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Is this unfair on my son? (1 day a week at nursery)

(13 Posts)
Kalypso Fri 29-Jul-11 10:58:17

DS is 17 months and has been going to nursery one day a week since April. It's a lovely nursery, and I have no concerns with it. However, he has been ill a lot - pretty much every time he goes there, he picks something up, which often means that the following week he is not able to go. That, plus a couple of holidays visiting family, has meant that his attendance has been sporadic.

I know babies pick up lots of bugs when they go to nursery, so that in itself isn't a worry. What is worrying me is that this is making it really difficult for him to settle.

He's a really cuddly baby and has recently started getting very, very upset when I leave him at nursery (now that he remembers that I don't come back until later in the day). His key worker, who is lovely, has assured me that he is fine in the day. He's often a bit upset and subdued in the morning, but by the afternoon he's more confident. Still, I felt like crying myself when I left him this morning.

He has started crying when I pick him up - last time, when he saw me, his lip wobbled and he murmured 'Mummy' and buried his head in my neck.

I feel really awful about this. Is he crying when I arrive because he's angry I left him?

I can see that one day a week is making it very hard for him to settle and I worry about the impact it is having on him.

His nursery fees are currently funded by my (very kind) parents, as DH and I are struggling a bit money-wise. I am a SAHM, and am using DS' nursery day to do housework, attend a regular hourly appointment and mainly complete some coursework for a course I am taking (which will hopefully enable me to earn some money in the future). I miss DS terribly in the day.

I'm not really sure what I'm asking of you all, to be honest. I'm just trying to work out whether I should take him out of nursery for the time-being.

exoticfruits Fri 29-Jul-11 13:37:11

If you don't have to leave him I would take him out until a bit older.

RitaMorgan Fri 29-Jul-11 13:41:35

Can you do 2 half days instead?

If he's unhappy I'd take him out.

exoticfruits Fri 29-Jul-11 13:44:34

Two half days is an excellent suggestion.

Albrecht Fri 29-Jul-11 13:48:02

Can you pay smeone to play with him at your house while you get your stuff done.

Neighbour, teenage cousin etc.

LynetteScavo Fri 29-Jul-11 13:50:41

I also think two half days would be much better. Then bring him home for an afternoon nap.

tortilla Fri 29-Jul-11 13:55:49

I am planning to put my DD in nursery for 2 half days from Sept (aged 13 months) to do similar to you - get jobs done, look for a new job, do some of my OU course. A whole day is long, and if they miss it one week then they have a fortnight between stays so no chance to settle. Plus nursery is very tiring - my 3yo even now is very tired at the end of a full day at nursery. So maybe consider changing the days.

Alternatively, could you afford a childminder instead? The more homely environment and fewer children may mean less illness and a cosier place for him to be?

iskra Fri 29-Jul-11 14:07:23

Two half days is a great idea.

Or, a nanny at your house so he is in a familiar space?

exoticfruits Fri 29-Jul-11 14:43:06

A whole day must be so long for them. Even reception DCs ask if it is hometime at about 11am-or they say 'have I had my dinner yet'-if you said 'yes' they would believe you! Time has little meaning.

stoppinchingthedummy Fri 29-Jul-11 20:09:52

Yes just 1 day a week isnt enough ...they need at LEAST two visits a week if not 3 ...maybe mon am,weds pm ,fri am something like that so he sees them lots but it doesnt cost you the earth .

Bonsoir Fri 29-Jul-11 20:17:53

Why don't you get a Mother's Help instead of paying for nursery? She can help with housework and mind your DS at home while you do your appointment/coursework?

Becaroooo Fri 29-Jul-11 20:22:23

If I didnt have to I wouldnt (and didnt).

What about a mothers help - could take your ds out/play with him etc whilst you are busy??

Kalypso Sat 30-Jul-11 11:02:37

Thanks for the replies. Two half days - brilliant idea, I can't believe I hadn't even thought about that! I will definitely look into this.

I was a little down when I dropped him off shortly before I posted. However, when I arrived to pick him up, he was playing happily. He couldn't see me, so I stayed and watched a little. He was sitting next to another little boy, rummaging through a box. His key worker was asking him to pick out certain things, and he was toddling over to show them to her. He even had a little smile on his face.

When his key worker picked him up and he saw me, his lip wobbled for a split second and I said "Hello DS!" all brightly and held my arms out. He didn't cry, gave me a cuddle, smiled and then started pointing and babbling at the pictures on the wall.

So that made me feel a lot better about the whole thing! I do think the nursery has a lot to offer him - it's bright and airy, and the atmosphere seems reasonably relaxed (as opposed to one of the other nurseries I viewed, which felt really chaotic and disorganised). The staff seem very kind and they do lots of lovely activities. So I would like to keep on if I can.

I will ask about the 2 half days smile.

If I still feel it's not working out for him, I'll look into a mother's help. How much would they charge in London, do you think?

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