or say the word go without a major melt down....some experienced childcare professionals still comment on how well these children have got on now and remember how noisy they made things 9 years ago. .....Is it general unsettled and cant be comforted or needing to be in her arms all the time? How is little one at home happy to play independently or wanting attention all the time?
six weeks is still quiet early as lo comes 3 days then has 4 at lo now the focus of attention at home because you missed him at work? This is quiet natural but can make them clingy when they have to be left at childcare.

Redheadedwoman Mon 30-Oct-17 13:50:31

Thanks for that. 6 weeks doesn’t feel long to me either but had no other experience to go by. I suspect you’re right about the grandparents! I hadn’t thought of it that way round, that it could have made it harder for him to transition, always thought more that it was a way of easing him into me not being there.

I definitely wouldn’t describe him as a clingy child. Always has been very happy to play on his own at home and go off exploring away from me at playgroup/park etc and he didn’t get upset on the settling in days. But since starting there he has started to be clingier and has started to get really upset when people close doors, even patio doors where he can still see them. He’s like this even if it’s people he doesn’t know (e.g a builder he’d never met before was here for a short time the other day and he got really, really upset when he left).

Drop off is a quick in and out. He’s generally ok if there are other children there when he arrives but gets more upset if he’s first. I think it’s normally crying and can’t be comforted, but to be honest I’m not 100% sure as it’s not really been explained properly. Just that he’s upset and unsettled. I’m going to speak to the minder later when I collect him to find out more – was a bit surprised last week so didn’t have my head in gear to ask questions at the time.

He is the focus when I’m at home as in that I’m looking after him 121 and we go out and do things. But I can’t see how that could or should be any different. He isn’t spoilt more, we still set boundaries etc.

Re it not being unusual for a child to start happy and then realise that this is the permanent way forward that feels pretty depressing! My friend’s kids seem to be enjoying their time at their CM or nurseries and settling in well so it’s not a given that they will be miserable surely?

jannier Mon 30-Oct-17 15:54:57

I don't think that they don't enjoy it but more that it was a nice game now I want to be back home with mummy. They do adjust and the ones I've had who were like this now want to be here at weekends and ask mummy to come later.
Being the sole focus in 1 to 1 is normal but it does mean suddenly having to be somewhere where your not is harder, the same if a sibling comes along, it takes adjusting to.
LO may need lots of reassurance and explaining I'm going to the kitchen and will be back. I would make excuses to literally go through a door close it and come straight back with something just so LO would trust I wasn't leaving for a long time like mummy but would be with them until mummy came back. Make sure everyone always says goodbye or I'm just going upstairs etc. this will build trust. Does he have a comforter?

Enwi Mon 30-Oct-17 16:02:55

One little boy (age 3) has been with me for just over a year and still gets upset when he gets dropped off. He only comes 2 days a week term time only.
Parents say that he talks about his time with me all the time, is very excited to come and see me but he still gets upset when it comes to his parents leaving. Within a minute of his parents leaving he is absolutely fine so they know now to just give him a quick hug and then leave. He is such a settled, happy little boy in so many ways he just loves his time with Mum and Dad and understandably doesn’t enjoy them leaving.
Don’t know if that anecdote helps or not!

Redheadedwoman Mon 30-Oct-17 16:11:10

Thanks Jannier that makes sense. I’m feeling quite sensitive about it all, I think partly because none of us expected him to struggle and because I don’t really know what to do about it. We even joked about him wanting to move in after the formal settling in days.

He does take a favourite teddy which he takes and it seems to help, he plays and sleeps with it there and we bring it home and play with it here. That’s helpful advice about the doors and needing to build up trust. Sounds like we just need to give it some more time and give him plenty of reassurance.

Redheadedwoman Mon 30-Oct-17 16:17:20

Thanks for posting Enwi, it does help as a reminder about each child being different. I know part of feeling stressed about it is comparing how quickly friend's children seem to have settled in when they've gone to CMs or nursery. Some days when I collect him I can tell he's enjoyed it as he wants to show me things etc - it's just so up and down.

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