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Nursery - is this normal?

(40 Posts)
absolutehush Mon 24-Feb-20 19:51:03

Help please!

I have one DD who has just started nursery and I'm feeling very unsure. I'd like to know if we're being a bit PFB or whether the nursery is being a bit substandard.

DD is 11 months old for reference and this is her third week at nursery.

We've had a few issues with naps etc, but we've spoken to them and they are mostly resolved. I have two other major concerns -

1. Security: access to the nursery is via a bell/door. Normally the receptionist lets you in and then you go to collect your child. There is no sign out process. At all. They just visually check you're someone they recognise. The nursery uses an app and this is nearly always inaccurate re pick up - for example, today, my daughter was signed out of nursery nearly two hours after I collected her (and 20 mins after it closed). Additionally today, the receptionist was on the phone and a mother mum just let me in. She never even saw me! I waved at her to get her attention so she knew I was there. Surely, that can't be good?

2. DD is a bad eater. Slooooooooow. And finger foods only. But she will eat if given a chance. The food isn't very 'friendly' for her, lots of things that are spoon fed (which she just refuses!!) and no real finger foods. So she's basically not eating all day. Mostly she just eats the puddings or fruit. By the end of the day she is starving, miserable and upset. I've spoken to them and asked if they could try to encourage her but it's not really improved. Today she ate weetabix, jelly and pineapple slices. In about 11 hours. Should they/we be doing something different? Advice please!

Thank you all

OP’s posts: |
INeedNewShoes Mon 24-Feb-20 19:58:12

I'd be bothered about the eating, especially if your DD is going to be there multiple days per week.

I've noticed that in the baby room at DD's nursery that the babies seem to often still be eating their breakfast after the allotted time is up, so I assume they're letting the slow eaters have the time they need.

None of the nurseries that I have experience of have required signing out but there is a 1-2-1 handover where a member of staff brings your child to you and tells you how the child's day has been - this I do expect!

My advice would be to start looking around at other nurseries, especially if these niggles are actually just the tip of the iceberg. I moved DD to a new nursery before Christmas and it is absolutely the best thing I could have done. I've gone from having quite a few niggles ranging from small to quite significant, to having barely any niggles and only very small issues at that. I feel completely different about leaving DD at the new nursery - no guilt at all!

absolutehush Mon 24-Feb-20 20:34:13

Ok, so we're not completely bonkers then?

I just feel so worried about the food - she's there full time so it's basically all her meals. I do feed her again when she gets home, of course. But she's often very tired!

OP’s posts: |
LovingLola Mon 24-Feb-20 20:36:07

None of that is good.
I’d look elsewhere.

absolutehush Mon 24-Feb-20 20:48:09

You know, I was sort of hoping that I would be told I was being silly. She's seems to like it so much! I feel so sad for her.

Do you think we should give more time re the eating? I have heard it takes a while.

Thank you both!

OP’s posts: |
absolutehush Mon 24-Feb-20 22:01:30

Anyone else? Was really hoping for another opinion. Not sure why! I know it's not right in my gut.

OP’s posts: |
doadeer Mon 24-Feb-20 22:50:20

We don't have signing out in my nursery but you go into the baby room which is small and the staff tell you about there day.

Regarding the food... Do they publish the menu in advance? Can you give them feedback about the menu? Maybe your little one will adapt?

Personally I would give it a bit longer before moving.... Was it difficult to get a place?

doadeer Mon 24-Feb-20 22:50:35

Their day 🙄

absolutehush Tue 25-Feb-20 07:24:38

It was particularly hard to get a place as it's a new nursery. The food is supplied daily so I don't think it can be changed, particularly.

Getting a place elsewhere might be hard so I need to get that sorted first!

OP’s posts: |
INeedNewShoes Tue 25-Feb-20 10:25:10

Whereabouts are you @absolutehush ?

absolutehush Tue 25-Feb-20 11:14:55

South West London! Aka baby central , and the good nursery's are in demand

OP’s posts: |
doadeer Tue 25-Feb-20 11:40:45

I'm north London and if we pulled our son out of nursery it would be 6 months before another one was available so I would try to work with them on the issues before you leave. Worst case scenario re the food can you send some in with her?

absolutehush Tue 25-Feb-20 11:59:52

It does have redeeming features- I just feel like they're not very invested in her. Her key worker is ace, though!

I think I'll ask to meet and explain our concerns over the food and take it from there. I'm happy to provide food but I also think they should look at the menu, possibly!

