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Feel so sad at leaving baby at nursery(24 Posts)
Before I go any other, I just want to say I'm not judging anyone who sends their baby/toddler to nursery. I'm just personally very worried about sending my little boy, who is 10 months. I found a nursery I liked when DS was tiny and now I'm due to go back to work in two weeks I'm beside myself. I (stupidly or sensibly, I'm not sure) researched nurseries and found lots of articles and discussions saying they are damaging to the development of under twos and only have negative impacts, with the positives only becoming apparent for over twos (language, socialisation etc). The effect is apparently more pronounced for boys, with increased rates of aggression and other issues 😓.
I feel that I can't willingly send him knowing all this but financially I have to return to work. The silver lining is it's three days a week term time only but now I'm thinking a childminder would be preferable but I've rung round and think it's too late to secure a place with one. Can anyone comment on:
How a baby under one coped with nursery?
If anyone thinks a childminder is preferable and I'll continue the search.
DS is very clingy and will only go to DH, me or either grandmother. It breaks my heart to think of him distressed.
I chose a childminder but most of my Friends used nurseries and their all very happy. Ds was equally clingy and even with extra attention of childminder took a few weeks to settle
My 3 dds all went to nursery under 2. Dd3 from 6 months. I can only see the benefits. Ds1 didn't start until he was 2, I would have sent him sooner if I could afford it.
I felt the same way, although I'm sure it's unnecessary worry. Do you have any other options?
DS1 went to nursery from 11 months and DS2 will go from 10. I think it depends on the nursery, theirs is wonderful and DS1 adores it. I think it's been wonderful for him, he's more confident that he was, it helps his speech, he loves it there and leaves me at the door to his room without a backward glance in the morning (he's 2.5 now). I don't regret it at all and am very happy to send DS2 later this year. Oh and DS is a very sweet and gentle boy, not aggressive at all!
My dd started nursery at age one. I think it has really benefitted her to learn how to interact with different people. Compared to other children her age she is confident in social situations and relatively good at sharing. She goes three days a week too.
My baby ds will start at the same nursery when he is one and I have no worries.
I felt the same with ds1. Well similar, sad to have to put him in, concerned it was all about convenience rather than optimal for my child. Got worse when he cried on drop off or got bitten! Plus they always smell so nasty coming out if our nursery. I think it's the food
But he did really well there and I did have to go back to work. I see friends do the sahm thing and believe me compromises are made there too.
Just take the decision to not feel guilty whatever the compromises you make. Fgs it's 3 days a week. I don't think either my dc or any if my friends' dc's have behavioural issues from going to nursery. No more than dc with sahp who can be quite clingy, although that's just the ones I know.
I think all dc adjust to whatdvd you throw at them. I don't see why a childminder would be any better than nursery.
A childminder in my area would have a child out and about at groups etc. I wouldn't personally feel comfortable with that and I prefer my dc to be playing safely in the nursery playground.
I didn't worry much at all with ds2. I know his much ds1 got out if nursery and how much I get out if working. I think nursery is great. I just hate paying for it !
I haven't got boys so can't comment from that perspective and of course it depends on the nursery but my oldest went to nursery at 10.5 months full time, settled really quickly & developed amazingly surrounded by other children & amazing carers (way better than she would have done with me at home going to toddler groups) - especially in the first 6 months.
Dd2 was just over 1year when she started & a lot clingier & it took a good 2 weeks for her to settle, but now 4 months later she's having a great time, sleeping way better than DD1 ever did there & they've been incredible with supporting her hearing aid use & a million times more successful than I was on maternity leave.
I didn't consider childminders because I didn't like the reliance on one person, the being dragged out on school runs etc.
Ultimately what suits 1 child won't suit another & a good childminder is better than a bad nursery & a good nursery is better than a bad childminder.
Go with your gut feel - but if you go for nursery give it a few weeks for settling in etc. The staff need to get to know your son too
Good luck with the return to work
If you don't have a good feeling about the nursery, then keep looking. Otherwise arrange some settling in sessions, to help you get used to the idea. Have something to do during those sessions - coffee with a friend, hair cut, shop for work clothes, paint the lounge, or whatever.
Don't worry if there are some tears initially. Wave a cheery goodbye and soon your DC will be running off to play with their friends without a backwards glance.
Thank you all very much, I appreciate you taking the time to reply. I'm feeling better about the decision. I really like the nursery and know of people who have sent their children there. It's as you say zenNudist, my concern was whether I had gone for convenience over optimal care as few childminders would do three days only in term time as nursery would. On Monday we had a settling in session where I stayed, the next two I leave him. It didn't really give me a realistic insight into how he'd cope because with being there it just felt like a playgroup session. I suppose we shall see!
The other option is nursery one day and childminder two days as I contacted a few and one could do that. Do you think the lack of consistency would be more unsettling? I think I properly know the answer to that! Thanks again.
I'd stick with 3 days at the same place.
