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Nursery - moving groups

(7 Posts)
ClumsyParents Tue 25-Nov-14 09:45:39

DS is 15 months old and has been attending nursery since he was 5.5 months, initially just one day a week for about three months but now around 4 days per week. He loves going to nursery and apart from a very clingy period recently (when he was permanently glued to be at home - that was fun!) he is happy to go to nursery and doesn't get upset when I leave.

He has become VERY attached to two members of staff in the baby room. This was obviously great to begin with as it meant he was happy and content at nursery.

He has been walking since 12 months and is very active and mobile. He really needs to go up to the next room. Herein lies the problem. They tried a couple of months ago to do settling in sessions in the toddler room and the first couple, where he was accompanied by one of his favourites went well, very well. Unfortunately the next one wasn't good - the member of staff, who he is attached to, left him in the toddler room for a while, this being the next stage of the settling process, and he screamed blue murder.

Since then, they have been unable to get him to go into the room without him become extremely distressed. They stopped the settling in process and decided to keep him in the baby room for a while longer as they felt although he was physically ready to move, perhaps he wasn't emotionally ready.

Since then, he has become overly attached to the two members of staff; - He cries when they leave the room and is suspicious of any new members of staff in the room. and for his own development (he's bored) and the other babies (he's trampling on them!) He is relying on the staff for entertainment because he is bored.

They've tried taking him for settling in sessions again to the toddler room but the same problem, he becomes distressed until he is taken back out, even if his favourites stay with him in the room.

His Keyworker (one of the staff members he is attached to) has suggested he might need to, in effect, be thrown in at the deep end. They think that having her and her colleague around him in the toddler room is making him worse and he may settle once he realises that he isn't going to be taken out of the room. They think it may take a week or so of him being upset but that it will be short term pain for long term gain. They think he just doesn't like change - it took him a while to settle when he first started nursery.

We've planned for me to take him in later this week and to drop him off at the toddler room (rather than his Keyworker as he has the negative association of her taking him.) However, the thought of him being so distressed all morning whilst in effect trying to force him to accept the new room is killing me.

What on earth to do?! I had an awful nights sleep last night worrying about DS being really distressed at nursery, and him being taken away from those he is attached to.

I've spoken to the Keyworker this morning and we've agreed that I'm going to collect him a bit earlier today and take him for a little visit to the toddler room to see how that goes, whether having Mummy there helps. Perhaps do the same on Wednesday, but I may not be able to get back in time as I've got a longer day. Then the plan is to possibly drop him off in that room on Thursday.

Does anyone have any advice?

I should add that the nursery are being great, they are happy to do things in whichever way I think is best for DS, but at the same time, they are the experts, not me. They aren't trying to force things but they can see that he needs to move up in the group for his own development - I can see that he needs to because of the other babies too.

Any advice for a tearful Mum??

TIA

PS sorry this is soooo long!

AllTheUserNamesAreTaken Tue 25-Nov-14 09:46:05

I should add that the Keyworker, who is also the Manager, has said they are more than happy for her or his other favourite to work in the toddler room for a few weeks until he settles, if needs be.

PurpleStripedSock Tue 25-Nov-14 11:12:40

I have absolutely no advice but wish you lots of luck and calming thoughts while you come to your decision. That sounds like a really tough choice to make.

I do wonder if it's possible for one of the workers from the toddler room to spend some time in the baby room rather than the key worker going the other way. This way he gets to know the new person is comfortable space if you see what I mean?

It's a really tough call but I don't think I could cope with the knowledge of my little hone highly distressed for any period of time while in transition.

NotCitrus Tue 25-Nov-14 11:23:13

Are there any activities he really likes? My son was a bit like this and in the end they watched the toddlers doing xxx and let him join in "as a special treat", and then he refused to return to the baby room.

chelsbells Sat 06-Dec-14 08:36:10

I work in a nursery and sometimes 'throwing them in at the deep end' is the only way to move them up, after unsuccessful trials with their keyperson.

It will be hard but it is something he obviously needs if he has effectively outgrown the baby room.

What I would suggest would be you to drop him off to the toddler room, make sure you know the name of the staff you are going to hand him over to so you can say to "today we're going to go see X in the big boy room!" If he has any comforters, make sure he's got those with him.

It is harder doing it this way but if it drags on any longer it will just get harder - he will love it once he's used to it, they always do once they see the bigger activities going on.

Good luck - and remember you can phone to check how he's doing!

rosiecg Sat 06-Dec-14 16:43:58

Yep, chuck him into todds!

Having worked in a nursery for a long time I can safely say that most children hate change, but they get over it. It will be tough for you, tough for him, and tough for the staff who have to listen to him crying. BUT - he will soon get curious about the activities going on, the other children etc. And then all of a sudden he will be fine and won't want to go back into babies.

The staff could help by having his new toddler keyworker come into the baby room, or his baby keyworker move into the toddler room. He could go on regular visits with both old and new keyworkers. They could bring several babies up as a group so he is not leaving everyone behind. They could let him join a toddler group outside for a bit and see how that goes (it might just be the new room he doesn't like). You could take him to the toddler room each day to play for 10mins before going down to babies. Gradually increase the amount of time in toddlers. Lots of rewards for time spent up there. Lots of talk on the way to/from nursery about how he is a big boy now and isn't it exciting to be in toddlers.

I'm sure the nursery staff are used to this kind of thing though - you are just getting a bit more emotional about it than they are! Talk it through and be prepared to be upset for a while, but remember that it WILL get better.

grumpalumpgrumped Sat 06-Dec-14 20:34:08

We would move the key person for a few weeks, with the new key person, and then gradually withdraw, popping out the room to get something but coming back soon, going for a cup of tea etc.

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