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Left dd at nursery - heartbroken

(53 Posts)
Midge25 Mon 28-Jul-08 10:05:55

Have just dropped off 6 1/2 m dd at nursery for her 1st full day and feel like my heart is breaking. Have taken lots of the advice on here and spent the last 3 weeks settling her in - she's going to be there full time. I return to work next week but decided to give her her 1st full week whilst I was still at home. Everyone's telling me to enjoy my day of freedom but at the moment feel so awful - dd cries at drop-off and during settling in sessions she's refused food/milk from staff and seems to 'hang on' for me coming to collect her. Now she's there all day she can't hold out forever, but am worried lots of hard work with weaning etc and her routine is going to go backward. Gave the staff lots of info about her routine but they probably think I'm totally neurotic - cried when I collected her last week as she seemed so upset....

TigerFeet Mon 28-Jul-08 10:11:51

Oh sweetheart it's so hard isn't it? I was in exactly the same position in Jan 2005 when dd was 6 months old. I hope it makes you feel better to know that she soon settled and started taking her milk within a couple of weeks. While she was settling she just caught up with the milk in the evenings so she never went short.

My dd is now 4 and just about to leave nursery for school. She loves her nursery and has loads of friends there, it will be terribly sad when she leaves.

I cried too, every day at first. Don't worry about appearing neurotic - you aren't the only one and the nursery staff will be used to it and should be sympathetic.

You are doing the right thing by settling her in slowly. Hang in there, it will get easier for both of you.

Midge25 Mon 28-Jul-08 10:40:01

Thanks tigerfeet. Am trying to get on with my day and resisting phoning the nursery to see how she is. If your dd caught up with milk in evenings, how did you keep her sleeping through? My dd has been sleeping through now for 2 months and would like to try and keep that going - if she starts using evenings to 'catch up' on food wonder if that would continue?

nailpolish Mon 28-Jul-08 10:48:57

you must phone the nursery. it will help you.

if her routine changes - like she stops sleeping through - it does not necessarily mean is becuase of the nursery or that nursery is upsetting her - babies change their routine anyway for any number of reasons - soemtimes for no reason at all

she will settle down and she will love nursery in time.

dont worry

RubySlippers Mon 28-Jul-08 10:53:20

agree with NP = phone the nursery smile

my DS went to nursery when he was 6 months old and it is hard

be kind to yourself - it is a change for all of you

Midge25 Mon 28-Jul-08 10:58:20

Thanks again to you all. Have taken your advice and just got off the phone to the nursery. Apparently dd is doing okay altho' didn't have much milk/breakfast. Hopin lunch goes a bit better for her...

This is so hard... just want to cry and cry

RubySlippers Mon 28-Jul-08 10:59:36

so go to the toilets and have a cry

you will feel better

it will get easier - she may be off her food because it is so hot

snowleopard Mon 28-Jul-08 11:07:50

I have had such agonies over DS being at nursery in the past and wailed about it on here - so I had to reply! It is such a hard time. I used to phone the nursery all the time - and fuss and fuss over things like DS's sleeping position for naps - they will have heard and seen it all a million times before, they won't think anything bad of you for crying. Of course DD will cry a bit and miss you, but remember it is normal for children, even babies, to learn to be looked after by someone else and she will be OK. She will develop bonds with her nursery carers/keyworker and feel safe and loved with them. She will still love and bond with you too. She will get lots of stimulation and learn to be with other children and learn independence. AND you will gradually be able to feel better and gain benefit from the times when you're not with her. I remember the first full day - I just twitched and counted the minutes until I could collect him! But it does get easier to cope with. Have a cup of tea, have a cry, look at photos, have a wallow, and then later you might feel up for something else - get a paper or magazine, do some gardening or whatever you find relaxing and soothing.

I really feel for you, your post brought it all back so much!

TigerFeet Mon 28-Jul-08 11:10:25

Have a good cry - it helps loads. Bottling it up is not good.

DD never really stopped sleeping though. I would feed her in the morning, again when I got home (about 6pm) and then again at about 8ish. She would then sleep through. She was breastfed at first (bottle refusenik) but started taking bottles after a couple of weeks - she would have three 8oz bottles a day (morning, home time and before bed) until she started drinking milk at nursery then it changed to four 6oz bottles. I think that's right anyway... it seems like such a long time ago now blush

Midge25 Mon 28-Jul-08 11:19:21

Thanks Tigerfeet. Feel totally pathetic and like such an idiot but am so worried she's unhappy/will hate me/will never sleep or eat again. Nursery staff keep reassuring me but am dreading going back to work now, and was really looking forward to it before. Have recently moved to a new area with dd and dh and work'll be invaluable in helping me meet new people - plus I love my job - but am so scared I'm doing the wrong thing. It could well be she's just not that hungry cos of the heat, as starting nursery has coincided with warmer weather...

Midge25 Mon 28-Jul-08 11:20:53

Thanks to Snowleopard too - you've reassured me about some of my fears and it's good to know I'm not the only one.

Midge25 Mon 28-Jul-08 11:22:36

I know cognitively that it'll do my dd lots of good to be around other babies and learn about socialising and being independent. But emotionally I just want to run there now, pick her up, run home, and snuggle with her - whilst we gradually become homeless due to rent arrears because I don't go back to work!

