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does your child cry when you leave them at nursery?

(10 Posts)
booyhoo Thu 29-Sep-11 11:29:14

ds is 2 and started nursery 3 months ago. for the first few weeks he was great when i dropped him off, he was happy, didn't care that i was leaving, blew kisses and waved me off. but for the last 6 weeks or so he has cried every time i drop him off. he goes 2 days a week and i actually took him to nursery to ease him into being away from me for when he starts pre school in april. the nursery staff are great and they all tell me he is fine as soon as i go, i have also heard from other parents and CMer friends that alot of children do this and are fine as soon as the parent is away.

but why do they do this crying if they a happy there? (and i know ds is) am i doing the right thing by leaving him crying?

brawhen Thu 29-Sep-11 11:40:50

DS2 is 2.8ish and been in nursery since 6 months. Currently 3 days/week.

He often (not always) cries a bit when I leave. We go through patches of it being better & worse. DS1 was the same (he is now at school).

It really is true that they often settle very quickly after you leave. I have seen DS2 do this many many times - eg would drop him off crying, go to next room to drop of DS1, pass DS2's room on way out (< 5 mins after I left him) and take a peek to see him playing happily.

Also my nursery WILL say if child has been unsettled / unhappy for some/all of day. They will call if child seems properly unwell, but will mention at end of day stuff like "DS seemed quite tired today", "DS was quite unsettled at first but fine after storytime so we didn't call" etc etc. You can use this to build up a relationship so that staff know a bit about your threshold level of when you want them to call you.


brawhen Thu 29-Sep-11 11:43:47

As to why do they cry - I think it's because in the moment of leaving, the child's #1 choice would be to stay with me all day everyday. And they cry because they don't get their #1 choice at that moment. I wouldn't read more in to it than that (if they are subsequently settling)

Ragwort Thu 29-Sep-11 11:44:44

Never - mine cried when I picked him up grin.

booyhoo Thu 29-Sep-11 11:54:12

grin ragwort ds1 used to cry when i picked him up,but he had been at nursery 5 days a week since he was 5 months old so it was normal forhim to be there. ds2 hadn't been used to being away frm me until july.

LakeFlyPie Thu 29-Sep-11 12:11:15

DS went through a phase of this when he moved up to the 'big' room aged 2.
He also settled happily initially but a few weeks in sometimes cried and said "I don't want to go to nursery / you stay with me Mummy" at drop off.
He did settle quickly and on a couple of occasions when he was very tearful nursery worker suggested that I phone when I got home and sure enough he had settled and was playing happily.

I found it heartbreaking to leave him crying, but I know he has a good time once he's settled and he also used cry sometimes when I collected him "You go home Mummy" hmm

IMO going through this phase will help in the long run for settling into pre-school / school routine and environment so agree that you're doing the right thing even though it feels tough ATM.

Hope he settles down soon smile

booyhoo Thu 29-Sep-11 12:18:54

thanks lakefly. i know he is happy there, the staff are great and i know in my gut he loves it but when he cries so hard everypart of me is saying, this isn't how he should be if he is happy. how longdid it take your ds to settle down?

notcitrus Thu 29-Sep-11 12:20:46

Every 6 months or so ds will go through a week or two of crying on drop-off. Usually exceeded by the crying at collection time, where he's been known to claw at the door trying to get back in after being carried out, screaming "Want to go back to nursery!" all the way home...
I think it's a changeover thing. Getting there early so he can have lots of attention and play with toys he wants without sharing seems to help a lot.

Was very happy today when he went in asking "Can I go to nursery today! Yay!!!"

I have been known to phone up an hour later asking how he is, and they've always said he was upset for a while but then went off to do $activity happily. I know one boy they used to take photos of him with a happy face later each morning, so she knew he's stopped crying!

inmysparetime Thu 29-Sep-11 12:33:51

As a nursery worker, crying at drop-off is not uncommon. I think it's because children haven't got the emotional range to cope with the change of attachment from parent to key worker.
As they mature they gain the ability to manage their emotions over the transition, but it takes as long as it takes, there's not much that can be done to hasten the process.
If your child has a key worker, it can help to hand the child to that person every time, so there's more the child can predict about the transition.

booyhoo Thu 29-Sep-11 12:38:50

he does have a key worker and she is 9/10 times the person that greets us and does handover. we'll just have to ride it out and hope he settles soon. the first time it happened was awful, all the staff thoughtt there was something wrong with him as he was hysterical and had never done it before.

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