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Hysterical son

(24 Posts)
MrsBB1982 Tue 09-Oct-12 20:37:01

My son is 13 months old and is coming into his 3rd month at nursery (3 days a week). He is normally a very happy little boy but seems so unhappy at nursery. He cries when I leave him (I expected this) but is crying when I pick him up too and sometimes his voice his hoarse he's being crying that much.
Some of the problem I think is because I don't trust his key worker. She tells me every day he's had 'a lovely day' but I can tell he hasn't. When I spoke to the manager she said he's fine until he sees the door open and it's not me. So every time someone comes into the room he cries. That doesn't strike me as the behaviour of a boy having 'a lovely time' at nursery.
Some of it might also be that he is extremely curious and mobile but his key worker quite openly said she likes 'quieter' babies. He seems to spend the day trying to keep himself amused and is probably quite bored.
I'm not sure if there is anything I could/should be doing. To be honest, I'm at my wits end. I had to go back to work and dragged out for as long as I could. I am completely miserable at work because I'm so worried about my son and this is a job I used to love.

Any suggestions would be gratefully received before I do something stupid like quit work, storm into nursery and run away with him into the sunset....

cookielove Tue 09-Oct-12 21:55:37

I've worked in a nursery for the past 9 years and alot of the information in your post rings true to my ears.

- Children often never stop crying on drop off's most cry on the intial hand over and with 5 -10 minutes have stopped and are distracted by toys/cuddles or food smile. Could you stand outside of the room, up in the office, just to see if actually has stopped crying after drop off, just to give you peace of mind

- Many many many children cry when the door opens, in fact just today we turned a child around that was facing the door, so he wouldn't see me pop out and back in again.

- When parents return to nursery children often cry, as there emotions all come bubbling to the surface, it doesn't mean they have been crying all day, just that they are really happy to see you. how is your sons behaviour as you come to nursery, does he cling to you?

- I am very honest if a child has been upset most of they day, i would find it very hard to believe that your child's key worker is lying to you, although you know your child best and if you feel she is then this needs to be addressed.

- He seems to spend the day trying to keep himself amused and is probably quite bored I'm not sure how you know this If you think your child is bored, how about you suggest toys or things he likes to do at home, maybe bring in something (labelled)

- Does the nursery have a camera in it, can you ask to view it after you've left the room, could you come and pick him up earlier one day to see if he is settled and playing? Is there a place where you can see him in his room, through a window, so you can see him but he can't see you so you can see how he is?


CharlotteWasBoth Tue 09-Oct-12 22:20:08

Sorry to hear you're having a hard time. The trouble is, carers do sometimes lie. My dd went to a childminder and only after she'd left did I hear from one of the other parents that she used to scream and scream and scream there sad

Later my two children went to nursery. Dd was clearly unhappy and no amount of BS from the staff could convince me otherwise. Ds was just a baby but picking him up one day to find him in a dirty nappy was enough to make my mind up. When we left some of the friendlier staff told me that often it was the part time children who found things harder -- the full timers were more used to it.

Finally we got a nanny and that was so much better. Maybe you could investigate a childminder or nanny? Nanny share if that helps financially?

Good luck. I know it's heart wrenching.

ATruthUniversallyAcknowledged Tue 09-Oct-12 22:41:07

Look for another nursery?

My DS is about the same age as yours & clearly loves nursery. I trust his keyworker implicitly & they tell me honestly if he has a bad day. It sounds like you're having a different experience. You don't have to; you could move him.

MrsBB1982 Wed 10-Oct-12 06:08:01

Cookielove - thanks for your post. I know there must be a lot of emotions from mums and babs. So in answer to your comments
1. I have stood outside and no he doesn't always stop crying
2. OK - but crying at the door doesn't seem happy behaviour even if other kids do it. I have to say the 'kids just cry' attitude seems to be what I'm getting. My response - my son doesn't at home so why should it be acceptable at nursery?
3. I can hear him crying before I get there and he sticks to me like a limpet
4. I don't think she sees it as lying just giving me a positive spin. Also from the settling in days and watching her with other kids I think she either sees crying as normal or just switches off to it.
5. We get a report each day and it's always the same 'he's been sat playing with the books and in the garden'. Only once has there been 'we did this together' kind of report

We have had other issues like he always has a red bum by the end of his nursery week (we've now provided Pampers and Bepanthen) but it is still red. I picked him up and his nappy was dirty and there was a comment about him being a wriggly baby.

A nanny is just too expensive around here.

Nancy66 Wed 10-Oct-12 15:32:10

What about a childminder?

Your son sounds very distressed. I wouldn't continue to subject him to this.

cookielove Wed 10-Oct-12 17:48:41


Ok, well from your second post, i think it you have two choices really to either sit down and have a long talk with both his key worker and the manager, maybe do some more settling in sessions with him where you stay together for an hour (is that possible, or will they let you) if you do have a meeting, make sure you write a list of concerns/ideas so you don't forget to mention anything.

