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Visiting a Nursery this morning - what questions should I be asking?

(9 Posts)
Wharm14 Fri 20-Nov-15 09:51:43

I'm looking for some advice, I'm off to visit a nursery this morning at 11am with my DH, to check it out for our little one who is due next March. I will have to go back to work in Oct/Nov next year and my DH is a full-time student. The nursery is on campus where DH is a student.
What questions should we be asking and what should we be looking for when we visit today? We have no experience of nurseries and it's just occurred to me I don't have a clue what to be looking for?!
Hoping you can help me, I have an hour before I have to leave, thank you!

Wharm14 Fri 20-Nov-15 12:29:49

Well we went to the nursery, I'm really not sure what to think now. The Deputy Manager showed us round the various rooms, baby rooms and up to 3 & 4 year olds. There were lots of individual rooms, with outside play areas for each room, key workers assigned to the children, only six babies in the baby room and two members of staff in there.
My DH thinks it's nice and seemed happy with it. I'm not sure. I think it hit me just how little our baby will be when we are thinking about sending him there (from Sept next year, he'll only just be 6 months) and I just burst into tears when I got home. I have to go back to work to financially support us and my heart is breaking already just thinking about it, the visit just made it seem more real.
I have a long commute into London for work (2 hours each way), I want to breastfeed, how on earth can we make it work? Is this just pregnancy hormones messing with me or am I mad for thinking I can do this? Can anyone share their positive stories to cheer me up?

BumWad Mon 30-Nov-15 15:14:24

Hi Wharm. Sounds really tough. I'm bumping this for you.

Wharm14 Mon 30-Nov-15 15:40:45

Aah, thank you BumWad, thats sweet of you. We went to see another Nursery at the end of last week which was a bit better, I felt more positive after that, still tough though thinking I have to leave my little one there. Got two more visits lined up Friday this week, then we might look into Childminders to give a comparison. x

M0ggy Mon 30-Nov-15 15:45:09

Can you do longer hours at work, so less days? I chose a childminder, close to work and its worked out great but you may not want to commute with a tired & hungry baby,
Best of luck OP, its hard choosing.

Wharm14 Tue 01-Dec-15 13:29:33

M0ggy I don't think I'd be the most popular person on my very quiet, could hear a pin drop 7.10am train or the packed rush hour ones with a baby!! I can just see the MN posts now….! I just couldn't imagine doing it, if I was closer to work and drove, then it wouldn't be so much of an issue. x

MummaGiles Tue 01-Dec-15 13:36:58

You can do it. It's hard now because it is all in the abstract, but of course you can.

Just because your baby is going to go into nursery at 6 months doesn't mean you won't be able to breastfeed. You can BF as normal and then gradually introduce a bottle to get them used to it - either expressed breast milk or formula of you want to combi feed. At six months you'll be starting to wean on to solid food so the number of feeds your baby will want through the day will decrease anyway - my 10 month old was on 5 bottles a day at 6 months and now he's only having one in the morning and one at night.

It's tough leaving them but it's best for you and the baby, and at 6 months separation anxiety won't have kicked in so they will get used to nursery before that develops.

A really small baby room of only 6 sounds lovely to me. My DS went for his first proper session at nursery today so I know what you are going through. It will be ok.

Millionprammiles Tue 01-Dec-15 13:48:27

Firstly, your baby will be well looked after at a good nursery. Separate rooms for babies with separate outside areas is ideal, the little ones are in a safe, quieter environment but still have fresh air.

There have been a few threads about qus to ask nurseries so worth doing a search on MN.
At 6 months you want to be sure the nursery is prepared to adapt to whatever feed and nap routine and method you choose.
Is there a safe space for babies (not surrounded by toddlers) with lots of toys?
Do the staff interact with the babies (do they do activities/singing? are the staff sitting on the floor playing with the babies?)?
Does the nursery provide all nappies, food, milk etc?

If you've no choice but to return to work ft with a 4 hour commute, then realistically consider whether you want to continue bf. You'll be tired and pressed for time as it is. Lots of mums stop bf at 6 months, whether they return to work then or not.

Try not to worry. I know plenty of bright, happy, well adjusted children who started out in nurseries at 6 months. Equally I know children who are struggling in a variety of ways who were never in formal childcare.

Vivienne2015 Fri 04-Dec-15 13:48:29

Familiarise yourself with the guidelines and regulations that nurseries work within - Ofsted set regulations regarding child:staff ratios; square metres per child; toilet facilities; qualifications standard etc. Also, familiarise yourself with Early Years Foundation Stage (EFYS) as this is what the nursery works with - see what activities they do and how they document it. Sometimes it is a great leap of faith putting your child into a care of another, but hopefully you should be able to find childcare that inspires your confidence and where you can place your trust. Good luck.

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