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How long would it normally take for an 18 month old to adjust to new nanny

(17 Posts)
Gardenowl Thu 01-Feb-18 14:31:22

Hello All, this is my first post here but I have been reading advice and information from other threads and it is really useful and at times sanity saving smile so am grateful to everyone who puts in the effort.

I work full time and my ds is 18 month old. He has had a nanny since he was 9 months old. He was really attached to his nanny but she had to leave in December. We got a new nanny, she is a really lovely and experienced nanny and he loves playing with her when we are around. It has been almost 5 weeks since she started full time and we had 2-3 settling in days before that.

Out of the 5 weeks she has been with us, for 3 weeks either I or DH has been with the baby in addition to the nanny except 1-2 hours when we left deliberately to leave them on their own. In thus duration we let her take charge of the baby and we stayed in the background. We did this so that the baby had at least some time to develop some level of trust.

The last 2 weeks they have been on their own while both DH and I went to work. Things have improved but there is still a long way to go. Because he was still getting so distressed at the end of 3 weeks and we couldn't take time off work/ work from home anymore, against our better judgement we gave the nanny a tablet which she can use to show him songs and such. He is not allowed one otherwise. That has helped keep him manageable but she is having to use it almost whole day. DS is still cranky for a large part of the day and still cries a lot. He has always been a very happy baby but this changed his behaviour quite a lot.

So after the long post (my apologies for that) my question is how long should I give the nanny and DS to bond? When do I call time on this keeping in mind that we will probably have to go through the same cycle with the next nanny? With our first nanny he hardly took any time to adjust but he was little then so I understand he will take longer now. The new nanny is very nice, kind, active, enthusiastic and does a lot of activities with him so no issues there.

What am I missing and how do I make this right? I just can't bear to see him distressed anymore.

Many thanks

Callaird Thu 01-Feb-18 18:30:12

An experienced nanny should have ideas of how to distract and entertain a child. She should not be using a tablet to distract him at all in my opinion. None of my charges had any screens until they were 2 years old (apart from looking at photos/videos of themselves and usually only a moment or two)

Does he go to any classes? Does she take him out anywhere? At 18 months my charges had classes most morning, including swimming. Afternoons were (and still are) spent at the park, soft play, swimming again (all my charges have loved swimming and I take them 2-3 times a week) doing crafts, baking, painting, play doh at home or just playing with their toys with them or playing educational type games.

I would remove the tablet and ask her to interact with him. All children love a person who actually plays with them, I'd also teach him to play by himself for a short time, so she can make a meal, put a wash on, etc.,

Callaird Thu 01-Feb-18 18:31:24

Even after 2, they had 10 minutes after tea most days so I could tidy the kitchen before my boss got home.

nannynick Thu 01-Feb-18 18:40:07

It may a bit of a mixed message that you have given him by being around for three weeks and not not being around. So I would give it longer and reevaluate after every couple of weeks. You don't really want to change to someone else as then they start the bonding process all over again. Do you like your nanny? Do you feel you are able to tell them what to do if need be? Do you trust them to use their initiative?

Does nanny take him out much? Going out and about could be helpful as then he knows it's just him and nanny, not being at home where mum/dad may make an appearance.
Going swimming can build trust as to get him to go in a pool nanny has to make him trust her.

Gardenowl Thu 01-Feb-18 22:19:04

Thanks Callaird! Thanks NannyNick!

Regarding the tablet you made a valid point. We did not want to give him the tablet DS has severe reflux and had weight issues till about a couple of months back. He was not even on the centile chart. Whenever we left him with the new nanny he would cry uncontrollably and throw up every 5 minutes. So we had to give him the tablet. We are trying to wean him off it now so to speak.

To our nanny's credit she tries really hard..she does lots of activities, plays with him, sings countless songs and tries to switch the tablet off every chance she gets. DS plays with her, runs to her and even kisses her as long as a parent is in sight and when tablet is playing songs. Do you think his separation anxiety has kicked in in a very strong way?

With regards to the activities I think it is a very good suggestion. DS was on artificial oxygen for quite a while so his consultant is super careful and advised us not to take him to play groups and such for peak flu season. If he got some specific strains of flu he would striaght away end up in the hospital. So he has been home most of December and January. We were hoping to restart in late February. Based on both of your experience and suggestions I would try and bring it forward. Thank you!

Callaird, DS has always been very happy playing with himself most of the time and his character has literally flipped over in the last month. Hopefully he will get back to normal once he settles with the new nanny. This is my first child so maybe it's just wishful thinking smile

Nannynick, yes we trust and like the nanny. She takes a lot of initiative but also incorporates our suggestions/likes/dislikes.

Nanny doesn't take him out much at the moment because of weather and because DS cries a lot when she tries to get him into his outside clothes so that might be a very big issue. he has a lot of space to run in the house but he used to love outdoors so I think you guys have hit the nail on the head. He is probably just feeling cooped in.