Does he eat and sleep at nursery? if he does i would take this as a positive sign, most children who do this even if they cry all day will eventually settle, i know that sounds horrible, but those two things tend to be the hardest hurdles the climb over.

Could you let him take a comforter (dummy, teddy, muslin, toy), or something that smells of you, i often advise parents to sleep with a muslin, or walk around with one down their tops, and then we use that to help comfort are distressed babies.

Does he like being with other babies, do you socialise him outside of nursery? and before he started? If he doesn't maybe you could take him to some classes with you that he feels secure but it will build up his confidence.

I would def suggest to them things he likes doing at home and also maybe ask if his key worker can be changed, let them know he likes engaging with people and toys and not left to his own devices, he may need encouragement to do x,y or z.

Or you pull him out, and find somewhere else to go? Maybe a childminder with a more homely feel?

cookielove Wed 10-Oct-12 17:59:09

Sorry forgot also to say that the nappy changing you should insist that they change him at certain intervals throughout the day and if your providing the nappies you should be able to make sure they do it enough. The wiggly baby comment, although maybe true, shouldn't be much of an issue for an experienced nursery worker, so they should be able to clean him and apply cream without to many problems.

I hope you are able to resolve these issues smile

steben Wed 10-Oct-12 20:56:40

I agree if you and he are not happy consider moving him. I trust DDs key worker implicitly and if he is not happy moving him won't make him any less so. Good luck I know how stressful this can be.

MrsBB1982 Fri 12-Oct-12 11:10:14

He eats but won't sleep. He's normally very social and we go to baby groups, soft play and meet friends of mine with similar aged babies.

On a positive note I spoke to nursery about my concerns and they have moved him from the baby room to the 2 year old room and he's much happier now there is more going on. It's early days as he's only been a few times but I am hopeful that with equally active children and a new key worker things will start to improve.

Fingers crossed....

cookielove Sat 13-Oct-12 22:12:58

Oh god thats positive news smile

cakehappy Thu 25-Oct-12 20:23:23

Hi, just wanted to put my 2 cents in, My DS is 12.5 months old and has recently started nursery 3 days a week so I understand how stressful it can be to be worried about your child! To be honest, if he was having the issues yours was I would take him out immediately, as he seemed so so unhappy in his old class and his keyworker doesnt seem very interested. Good luck with the new room, hopefully it works better for him. If not, what about a childminder??

ButtonBoo Sun 04-Nov-12 20:42:40

I came to this thread looking for some similar advice/support.

Dd turned 1 a few weeks ago and until last week had 2 days with Nana, 2 days with DP (he was out of work until 2 weeks ago), one day with me and then the weekend with DP and I. As DP got a new job we decided to put her into nursery 2 days a week. Thought it would be a great set-up, one-to-one time with Nana and us and some interaction with other kids etc.

We do lots of soft play, stay & play activities and she's always just crawled off and done her own thing - not really bothered to keep an eye out for us and has played really well with other children etc. she's been really good with strangers and is pretty much a sociable baby, smiley, giggly and interactive.

We had settling in sessions all last week. Some my Mum or I stayed for and some we left her for, ranging from 1/2 hr to 2 hours. She cried when we left and was crying when I walked Ito the nursery and before I even got in the room. They told me she stopped soon after I left and then had a few little cries but was otherwise ok and was only crying agai 5 mins before I walked in the door.

Trouble is I'm not sure. She was practically hyperventilating on one day when I got there. They said they tried to change her once but she cried and the next day I asked if they changed her and they said yes but I looked in her bag and there were still the same number of nappies as before.

She's been clinging to me all weekend and has cried when anyone new comes near her. She's just not herself.

I know it takes some little ones longer to settle but how long should I give it? I worry about the stress on her and hate seeing her so unhappy. I'll talk to the nursery tomorrow and ask for some advice but my mum (who is very level headed and used to be a childminder herself) is also worried.

Maybe I'm being a bit 'PFB' about it but i'm not an over-protective mum usually and it's really got to me.

Nancy66 Tue 06-Nov-12 17:14:57

If your previous child care arrangements worked for you then why not stick with it?

Lots of children find nursery stressful, especially those under 2. It's also a complete myth that kids of your DD's age need or want to socialise with other kids. That sort of thing doesn't matter until they are at least two.

menopausemum Tue 06-Nov-12 21:14:44

I he's in the 2 yr old room check the staff ratios. He's entitled to be in a group of no more than 3 children with a member of staff. 2 yr olds get 1 - 4 and three year olds get 1 - 8.

ButtonBoo Wed 07-Nov-12 07:43:42

[nancy] not sure if you we're replying to my post or the OP

My DP has got a new job so we need childcare for 2 days a week now. I thought nursery would be a good mix, what with some days with Nana and the Fri & weekend with me and DP. She's got a little better but it was hellish this morning. I'm looking at CM options as I am thinking that this might be a better option for her.

