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Missing clothes, left to cry, tummy aches - is this normal?

(88 Posts)
Cakehead Thu 11-May-06 13:59:53

Forgive me if this is a bit long. My 9-mth-old started nursery 2 months ago. After a few weeks, some of her clothes went missing. First it was a new top (the first time she'd worn it). Then it was a pair of trousers. This week it's her new sunhat, worn just once. Each time the staff just said they'd looked and couldn't find the items. They almost imply they've not had them. I persisted in asking each day if they'd turned up, but they said no. They also said that as she was the smallest child there, they wouldn't have put them in another child's bag. So that was that. I've started labelling her clothes but the sunhat disappeared, name and all. Two weeks ago, I went down to collect my LO, and she was just sat in a corner, crying - not like her at all. Her carer said 'she had to learn she couldn't be picked up all the time', which I agree with. But it's not like her to be clingy, so I was worried. The next day she came down with a stinking cold that lasted a week, so she'd clearly been feeling unwell.I can't help feeling that they should have had a bit of patience with her - it's not like her to cry so they could have guessed something was up. I'd rather have come and got her early. When I picked her up yesterday, she cried for an hour when we got in. They told me she'd got too tired to eat her lunch, so she'd gone to sleep without lunch and then they'd given her a crumpet when she woke up. She'd eaten it all, apparently, but I think it gave her tummy ache. Am I being over-protective? Is this just part of the nursery experience? This is a privately run nursery which has a good reputation where I live. I'm seriously thinking about giving up work as a result...

MamaG Thu 11-May-06 14:02:53

Poor you! I wouldn't be happy about this if i were you, but I am a bit over-protective! I think it boils down to this:

If you are leaving your baby with someone, you have to trust them. End of.

Have you considered a childminder? I didnt want mine to go to one as I was worried she would "replace" me in DD's eyes (silly) but of course she didnt. She was fab and genuinely loved and cared about my DD.

MamaG Thu 11-May-06 14:03:54

sorry, meant to say, childminder would have known when DD was ill, rather than just attention seeking.

geekgrrl Thu 11-May-06 14:06:57

Doesn't sound very nice. I don't think a 9 month old baby needs to learn they can't be picked up all the time in that manner.

Find the missing clothes thing really weird - I've got 3 children and have nearly 7 years of continuous nursery use experience, and never have any of them lost anything there. I'd talk to the manager TBH.

ComeOveneer Thu 11-May-06 14:11:05

When it comes to the care of your children go with your gut instinct. If you are concerned then there is a reason to be. I would voice my concerns at the highest level, allow a period of time to see if things improve and if not take her out.

Raggydoll Thu 11-May-06 14:15:39

i think this is terrible. i know staff can't 'love' them like we do but fgs to ignore a crying child... am afraid this is the reason i don't use nurserys - would def recommend you look for a really good childminder. and also (apols for rant) babies and toddlers do cry for a reason - yes sometimes its just attention but if they are generally good and not clingy whats wrong with wanting a bit of attention?

Marina Thu 11-May-06 14:25:43

Whether or not it has a good reputation locally (and do remember parents with children currently in a nursery will tend not to be totally honest about its negative points, because it undermines their own choice, so a good reputation may not be entirely deserved), it may not be right for you and dd.
I am pretty happy with dd's nursery and she is very happy there, which is the main thing. The Baby Room was excellent and nothing like this would ever have happened to her there - yes, clothes do sometimes go missing, but only occasionally do they not reappear fairly quickly. Label everything, even the insides of her socks with laundry marker if they are pairs you are not keen to lose.
Talk to her keyworker right away about the other issues. A crumpet is not an easily digestible food and certainly not a substitute for lunch.
Good nursery nurses never leave a baby crying, even if they do occasionally end up with two or three in a lap...
Childminders can be really excellent but I wonder if, like me, your choice is limited by what is available locally?
Good luck cakehead. I would say that until you find out more/get to know the staff a little better, to reserve judgement on whether to remove her and give up work. Get some answers and explanations first, show the staff you won't be fobbed off with inconclusive remarks about your daughter's clothes, and maybe, also, compare notes discreetly with other parents to see if any common worries arise.

Cakehead Thu 11-May-06 14:38:34

I've never really looked into childminders, but will make some inquiries. It's mad, because I'm not feeble in my job at all, but when I'm in the nursery and they're just shrugging away something, I seem to go all helpless. I think I'm terrified of confronting them about anything in case they brand me as 'difficult' and then take it out on DD. Sigh. And I even bought them Easter Eggs to be extra nice... Anyway, going to whip down there now to pick her up. Thanks for the thoughts.

LIZS Thu 11-May-06 14:38:45

Don't think babies that age attention seek int he way suggested. Yes they may be clingy but not deliberately so , and leaving them doesn't always work especially if they are unwell, althgouh in fairness it is sometimes hard to know. You may have entered at an unfortunate time but perhaps in a nursery setting they simply can't always give individual attention in the way you would at home. Maybe a childminder would suit your needs better.