RubySlippers Mon 28-Jul-08 11:25:18

midge - i think your feelings are shared by many, if not all WOHM

i work FT, and so does DH

economically we couldn't manage on one wage (but i also love my job)

i think the anticipation of going back to work for you may well be worse than actually doing it

your DD will love nursery - wait until she brings home her first painting smile

RubySlippers Mon 28-Jul-08 11:25:24

midge - i think your feelings are shared by many, if not all WOHM

i work FT, and so does DH

economically we couldn't manage on one wage (but i also love my job)

i think the anticipation of going back to work for you may well be worse than actually doing it

your DD will love nursery - wait until she brings home her first painting smile

snowleopard Mon 28-Jul-08 11:33:32

If you love your job, I think doing your job and having DD in nursery is a good idea. That isn't to be rude about SAHMs at all, we all have different preferences and needs, but I for one feel that I want to keep the "work brain" part of me going and that having my work helps me stay happy and sane as a mum.

I've said this before on here but remember women have always gone to work and left their children with someone, even in prehistoric times when we went collecting or harvesting food. In the past it was often grandparents or big sisters but generally something similar to the nursery atmosphere - a group of children with a group of women - and it was / is one of the ways that children learn to socialise and behave in a group.

IME babies of that age don't always eat much anyway, do they - they have times when they're not keen. She will eat when she wants to - don't worry.

TigerFeet Mon 28-Jul-08 11:33:52

You aren't pathetic at all... it's perfectly natural to feel so sad. I would imagine that once you're back at work you will feel better as you won't have time to think about it so much.

It takes time to adjust - both you and your dd - but you will both get there.

DD has formed very close attachments to her carers at nursery, I have a couple of them on standby for babysitting (great side benefit grin). Also she will go to school with some of her nursery friends which will help her settle there.

It is hard to think of the advantages when it's all so new but it might help to think of them when you are feeling especially low.

For me the biggest advantage was being able to drop her off when I was ill (I had a year or so of getting repeated nasty chest infections) so I wasn't having to worry about looking after a toddler when I was barely able to breathe. For her the biggest advantage was the social aspect and being able to make a mess like she wouldn't be able to at home... they did things like strip them down to their nappies and let them play in paint - scrawl all over the flags in the garden - play in massive bowls of cooked pasta. Stuff like that doesn't happen in our house grin

snowleopard Mon 28-Jul-08 11:39:15

Oh yes tigerfeet! I love the fact that DS gets to do loads of messy painting at nursery and play with things like glitter glue and playdoh, and I don't have to set it up or tidy it up. When he's with me we do other things like days out and lego. Plus at nursery they have soft play things, dancing and singing games, a big room to zoom about in - large-scale/group stuff that I couldn't arrange for him myself.

Midge25 Mon 28-Jul-08 11:39:20

I think it would have been easier were it not for the fact that she's going through a bit of an attachment stage with me - have had a few friends to visit recently and it's taken her a while to allow them to sit next to her/hold her without crying. So she's reacting quite strongly to strangers even when I'm there too. I am hopeful that in no time, she'll settle in and start loving nursery, and thanks again for all your reassurance - know this post must be a familiar refrain on MN. How long does the settling in period take, do you think?

Midge25 Mon 28-Jul-08 11:41:06

I think she'll love the messy/water play eventually...altho I wonder about how much she'll get out of that at the moment given she's so young...

snowleopard Mon 28-Jul-08 11:42:20

I think it will gradually get better, so say in a couple of weeks it should be much easier. But also it can come and go - DS has had good settled periods at nursery, and then more anxious times, coinciding with upheavals at home like when we had building work done. The thing is to keep the routine and reassurance going for them as much as possible and know it will all even out in the end, and phases will pass.

Midge25 Mon 28-Jul-08 11:43:07

As in, will that occupy/distract her from the new setting and unfamiliar place?

Midge25 Mon 28-Jul-08 11:44:14

I'm a terrible worrier at the best of times and tend to overthink things to a ridiculous level. Think nursery is becoming one of those things....

snowleopard Mon 28-Jul-08 11:46:30

Even small babies can get a lot out of things like water play - at DS's nursery they mix up baby bubble bath and pile the bubbles on a tray and the babies just mess about with them, they love it. They do other activities too and the babies watch and gradually learn to join in. It used to make us laugh when we got daily reports home from nursery saying things like "today DS made scones" - he was 10 months old! But then they surprise you. When DS was 2, I was baking with him and I said we needed to put an egg in - he took and egg from the box, expertly cracked it on the side of the bowl and emptied it into the mixture without any shell! They actually get a lot of experiences and learn a lot of things.

Midge25 Mon 28-Jul-08 11:49:44

Check it out! If my dd has a tray of scones for me when I get home from work I'll be very happy. Thanks for cheering me up with that thought - my dd is quite chubby and am just imagining her fat little arms patting bubbles and making cakes. When that happens maybe I won't feel as cruel as I do at the moment...

Midge25 Mon 28-Jul-08 11:52:15

I totally agree Rubyslippers and Snowleopard - going back to work is a financial thing for us but I do think it'll help me too - have suffered quite a lot with PND since dd was born and altho am receiving treatment I think getting back to the job I enjoy (and making ne friends) will help me in other ways too. I don't want to use my dd as an emotional crutch, or for my neuroses to rub off on her...

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