Advice on helping 1yr old to settle at nursery please!(11 Posts)
My daughter is starting nursery 2 long days in September, when she'll be 15m old. I have delayed returning to work because she was v ill Jan/Feb this year. Partly due to her illness she has a very strong bond with me and has not been left with anyone apart from my husband. Grandparents are not local, the only way she'll settle with my mum is for her to go out with the buggy. We've tried leaving her in the church crèche, they have always come to get us within 10 mins because she is yelling. So far she's visited nursery twice for 2 hours at a time. First time I stayed and she had a lovely time, and was v happy to go off and play elsewhere in the room. Second visit I went downstairs and left her with key worker, cue hysterical sobbing as soon as she realised I wasn't there. I left her several times for 5-10 mins during that visit with the same result. I have booked her in for 8 half day sessions before I start back. Once I'm at work she will have to lump it and do the full day, I can't leave work unless there's a real emergency.
How should I handle those 8 sessions? I can 'stay and play' to get her happier in the setting, or leave her and hope she gets through the screaming
but she's pretty committed to screaming
She's my DC3 so I have been through this before and I know they settle eventually. Her illness is a form of epilepsy and I really want as calm a transition as possible, her poor brain has been through enough.
From my experience I think it would be better to say a quick goodbye (don't sneak away) but get out of there as fast as possible. With my DS I found he was worse the longer i stayed visible. I think it's important for her to get used to being there without you as that's the goal. The first time I left my DS there I sobbed with guilt but he did settle in and now goes happily. I'm sure the settling in sessions will help her get used to it by the time she's due to start. One thing, check there's no other adult she prefers to her allotted key worker as my DS formed a bond with a different person so they changed her to be his key worker and he was much happier after that.
Can't help feeling I have created a monster! I thought by DC3 I'd be totally chilled and cheerfully pass her round to everyone, not have a total Klingon.
I think you're right about me staying not being helpful. Maybe I should just leave her for longer periods each session building up to the full half day we've booked. Or just phone after an hour and see if the screaming has stopped?
My DS is my pfb so he'd not really been left with anyone either. She'll be fine, remember how many crying babies they'll have dealt with Has she got a favourite toy or something she can take in with her?
My DS howled his way through the first 3-4 weeks (6-8 sessions) aged 11 months... I was all for staying but the nursery staff were keen for me to leave him after the first session. It was miserable for the first month and I wondered if we'd done the wrong thing and he'd be happier with a childminder, but he did settle and now seems really happy there (now does 3 full days a week aged 15 months, soon to go up to 4 days).
Go in short settle max 5m then leave if she knows if she cries you will come back in 5-10m it will make it worse. If you stay to long your just prolong the anxiety of her sensing your going soon. If you can do shorter sessions that's great as she settles in the time spent there will not seem as long. Does she have favourite toy or blanket with your perfume on? That can help. Some kids will just scream it's their way of protesting they prefer your company it didn't harm them (even if they do sound like they are being murdered) usually after 2 weeks it's much much better
Whatever you feel inside, show her a happy smile and a reassuring expression that says 'this is normal'. The worst thing you can do is look concerned, linger in the doorway or in any way convey a sense of worry - your DD will be scanning your face for an assessment of the situation and you need to show her it's alright. A wrinkled brow or other show of concern will freak her out.
I'm happy with the nursery and her key worker and 'buddy' ( key person 2) are both v experienced and very warm and cuddly with the babies. I don't think a childminder would be any better, it's not the setting she has an issue with, just absence of Mummy. She has a doll she likes to cuddle, I will imbue it with scent of Mummy - good tip, thanks.
I am a childminder who is settling a 1yr old.... The advice given here is perfect. Quick good bye, lots of smiles, don't look concerned, talk about nursery like it is an amazing place, don't linger. My LO who is settling is a Klingon and mum staying, clinging, just 5 more minutes, just one more cuddle is making it SO SO much longer and more difficult for the child to settle.
Thank you jendot
I think nursery are a bit reluctant to tell me what to do and I'm reluctant to leave them to deal with the screaming. I need to bite the bullet, trust them to deal with her and walk away
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