5 months too young?(6 Posts)
Looking for some advice based on your experiences of nurseries please ... I'm planning on going back to work part-time in October (3 days per week); LO will be just over 5 months then. I'm thinking of putting her into nursery 2 days per week, with my mum looking after her the other day. I've started to look into the options, but I'm really scared that I'll be doing the wrong thing.
The other option is asking my MIL to come over from abroad to look after her, although I'm worried as her health isn't great and I don't think she'll have the confidence to take her out and about.
I was wondering what your good/bad experiences were of nurseries for those of you that have used them for your babies at 5/6 months old? I could also look into getting a childminder although my concerns are similar (will they look after her ok, or leave her alone all day without stimulating her, will she have long-term social skills 'damage', will she ever forgive me if she's unhappy??? - mostly irrational fears as I know she won't remember stuff at this age ...)
Personally I would choose a childminder for a young baby as they will be the only child under 1 there, and at that age it is important for them to be able to form a close bond with a particular adult.
My ds started nursery 2 half days a week just before 7 months (no childminders available) and we were very lucky with the nursery as it had a small baby room of 6 under 2s and 3 members of staff. I have previously worked in nurseries and wouldn't choose one with large groups and a 1:3 ratio as I don't feel individual babies get enough attention and enough chance to form bonds with the adults.
I don't think it's too young but you need to look carefully and ask about how long staff have been there and what turnover is like. Would be fine at dd3's nursery as they have a lady in her 50s who is in charge of the babies and provides very consistent loving care.
DS has attended nursery 2 days a week from the age of 7 months. He's been there 3.5 years now, has received excellent care and I have no regrets. Pick your nursery carefully, trust your instincts and do what is right for you and your family.
At any age you need to feel happy about the nursery you chose and once you've selected a nursery you'll probably feel better about your decision as it's something you know. Certainly two days a week won't be damaging your child (although that is a normal, if irrational, fear!).
I wanted a childminder for my son as I felt I was leaving him at a young age, but having met some, it didn't feel right for me. I visited a couple of nurseries (at DH's insistence!) and loved one of them. So I'd definitely say you should keep your options open and look at what there is. In one of the nurseries, the baby room seemed really quiet and boring to me, but a friend chose it because she felt it was calm and cosy - it's just about finding the best one for you.
My dd started at 5mths as I had to go back to work fulltime (main breadwinner). I looked very carefully at the available nurseries while pg and the one we chose had staff who had all been there a long time, asked me what I was planning to call my baby and referred to everything using her name (eg "this is where X would sleep") and when I paid a spur of the moment visit after the birth welcomed dd by name without prompting.
Her care there was great (we relocated when she was 2) and she has always been a very happy, outgoing child and not at all clingy. She also adapted well to the enforced change in nursery as she was used to the routines. Nursery did say that it is a bigger problem having children start at 1 yr plus as they tend not to settle as easily as they are more aware of the change in environment.
I would have thought that your mix of nursery and care by your mum is the best of both worlds.
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