Brycie Wed 07-Nov-12 07:46:46

Why don't you do a hidden camera thing attached to his t shirt. I wonder if that's even possible on a child. I removed a child your age from a nursery for similar reasons. The care worker seemed a bit thick to me and insisted child needed socialising when he really didn't. Can you move and get the nursery fees back? I'd trust your gut.

UncleWalt Wed 07-Nov-12 12:15:33

Hello - I am having a hard time with this as well. It's great to get a reply from a nursery nurse, as it is so hard to know what to believe about the reports you get from the carers. Certainly I would say to the OP that from your posts here it's clear that you already know you want to move him, really.

My son has been at nursery for a YEAR and has never settled. Today they had to pull him off me, and I had to see him reaching desperately out for me, sobbing hysterically, while I just walked away from him. And yes, I get the 'he only cries for five minutes' as well. They tell me that 'some children are just like that'.... And there is extreme clinginess when I collect him. And the pleas to stay home when he realises it is a nursery day. It's killing me. One day a week, my partner's mum takes him, and though he does miss me that day, he is always happy to see her and enjoys their days out. I feel like I (and he) should expect this from every carer I entrust him to, right? So I am going to look for something else - though I dread going through the disruption and another settling in period just to see that it is the same horrible story.

Levantine Wed 07-Nov-12 12:18:38

Uncle Walt, could you look for a good childminder? I have had two children in pretty much all variaitions of childcare. If he is unhappy after a year then I think you should move him

Levantine Wed 07-Nov-12 12:19:53

Also, not all nurseries are the same, some really are much better than others.

UncleWalt Wed 07-Nov-12 12:25:29

Hi,m thanks Levantine for your advice.

Yes I am starting to think about moving him to a childminder. The reason we decided to choose a nursery, however, was that we were anxious about leaving him with just one person - at a nursery, we thought, there would always be a group of people around, and a manager, so they would watch over each other, if you know what I mean. I am still nervous about leaving him with only one adult, but I also think he needs someone with whom he can be closer, and learn to trust.

I might visit other nurseries too, but you can't see much from a visit. My visit to his current nursery was good and seemed to bode well for the future.

ReallyLongWorm Wed 07-Nov-12 12:53:55

I had the same reservations about using a CM, I wanted the reassurance of lots of staff around and my older son went to a fantastic nursery so I put my son in nursery when he was 9m. It was a different one to my older son's as we had moved in between the children so it wasn't practical to use the one i loved. Anyway, although my son didn't cry when I left him I got the impression he was just overlooked. He only went one day a week and his key worker was a young girl who I just couldn't gel with.

I'd get there and ask what he had been doing and she would always be cuddling another child and would be very offhand and say "he's been fine" that was it! 8 hours in their care and she couldn't think of anything to say about him. He was a very easy baby, ate well, slept well etc so I think with him only going for one day she just couldnt be bothered with him!

Anyway, I looked into childminders and my friend recommended a lady who lives 2-3 mins walk from my home, she is lovely. I moved my son aged 11 months and he is 2 now and he adores her and she really enjoys having him.

I never thought I would use a cm but she is brilliant. I'd see if you can gt any personal recommendations of any good cms.

ButtonBoo Wed 07-Nov-12 16:31:44

I would've gone for a cm if I was putting dd in childcare 5 days a week. My mum was a cm when I was growing up and knowing lots of her friends my experiences of cm's have been excellent. I just thought nursery 2 days a week would add another dimension and a bit of variety to her week. Maybe that is the problem - too much variance??

The nursery is great. I don't doubt the competency if the staff and they are all lovely girls. I certainly don't feel the need to do the hidden camera thing!! I just don't think she's happy there.

But I do think a great cm would trump (excuse the phrase!) a great nursery for me at least, every time. Great cm's offer a great mix of homely settings, interactive one-on-one play, socialising with other kids at the cm's house and out at playgroups, messy play, cooking etc and that the children get involved in daily life with lots of out of the house activities eg going to the park, going shopping, the school run etc.

Justtrying Thu 08-Nov-12 11:41:38

I'd trust your instincts on this and change nursery, thats what we did with dd. Brief history: had to find a nursery with long hours at short notice as my mum who was child care had a heart attack. Even after settling sessions dd was still upset and on pick up had red face and obviously been crying most of day so I perservered and went in with her for a few days, I noticed that the staff didn't seem to interact with any of the children and they were left to their own devices, they also combined age groups to provide the staffing levels. DD still not happy, final straws were dd coming home with a dirty nappy and sore bum and being starving and really thirsty, despite being told she had eaten and drunk. DH and I both felt the same and ended up taking dd out of this nursery and we found a new one where dd is much happier.

She still cries on drop off but less than a minute later is playing, the staff are great and we can see in through the window when we collect her and she is always happy and occupied.

Balancing work and child care is hard, but possible.

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