First nursery session today... Not a good start

(9 Posts)
PolkaDotMoon Mon 17-Sep-12 20:53:52

Ds almost 2 started at nursery today and I already want him not to go back.... I think confused
He was sobbing his heart out when I arrived and his lips were so dry it looked like he'd been doing so for a long time.
The staff didn't say much as he'd only been there for an hour but he was so distressed. I've heard that tears are normal but for an hour??
The staff did say he hadn't really stopped crying but it wasn't all sobbing sad
He is quite shy and cautious and I'm already thinking I should have chosen a quieter childminder setting for him but nursery seems to offer more.

So, so confused and sad...... Any advice hugely appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
moogster1a Tue 18-Sep-12 07:52:51

nurseries don't offer more. maybe if you want your child in one room all day with a treat of going for a walk twice a week.
Many many children settle better at CM's who deliver the same EYFS but coupled with more individual attention and much more stimulation in the way of getting out and about to lots of places, doing the school
run ( v. good preparation for when they start school) alongside cuddling up on the settee sharing home made popcorn when lo needs quiet time ( well, that was my excuse yesterday!)
FWIW I've never had a mindee cry for more than 5 minutes when they first start with me and by the third day they're usually running in.
Always makes me wonder what the "extra" is that people think nurseries provide.

Grumpla Tue 18-Sep-12 08:09:01

How many settling in sessions has he had?

My nursery has a very flexible approach to starting. DS2 was about 18mo when he started, he had already been at another nursery but we still had 2 sessions, one with me there and one with me lurking round the corner.

DS2 has just started at 6m, we had 1 hour long session with me there and then 2 short half days (about 3 hours, one morning and one afternoon) with me "on call". If there had been any problems they were clear that we could have more settling in sessions as well with me there for all or some of them.

Have you talked to his keyworker about ways of helping him feel more at home? My nursery asked for loads of info on this eg favourite songs / games / story books.

I think your DS is at a difficult age to settle really so some more short sessions might be helpful? Also, how accustomed is he to being away from you? Even you having short solo trips out to the pub shops etc can be used to teach him that sometimes you go but you always come back.

It's hard to strike a balance at drop-off sometimes between just sprinting out and upsetting them further or staying longer and them working themselves up into a frenzy. Personally I do the same routine whatever DS1's mood (9 out I 10 times he is fine, 1 out of 10 he gets a little bit upset) so into the room, cuddle, talk to
Keyworker, find an activity / toy, few more cuddles then off. If he cries (very very rare now but more common at your Ds's age) I always wait in the building (out of sight) until he has stopped - has never taken more than a minute!

My nursery is not just one room with a weekly walk either! The reason I prefer it is that they do loads of stuff that I / a childminder couldn't do eg loads of age-specific messy play / incubating chicken eggs / lots of pets / free access to the garden / massive sandpit & loads of different play equipment etc. He's also with a bigger group of his peers not a couple older than him plus a baby. I think that's useful.

littlebluechair Tue 18-Sep-12 08:13:27

I agree nruseries don't offer 'more' they offer different and if your son would prefer a more homely environment then go for that option.

moogster1a Tue 18-Sep-12 09:18:53

Well, I keep my own chickens and we collect the eggs every morning and hatch a few every year ( under a proper chicken!!) . Why do you think CM's don't provide age specific messy play?
Mindees also have free access to our huge garden with lots of play equioment, playhouse, etc.
7Personall, I thnk it's a more natural environment and more like a family to be with children of different ages, especially a baby, teaches lo's to be tolerant, kind and sharing.
There again, I am a huge flag bearer for CM'S!

Weissbier Wed 19-Sep-12 20:55:45

Nursery settling-in time seems really short in Britain - in Germany, where I live, it's a minimum of two weeks, often four. Can you start with short sessions with you there, then you go for ten minutes, then half an hour, and gradually extend the time? Even if you can't 'cos they'll think you're a nutter, he needs a few sessions with you there to get used to it. it's also important to say goodbye to him clearly (don't slip out), then take your leave fast - not easy when they are crying, but every nursery worker I've ever met says parents who draw out the point of departure make it harder for the child. You can stay for a bit at the start to help him relax but once he sees you are about to go, best to go quickly. When you come to pick him up, leave with him immediately, so he learns your arrival means home. For the same reason, don't leave, return and then leave again in the same session (eg to check on how he's doing). And no matter how miserable you feel, act as if there is nothing whatsoever to worry about.

He should have a keyworker to whom he can form a special attachment. It more important that he lets himself be comforted by nursery staff than that he cries or doesn't cry. If he won't be comforted - it's still early days, so give it some time, but then I would consider moving him to a CM. Why did they let him cry so long without ringing you? Perhaps they thought he was calming down if the sobbing was easing off - but still, an hour is a long time, especially on day 1.

Good luck - it is horrible for you but you WILL find child care he is happy with, even if you have to move him.

BlackSwan Wed 19-Sep-12 21:29:57

Go with your gut, if you think it's not the right environment or the right time for him, then don't send him back. I don't think nursery should be distressing to a child. People in the uk seem to have a harsh attitude to forcing babies into nursery. Not that a toddler of 2 is a baby, but it's still very young for being institutionalised.


PolkaDotMoon Thu 20-Sep-12 20:35:50

Thanks for your replies. He did settle faster on his second session of 2 hours but was flushed and doing those emotional breaths in when I picked him up so I know he'd recently been quite upset. Having said that he wasn't desperate to get to me on arrival.... He bypassed me in favour of dinosaurs so that's one good sign.
He has though been extremely clingy during his time with me since starting nursery which is really hard.

Is it normal that the staff seem so casual about everything? I thought there'd be a good conversation to be had about how he had been but they kept it short.... Perhaps not to make a big deal of everything and I guess it's much more important in my head than theirs!?

OP’s posts: |
Newmom2b Fri 21-Sep-12 07:50:33

Ah, I feel your pain.
It was my ds's first day yesterday too. I took him on Tuesday for an hour and I stayed, he was fine, played and I thought he didn't really notic I was there, ie didn't come over to be just played and crawled off! (he's nearly 1). Yesterday I left him for an hour and a half, I was in tears before I left the nursery, although ds didn't see this. I was told he was crying on and off, but when we got home and I put him down to nap he was sobbing in his sleep, it breaks my heart. He was quite difficult to get to sleep last night too.
Today he is due to go for 5 hours. I'm so worried, didn't sleep at all last night.
The nursery said they'll have a better day with him tomorrow as they will feed him and have him for longer. Don't know how they will get him to nap though!
Hope your ds is settling in better and I hope mine has a better 2nd day, it's so hard :-( x

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