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DD and settling into nursery

(7 Posts)
ShuckingFattered Tue 23-Aug-11 20:24:49

My DD is 11.5 mo and is on day 3 at nursery. The first 2 days were pretty awful with her crying all day. Thankfully I'm not at work yet so she has been doing short days. DH took her on day 3 and she started with lots of tears but after a good nap was really calm and managed to eat all her lunch and play for a while. DH picked her up and she had started to whimper a bit but nursery staff said it was a significant improvement. All of a sudden today she just can't be without me - to the point where she wouldn't even let dh give her a yoghurt and screamed if I left her in the room with him. DH is understandably upset as they have always got on so well. Is this just a normal part of separation anxiety and something that will pass? She has nursery again tomorrow so we'll see how that goes but is there a point where you just have to call nursery a day and find an alternative? Hopefully I'm worrying about nothing but I hate seeing her so upset.

JetLi Tue 23-Aug-11 20:35:57

It should pass. Can nursery help with the settling in? Ours do extended settling so I went with DD for a couple of hours for a good few weeks before I eventually left her by herself. Don't think she noticed I had gone when it came to it.

ShuckingFattered Tue 23-Aug-11 20:42:56

Nursery have been great. They've been calling me with updates and as I'm not at work I have been following their lead as to how long to leave her there during the day. Thankfully there's another 3 weeks before I go back to work so we should have resolved it by then... I hope!

MaidenDevon Thu 25-Aug-11 14:12:06

Oh Shucking, I could have written your post!

DD (now 12.5 months) has horrible separation anxiety (proper being sick with crying, not just a bit of crying when you leave and then happily playing in the sandpit grin)- I was due to start back at work at the end of July, tried "stay and play" sessions for weeks at a nursery running up to my return, but she was in bits even with me there sad I couldn't move more than a couple of feet away without her dissolving.

In the end I moved nurseries (and delayed my return to work by a couple of weeks.) She's in a much smaller place now (max 5/6 babies at any one time). She did 3 mornings a week for the first 2 weeks, now she's doing 3 full days a week (on her 4th week now). The first day she refused to eat or drink anything, the next day she ate a snack but no lunch, but after 4 weeks she has breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner there and has a lunch time nap (I never thought they'd get her down for a nap!)

The nursery have never phoned me once to say come and get her (the other nursery did this on several occasions and I completely lost confidence in their ability to deal with her in a professional, caring way).

She still cries every time I drop her off, but I listen at the door and she stops within a minute of going into the room. When she first started the crying would be on and off for most of the session (she'd play for a while then remembered she's been "abandoned" and set herself off again!) Now they say she has a few grumbles through the day, but these are times when I would expect it at home (getting a bit hungry/tired etc).

Now onto your issue of DH - yes DD is the same since she started nursery - when DH and I are there she only wants me - she will give DH a quick cuddle when he gets in from work, but then immediately reaches for me to take her back and follows me everywhere I go. I'm not resisting it (at the moment), and taking the view that she just needs extra reassurance until she's completely comfortable being in a strange place with strange people during the day. She spent 24/7 with me all of her life, and now someone else looks after her 3 days a week, it's a big adjustment for them. She only does this on days when she has been to nursery - weekends are no problem - DH will take her off for the morning into town or something and she's fine, so I'm assuming it's being at nursery that is causing it, and that eventually like most things it's a phase she's going through and it will resolve itself.

Oh to have one of those babies that doesn't so much as throw you a backward glance as they crawl off to play with the plastic dinosaurs, it would have saved her (and me) an awful lot of tears!

ShuckingFattered Fri 26-Aug-11 09:48:00

Thanks for your post maiden. It's awful isn't it. Thankfully dd seems to be slowly settling in but has decided to stop sleeping now! My niece is one of those babies that will happily go off without a backward glance - it's not fair grin. I long for the day my dd will do that. Hopefully by the time she starts school... Hope your dd continues to settle.

RubyrooUK Mon 29-Aug-11 22:13:48


I really hope your DD settles soon. I just wanted to reassure you a bit.

My DS has been at nursery fulltime since he was 8.5 months (he is now 12.5 months). You could not imagine a more clingy baby. Before he started nursery, he went through a period where even his loving DH was not good enough, which I found a bit oppressive, what with him needing about 3hrs breastfeeding at night too. He would scream if anyone "took him away" from me (ie held him in the same room).

Anyway, I took him for two settle in sessions with me and then on the third visit, popped away for an hour. Except I was really away 17 mins before the nursery rung to say he was hysterical. This happened plenty more times (although the nursery stopped ringing as they got to know him better). I settled him in for four weeks before I returned to nursery and then made my mum stay another week so he could do shorter days. Yes, I was entirely mental.

It took a few weeks (which were awful) but he gradually cried less when I dropped him off and picked him up. Now he occasionally has a small whimper when I hand him over - usually on a Monday - but has stopped as soon as the door closes.

Other parents tell me he is so happy during the day that they felt ok about their kids starting nursery when they settled in. The staff always make a fuss of him and he actively seems to like them (believe me, you can tell when he is not keen on someone). They think he is so happy that the minute he is quiet or doesn't stuff himself at lunch, they think he must be sick and ring to ask if he was ok that morning/previous night!

So I know he is happy at nursery. However, he is still very clingy with me outside nursery. He won't let my DH put him to bed, is a passionate all-night breastfeeder and endlessly crawls into my arms for cuddles. If I go out in the evening, he is prepared to stay awake till the wee hours to check I am coming back. I think it is just a combination of his age/separation anxiety/how he happens to be.

So what I am trying to say is: it's perfectly possible for a kid to be happy at nursery and still terribly clingy when they are with you. Hope your DD settles soon - good luck x

ShuckingFattered Wed 31-Aug-11 19:50:33

I'm so glad it's not just us! Dd is much netter at nursery mow and actually seems to be enjoying herself. I think she will always be a bit of a mummy's girl at home. I too have the same problem with going out and often come home to find her up crying - as soon as I walk in the door order is restored grin.

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