Plan of action:
- Ask the nanny to take him out to the park/walks more often and longer
- Check with the consultant regarding play groups
- Wean off the tablet
- Revisit and review after couple of weeks

will update the thread with how it goes. Once again thanks a lot of sharing your experience smile

Gardenowl Thu 01-Feb-18 22:20:34

and apologies for another long post! I very obviously don't know the art of being succinct blush

nannynick Fri 02-Feb-18 09:05:40

- Ask the nanny to take him out to the park/walks more often and longer

On their own is fine. Going to museums, on a train, on a bus, there will be places where other people are but nanny can steer away from anyone with flu symptoms.

- Check with the consultant regarding play groups

Avoiding groups of snotty children may well be wise for a while. See what the health advise is as you want him to get out and about but you don't want him to become ill.

- DS cries a lot when she tries to get him into his outside clothes

Does he have sensory issues? Get him to help select items of clothing that he likes. Multiple layers of clothing, so he can self-regulate temperature.
Doesn't like a think winter coat... wear a jumper he does like and a waterproof he likes.
Have suitable footwear... some toddlers love being in welly boots so much they wear them all the time!

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 02-Feb-18 15:35:37

Tbh I don’t think you helped being around for 3w. That’s a very long handover and obv any child will want parents then new nanny

Going out to Parks and some indoor spaces will help

Prob has cabin fever

Can she have friends round with similar ages children as long as they are healthy

SunshineAndRaindrops Fri 02-Feb-18 15:44:24

Hi there, as an experienced nanny and early years professional can I offer some advice. If you trust the nanny, and it sounds like she's great, they must be left to it. Toddlers can have terrible separation anxiety if not in a fixed routine. Having a parent in the background and then not can be very confusing, I absolutely understand the need for handover but it's now time to let the nanny shine and for your little one to understand when it's their time with her or you. Also, the nanny may feel a little uncomfortable with parents around.. It can be like having ofsted present. I'm sure it will all work out in the end, it just needs time. Remain positive smile

ForgivenessIsDivine Fri 02-Feb-18 15:52:53

Can you swap the tablet for some music... mine used to love things like the Tumble Tots CD's.

Gardenowl Fri 02-Feb-18 21:25:22

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! Very helpful! Some of the ideas did not even cross my mind.

Nannynick - had not thought of museums and buses at all. Will try that. Same with helping him select his clothes, we have never done that but when i think about it he does seems interested in going through his clothes. will ask him to pick his clothes tomorrow.

Blondeshavemorefun - You are probably right about 3 weeks being a long handover. We planned for a week's handover but extended it. Maybe we shouldn't have. I think you are spot on with cabin fever...because for the last week he wants to get out when reaches the front door and then doesn't want to get back in.

SunshineAndRaindrops - we do seem to have confused him. I had to take a day off today for getting our roof sorted and DS seemed to be twice as cranky as he is with the nanny alone. Didn't want to let go of me as long as the nanny was around. So no more days off or working from home till they have bonded. I can understand the point about parents around being like ofsted present - who has ever liked micromanaging or hovering bosses grin Thanks for the be positive message..it helps smile

ForgivenessIsDivine - great idea. I will try to dig out the old CD player or get some audio files on one of the old phones which would be unobtrusive compared to the tablet.

Fingers crossed..things will work out.

SunshineAndRaindrops Fri 02-Feb-18 22:32:51

Good luck, it's great your so supportive of the relationship working smile

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 03-Feb-18 15:35:24

Sure things will work out

You like and trust the nanny so are hoe things pan out in the next few weeks

It is very hard fo be indoors all the time entertaining a toddler. Def allow nanny to go to more places

I understand the scare about infection etc but your child also has to build up immunity as well so maybe time to allow to go
Out to M&T groups

simplyme83 Sun 04-Feb-18 18:22:44

I think the long handover on top of the fact this is a peak separation anxiety age has made this a bit tricky. maybe leaves something of yours for him to cuddle at times of stress instead of the tablet. i agree that them being allowed to go out will help him build a new bond with her.

ZZZZ1111 Wed 07-Feb-18 22:08:07

I would probably just go cold turkey with the tablet! I know with my toddler it's usually easier not to put it on at all, rather than trying to take it away from him! They get so addicted to it! I would just get nanny to distract distract distract with activities, outdoors etc!

Gardenowl Wed 14-Feb-18 22:01:47

Thank you for the helpful comments everyone ...they kept me going..it is almost 2 weeks so thought will post a quick update.

- Nanny is taking DS for regular walks now. Day 1 walk was 10 minutes and full of tears, he cried so much he was sick all over himself and at the end of it both nanny and DS were super distressed. Day 2 20 minutes without incident and DS was happy, now they regularly spend 45-60 minutes outside and both are happy with it

- Tablet gone.. we tried a couple of days till mid day and then as per the suggestions above just went cold turkey. DS and Nanny play a lot and have fun

- During the handover DS's crying time is now down to 1 minute..happy days grin

so things are infinitely better than they were 2 weeks back. All of your inputs helped a lot and more importantly gave me hope. So thanks a lot! I appreciate all your help smile

Gardenowl Wed 14-Feb-18 22:05:14

All in all it took around 6 weeks for DS to adjust to the new nanny and become comfortable with her.

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