Clothes go missing, but there should be a system to locate them if they are mistakenly put in anothers's bag or just found later. Do they publish any sort of parent's newsletter so you could put a notice in ? Unfortunately even if they do get put in another child's bag and the mum finds them they may simply not get returned straight away as they may get set aside and forgotten or the child may not come again for a few days. Have you checked their "spares" in case they have been put among them ?

I'd be very concerned about her missing lunch. Could they not have set a portion aside ? Not sure a crumpet would necessarily have given her tummy ache but think they could have come up with a more imaginative and balanced alternative snack.

beety Thu 11-May-06 14:40:35

I would be furious..leaving her to cry NO NO NO

ProfYaffle Thu 11-May-06 14:45:32

My DD is 2 and in the last 18 months has attended 2 nursaries, I've never had any of the problems you describe. When dd was younger if she missed the main meal because she was asleep they'd give her a jar of food instead of the cooked meal they usually had.

As others have said go with your gut instinct, if something doesn't feel right you'll never be able to feel OK about leaving her there.

bluejelly Thu 11-May-06 14:47:28

My dd went to nursery for four years. It was okay and i don't think the experience has scarred her. However if I had my life again I would use a childminder or nanny. Nurseries are too rigid for small babies IME, staff often too busy filling in forms, changing other kids etc to tend to a needy child. I know some people have had good experiences with nurseries, and I thought it was fine for my dd when she was 2,3,4 years old, but earlier well I'm not sure. Sorry to be negative as I said my dd is not scarred at all -- a very confident and happy 6 year old, but to be honest I hated leaving her at nursery when she was young and I wouldn't do it again.
Don't be afraid to make the move if you feel you have to-- no need to give up work though. Good luck

thirtysomething Thu 11-May-06 14:51:40

I would certainly question why they are not flexible with their routines for babies as they all eat and sleep in different patterns. At the nursery we used dd regularly fell asleep late morning and they would always save some lunch and give it to her when she decided to wake up - this was normal for them and not something they would have ever thought twice about doing. By the age of 18 months all the children there were on the same eating/nap times but that's a much more reasonable expectation by that age.
A crumpet is very stodgy for a baby that age. No wonder she was upset.
I would ask to see the nursery manager and run through your concerns. They are not trivial and if you are even considering giving up work then that shows how serious it is to you.
If the manager takes your concerns seriously, it may be worth giving it a bit longer. Even excellend nurseries have a few iffy members of staff sometimes as the girls are usually young and turnover can be very high as it doesn't pay well.
I live in an area with vast numbers of working parents with high incomes and high expectations so the nursery market is competitive. Nevertheless there are still some very mediocre nurseries around here and one friend of mine has changed twice and is finally happy with her choice!
It might be worth looking at another nursery just to have something to compare it with.
A good nursery should allow you to go to work with a clear conscience feeling as if your child is safe, happy and stimulated. If not look elsewhere!

Hollyboo Thu 11-May-06 14:53:09

Going back to work in June and dreading it. So glad that my mother is looking after dd. How could they ignore a crying nine month old? I know these nurseries are busy but as you said she is the smallest there, how long does it take to cuddle and soothe a baby that age? If they'd tried they probably would have guessed that she wasn't feeling right and they could have called you to collect her early. If you had a childminder she could come to your house as well so your little one would have all her own toys etc and all her clothes would be in one place!!

welshmum Thu 11-May-06 14:56:22

Cakehead if I were you I'd take a week off work, get a list of childminders from the council and do some interviews and home visits. A good childminder is so much better than a not very good nursery.

oliveoil Thu 11-May-06 14:59:59

I would go to the nursery with a list of your concerns.

And trust your gut instinct.

Also, I wouldn't leave my 20 month old to cry and this would be a major issue with me so I would stress, that whatever their policy is, to pick up my dd if she did.

Don't rush to give up work, lots of my friends use nurseries and have no problems.

Angeliz Thu 11-May-06 15:04:15

I haven't read replies but i would not have my baby in there.
It sounds awful

Poor baby being left to learn at 9 months!

The whole place in my opinion sounds horrible.
I'd take her out and find soemwhere where y=they seem to like babies!

Cakehead Thu 11-May-06 20:27:50

Thanks for the suggestions. Am taking tomorrow off to go and visit another nursery nearby I'd ruled out before as they only operate during schooltime. But if my DH and I have to cover the holidays, then we'll have to find a way. I'm also going to scout around for childminders as suggested. I'd never thought about that option, to be honest, so it's a whole new avenue.

With the missing clothes, we had checked the 'spares' at nursery and the items that had been sent to laundry, but they didn't show up.