OP’s posts: |
absolutehush Tue 25-Feb-20 12:01:06

And yes, going to phone a few nurseries today to get an idea of wait times.

There's a bright horizons that always has spaces but it's an eye watering £450 a month dearer.

OP’s posts: |
Greggers2017 Tue 25-Feb-20 12:09:50

If you knew she would be going to nursery why didn't you get her used to being spoon fed?
I'm only asking as the cook will be cooking for so many other children and unless it is due to a dietary need, I don't know if she will have the time to make "finger foods" as you put it? Surely they are doing meals like roasts and pasta, would giving it to her cut up be an option?
Also in a baby room, there are usually 3 babies to 1 member of staff. They are feeding 3 babies unless they can feed themselves. They also cannot have one member of staff sat watching your little one for ages afterwards as the staff will need to help the other babies. It's usually nappy changes and sleeps after lunch. Also the staff need to have their breaks too. I know the lady who used to cover lunch breaks at nursery I worked at only worked 11:30-1:30. I know it's rubbish but parents really need to plan for returning to work as the baby cannot continue having 1 to 1 attention.

absolutehush Tue 25-Feb-20 13:05:02

@Greggers2017 whilst I appreciate your comments I don't know that it's fair to say that we've not prepared DD for nursery. She used to be spoon fed but as she's got older she's become more independent and it's not an option. She just refuses! Short of holding her down and forcing the spoon into her mouth what do you suggest? Wanting to be in control of food is a normal baby phase.

My problem is that the food isn't suitable for all ages/phases. They have had soup twice this week.

I'm happy to send her in with food but I do expect her to be given time to eat it.

OP’s posts: |
Homeschoolideas Tue 25-Feb-20 13:13:36

Making finger food for babies shouldn’t take a nursery chef that long tbh, steamed vegetables, pasta , meat strips, toast, fruit, eveb porridge fingers could be prepared the day before for breakfast etc it’s all quick and you would think this would be the sort of thing they’d offer anyway ?
Soup for babies is never going to be a good option !!

doadeer Tue 25-Feb-20 13:14:28

I'm really surprised that they only do spoon food at that age. My son is 12 months and he is the minority that doesn't want to feed himself. If they do soup they always have something like cheese on toast with it. Or if they have cous cous and chicken they have green beans to hold. I think meal times usually take about 20 mins but then it's hard to expect the ones who have eaten to stay sitting there. Are there very young babies in the room?

Orchidflower1 Tue 25-Feb-20 13:17:45

Sorry but who gives soup to babies ????

Shosha1 Tue 25-Feb-20 13:18:58

Have you looked at getting a childminder? For younger children I would always go with a CM. Things are not so rigid with a CM and the child should be treated more as you would at home.

LowcaAndroidow Tue 25-Feb-20 13:20:58

Soup is fine for that age.
Maybe you just need to practice more at home? Give her the kind of foods they have at nursery and get her to use the spoon herself.

As for the signing out - other parents shouldn’t be holding doors open and you should raise this with the nursery so they can remind all parents not to do it.

DesLynamsMoustache Tue 25-Feb-20 13:23:45

I find it super weird that they're giving babies of that age almost entirely food that need to be spoon-fed confused

ClubfootMaestro Tue 25-Feb-20 13:25:39

I don’t think any of this sounds insurmountable!

The access is secure - that is the main thing. I don’t think it’s unusual for there to be no sign out.

The eating needs to change if your daughter is hungry. I appreciate you say nothing has improved but were they willing to listen and work with you? If so, work with them and give it a bit longer. It may take some time but if your child is otherwise happy there then I would stick with it. Perhaps send in some snacks she can have while you’re working on the eating issue?

It’s such a big change for both of you, sorry it’s not going well but she hasn’t been there long and if they’re receptive to working with you it will hopefully improve flowers

peachgreen Tue 25-Feb-20 13:26:06

My DD was similar with food when she first started nursery - we'd done BLW so she could handle pre-loaded spoons but she hated being fed and she couldn't really use a spoon properly. We gave it a bit of time and within a month she was happy to be fed at nursery and was soon able to use a spoon by herself. I'd give it more time if you're otherwise happy.

We don't do signing in and out either but DD is at a small semi-rural nursery where all the staff know who can and can't pick up DD so I can't really comment on that.

LowcaAndroidow Tue 25-Feb-20 13:27:01

They’ll be providing food for 6 months - 4 year olds - most food is eaten with cutlery.
Snacks will be finger food eg fruit, crackers, cheese.
By 12 months most nurseries will be encouraging spoon use anyway.

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