Nursery settling in advice - baby not eating or sleeping!(12 Posts)
Our DS started nursery, Mondays and Fridays (only days we could get) a month ago, aged 8.5 months. He bawls when I leave him (in the arms of one of his key workers, who are very nice) then apparently is ok thereafter, enjoying playing etc, although mostly wants to be carried. However, he refuses to drink any of the EBM I leave for him and hardly sleeps. At home he would breastfeed to sleep at 9.30am and sleep for an hour and then again at 1.30pm. He also hardly eats the lunch, whether its what they offer him or what I leave for him as an alternative. We have worked hard to mirror nursery sleep and feed timings at home to help him. We have tried giving him EBM (my husband or mum), though generally fail. The nursery staff are worried about his lack of eating and I have fallen in to a routine of collecting him at 2pm because he hasn't had any of my milk, has only slept for 30-45 mins and has at best only had a few bites to eat. He is generally happy when I pick him up but pale and exhausted. I take him home and breastfeed him to sleep. I really need to be able to leave him 9-5pm at least to be able to crack on with working from home. We are trying with the EBM at home and have asked for a third day in case this will speed up the settling in. Any advice for us? I can't bear to think of him getting so exhausted and empty. Should I just start leaving him for longer and see if he sleeps and eats/drinks late? Thanks for any words of wisdom for this first time mummy
Two of my children were the same. Things I found:
- one child took 6 mths to settle (until then would cry at every drop off then be fine after I left)
- would not drunk EBM. I gave single use formula cartons for the days she was there and I expressed and dumped at work to maintain supply. Once 12 mths switched her to cow milk at nursery
- sleep can take time to adjust. They do soon settle and often sleep differently to at home. One of mine slept beautifully in a bed at nursery for 2 hours but at home could only manage 40 mins being fed or rocked to sleep. Another did buggy at nursery to sleep but bed at home. One child would have attached morning nap at home but an afternoon nap at nursery
Your LO should emerge with their own pattern soon
Oh and two of mine barely ate or drank at nursery for first couple of months (they were in a full day 8 til 5.30ish). I just fed them in car before setting off home or once home if they could wait. Then I'd offer dinner at home. They eventually began drinking more before ending up guzzling cups of milk and demolishing food. Took a few weeks with the drunk side and a few months with food side
If he is fed to sleep at home it’s going to be hard for him to get to sleep without boob!
I would see if he can temporarily go every day for half days, I would also stop feeding to sleep at home...
Not sure what leads you to this conclusion random? My two youngest both fed to sleep at home (youngest still is) yet one allowed nursery to rock her then lay her in cot (never let me do this) and youngest initially used buggy at nursery to sleep (gentle rocking then stayed in their for sleep) but now has transitioned to laying down in a bed and falling asleep from awake with no stimulus (yet at home is still fed to sleep).
Children are HIGHLY adaptable and will do for one caregiver something totally different to what they'll tolerate with asleepgainnother caregiver. They do not associate nursery with being fed to sleep and will accept alternatives that they would resist at home
Another caregiver - not sure what happened with that autocorrect!
I agree they often (but not always) will but they often find it difficult with sleep associations more than anything IME. Also the reality is a nursery they may be able to give 20 minutes rocking time but can rarely dedicate more in that in each stint.
My DD never slept at nursery. She started when she was 10 Months when she started. Just stayed an hour or two. I went back to work at 14 months and she did 2 full days. 8-17. She ate loads but only slept on a handful of occasions. She was shattered by the time she came home but just went straight to bed. Napped for usual hours every other day. Still naps for 2 hours on non nursery days now and she's 25 months.
She was breastfed to sleep at home until 22 months. Only stopped because pregnant with no2. She took a good few months to settle in to the nursery and never really liked the baby room. But loves nursery now. Has lots of wee friends and talks about them all the time. Is really excited to go now.
As you work from home could you not pop in for a feed and then leave him there for a few days. Id also do every day feed as an expressed one if you really cant pop in.
I used to have a parent who (by choice) popped in at lunch time to feed. That was fine. All the other children have been fine and taken a bottle eventually.
thanks to everyone who gave me advice, and an update- my son settled in eventually. He never took to drinking my expressed milk (from bottle or cup) but he made/makes up for it in the evening when I pick him up. He learnt to sleep at nursery slowly and now he is familiar with the routine, he does not need much cajoling to get to sleep. He often puts his arms out for the nursery staff when I drop him off and doesn't cry. Taking one more day (so he's three days in nursery) helped a lot. I think my lesson learned is that settling in can take a long time, and you have to be patient and trust in the nursery staff.
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