Today when I picked her up they told me she'd be crying quite a lot and said they weren't sure why. It was hot here today and she was dressed in vest, sweathshirt, trousers, shoes and socks. I think that would have made me cry in this weather. Again she'd not eaten lunch and they hadn't recorded what she'd had at 3.00, so I don't know if she had tea. And to top it off they told me they'd 'suddenly' realised that they'd been charging me wrong. I've been overpaying apparently, and they're going to correct it.

Anyway, thanks for the thoughts. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks they shouldn't be left to cry at this age...

Amiable Thu 11-May-06 21:27:37

Thing that amazes me cakehead is that you say this place has a good reputation. It certainly doesn't sound well deserved!! My dd is only 10 weeks, so I've got a while to go before my maternity leave ends and I go back to work, but I certainly would not be impressed with somewhere that leaves a 9 month old to cry so she learns something - surely all she is likely to learn is how to get distressed?! Fine, she needs to learn she can't be picked up all the time, but surely that is not the way to do it?

And the whole thing with the overcharging too... doesn't sound like a very impressive place all round.

Fingers crossed you sort out an alternative, or this place sorts itself out and starts deserving its reputation.

nurseryvoice Thu 11-May-06 21:39:09

poor you. i own and manage a private day nursery. I started off childminding years ago and then the need and my own development and the parents needs overtook everything so i opened my own nursery. i run it like a home all the rooms are homely/ i love all the children who come like they were my own. i have very high standards and make sure my staff follow them.
i would not be happy about your current nursrey.
9 month old babies need love and attention they should be comforted when they cry.
occasionally clothes do go missing, especially if they are not labelled, you have changed someone then immediatley go to another child and sometimes forget to put them in the right bag or basket. but they usually turn up eventually.
please dont be put off by nurseries, but remember they are only as good as their manager.
sometimes, managers are promted from the ranks, but the girls are nursery nurses who have no experience as managers.
i was a manager before i started childminding
so i had a good knowledge and understanding of being a service provider.
sorry to go on, but i am passionate about the service of care i provide and i am sure there are others out there,. good luck

nurseryvoice Thu 11-May-06 21:39:14

poor you. i own and manage a private day nursery. I started off childminding years ago and then the need and my own development and the parents needs overtook everything so i opened my own nursery. i run it like a home all the rooms are homely/ i love all the children who come like they were my own. i have very high standards and make sure my staff follow them.
i would not be happy about your current nursrey.
9 month old babies need love and attention they should be comforted when they cry.
occasionally clothes do go missing, especially if they are not labelled, you have changed someone then immediatley go to another child and sometimes forget to put them in the right bag or basket. but they usually turn up eventually.
please dont be put off by nurseries, but remember they are only as good as their manager.
sometimes, managers are promted from the ranks, but the girls are nursery nurses who have no experience as managers.
i was a manager before i started childminding
so i had a good knowledge and understanding of being a service provider.
sorry to go on, but i am passionate about the service of care i provide and i am sure there are others out there,. good luck

nurseryvoice Thu 11-May-06 21:39:18

poor you. i own and manage a private day nursery. I started off childminding years ago and then the need and my own development and the parents needs overtook everything so i opened my own nursery. i run it like a home all the rooms are homely/ i love all the children who come like they were my own. i have very high standards and make sure my staff follow them.
i would not be happy about your current nursrey.
9 month old babies need love and attention they should be comforted when they cry.
occasionally clothes do go missing, especially if they are not labelled, you have changed someone then immediatley go to another child and sometimes forget to put them in the right bag or basket. but they usually turn up eventually.
please dont be put off by nurseries, but remember they are only as good as their manager.
sometimes, managers are promted from the ranks, but the girls are nursery nurses who have no experience as managers.
i was a manager before i started childminding
so i had a good knowledge and understanding of being a service provider.
sorry to go on, but i am passionate about the service of care i provide and i am sure there are others out there,. good luck

nurseryvoice Thu 11-May-06 21:39:24

poor you. i own and manage a private day nursery. I started off childminding years ago and then the need and my own development and the parents needs overtook everything so i opened my own nursery. i run it like a home all the rooms are homely/ i love all the children who come like they were my own. i have very high standards and make sure my staff follow them.
i would not be happy about your current nursrey.
9 month old babies need love and attention they should be comforted when they cry.
occasionally clothes do go missing, especially if they are not labelled, you have changed someone then immediatley go to another child and sometimes forget to put them in the right bag or basket. but they usually turn up eventually.
please dont be put off by nurseries, but remember they are only as good as their manager.
sometimes, managers are promted from the ranks, but the girls are nursery nurses who have no experience as managers.
i was a manager before i started childminding
so i had a good knowledge and understanding of being a service provider.
sorry to go on, but i am passionate about the service of care i provide and i am sure there are others out there,. good luck

nurseryvoice Thu 11-May-06 21:39:58

oops sorry i pressed the wrong button and kept sending

1Baby1Bump Thu 11-May-06 21:42:44

this is why i wont use one.
makes me shudder!

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