DD went at 11 months and I had the same concerns as you. I can't pretend the first couple of weeks were easy, she cried when I left the room and I cried as I walked home. But after that we never looked back. She loved it and still does. I absolutely believe she wouldn't be so confident and sociable if she hadn't gone there. And I think at about 10 months they're starting to be really curious about the world and frankly a bit bored of being at home with the same toys. It's a nice time for them to start mixing with other kids and adults.
I chose a nursery over a childminder in the end because I liked the idea of her socialising with lots of other children. And while she has a key worker there are lots of adults for her to bond with, which obviously isn't the case with a childminder. I picked a nursery which is big but which has a lovely and calm dedicated baby room. As long as you feel confident it's a good nursery you have nothing to worry about. And I think consistency is key at the beginning so I'd stick with a nursery rather than mix it up.
A good childminder is preferable to a nursery for under 2s. I would minimise the number of hours spent in nursery and choose one with a small group size (no more than 9, definitely not more than 12).
The damage reported is often - I don't know about all studies - when the ratio of staff to babies is bad. It should be 3:1 at that age.
In my opinion, for what it's worth, I think it depends on the child. My daughter loves it but others not so much.
I also think 3 days is a good balance.
We did childminder when DS was small. Then at 3 he started gradually doing more days at nursery & fewer with CMer.
You've got to do what's right for all of you & recognise things change so if you're not happy change it.
I think it is worth bearing in mind that the most important thing for a baby's wellbeing and development is a consistent, warm and responsive relationship with a special adult who will meet their needs. Activities, toys, other kids are all much less important until 2 or 3.
It's a tricky one. Childminders homes can be very busy and it can be difficult for little ones to get the rest they need when taken out and about on school and preschool drop offs. Having said that, I switched at the last minute to a childminder for DD1, we had a good experience with her and DD1 really benefitted from being in a comfy home environment with older children too.
But we moved location and with recommendations of a nursery here but not a childminder, started her in nursery and we are happy with it.
I think a lot of first time parents have last minute wobbles about childcare in my experience! And when you think about it, it's a big step so would be unusual not to cause anxiety.
The thing I like about my eldest being in nursery is when we're out at groups together we sometimes meet friends from her room and she clearly has a little bond with them. Likewise she talks happily about staff too.
And I agree with a PP, stick to one childcare setting (unless other days are provided by relatives who the child already knows).
What they need are familiar carers, familiar routine and familiar environment. A good nursery can obviously achieve the last two without too much bother and the first one shouldn't be hard either.
Gosh thanks for the additional replies. CM got in touch to say she can do all three days now so I'm swinging toward this option. The advantage with the CM is that she is five minutes from where we live so I could share the drop offs and pick ups with DH. The nursery is two minutes from my place of work but miles from DH's.
So we had a trial session at nursery today and I couldn't fault the staff or the setting. It wasn't a brilliant start for DS though, reached for me as I handed him over and when I returned he was really upset (and this was before he saw me). Tricky age in that seperation anxiety has well and truly kicked in. Meeting with CM next week but need to make a decison very soon as back to work in under two weeks. Part of me wishes I hadn't read the research on childcare settings but the other part is glad that at least I can get a CM if it'll benefit DS more. Issues that remain are that my days at work will in likelihood change in September so I don't think ether childcare setting will be able to guarantee a place for DS so I might have to start over again in six months! Arrrgh.
Sorry for the rambling post, just good to externalise all the worry/guilt!
CMs can sometimes do additional days for continuity of care, so if you take that route, just talk to your cm as soon as you know what you're doing.
Ah, bless you. Fingers crossed you find the answer for your family. If it's any consolation, all of the babies in my youngest ones room at nursery seem happy and settled and if there is ever one upset they get cuddles (I have observed this through the window and when collecting my other daughter from the adjoining room so it's not just for show when someone is settling in!) and also I saw one little boy who looked under the weather crawling across the room to his particular keyworker for cuddles.
To add as well about both of you being able to do drop offs and collections it gives the bonus that both of you can see where he is and his friends, and also you can share the early call outs if he is poorly!
DS started nursery at 7 months old. He is now just 2. He loves going to nursery, chatters non stop about different children, staff and activities. He is a confident, sociable little boy and I completely believe that going to nursery has instilled this confidence in him. Don't regret it. I'd so it again with future children.
I would go with the childminder option. Both my DSs went to childminders from 11 months and settled brilliantly. Tried DD with nursery and when she was inconsolable at the third settling in session I knew I couldn't take her back. Great nursery, lovely staff but it just wasn't for her. Now have a nanny two days a week which works for us. If hadn't found nanny would have used a childminder.
My DS started nursery for 4 days per week at 9 months. He has settled brilliantly and loves it. The staff said that he would probably settle quickly as he was there quite a lot, so I think whichever option you choose consistency is probably the way to go. Things that seem to have worked well are their having a keyworker system, and regular staff, quite a small number of children (max 12 but there is often only 5 or 6), lots of flexibility about napping and helping babies get to sleep in whatever way they are used to, always having a brief sort of 'handover' with staff at each drop off and collection, and a warm atmosphere. He is definitely learning things from the other children and recognises the staff, he is happy at drop off and most of the time there are interesting things to do laid out and he just toddles off to explore happily! It has been a great option for us. I hope you find the right choice for you.